As graphic novels have gained popularity and recognition as legitimate reading, authors and illustrators continue to expand into other areas. Although nonfiction told in graphic novel format has been around for quite some time, it seems in recent years more opportunities have been taken. Well-known nonfiction writer, Brad Meltzer, has created a slim volume the publisher is calling a graphic biography.
I Am Gandhi is illustrated by 25 artists, with the variety of art strengthening this excellent biography of an outstanding man. Meltzer tells of his childhood in India, his time spent in London and South Africa, and mentions a particular picture book that influenced his life. It is written as if Gandhi himself is telling of his life to a small group of children. How he developed his non-violent approach, what existing ideas influenced him in its development, and how he and others put it into practice are all included.
This title is a good introduction to Gandhi, his life and beliefs. It may guide readers to look for more in-depth information about him. The timeline, quotes, and photos at the back of the book add to his story.
Librarians may see the title and author and think of his series of biographies for much younger readers, also titled “Ordinary People Change the World.” This younger series is aimed at kindergarten through grade 3 and gives a much briefer look at a number of amazing people.