Nelson Mandela Autobiography Adapted Into Children's Book
Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom has been abridged and adapted into a children's book which saw a global launch of the release. It was a daunting prospect to shorten the work and to make it child-friendly, not to mention the difficulties in translating it into thirteen languages.
Back in the 1980s, Nelson Mandela was front and center on the world stage. Now, Macmillan aims to see history repeat itself, thanks to a global, 13-language launch of the picture-book adaptation of his autobiography.
The company's unprecedented release of Long Walk to Freedom "was intended to reflect Nelson Mandela's importance to South Africa and the world," says Emma Hopkin, managing director of Macmillan Children’s Books in the U.K.
Those numerous and simultaneous translations were, in fact, an essential part of the deal for the Foundation and Little, Brown. Although English is South Africa's lingua franca, it is actually the first language of only a small minority of the country's children. Hopkin explains that "because of Nelson Mandela’s importance to South Africa, the goal was that every South African child would have the opportunity to read this book." To achieve this end, Macmillan printed Long Walk to Freedom not only in Afrikaans, but in isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho and the rest of South Africa's 11 official languages.
Long Walk to Freedom is available for a discount at