How to Stop A Train – The Story of How Mohandas Gandhi Became the Mahatma

Written by Stephanie Ebert and Kathryn Pillay and illustrated by Paddy Bouma. (Pan Macmillan)

Age 4-9

A beautifully illustrated book bringing the story of political and social activist Mohandas Gandhi to life.

Mohandas Gandhi was a lawyer, political activist, and a writer. Gandhi advocated for the fair treatment of Indian immigrants and self-rule for India. This is the famous story of how he was forcibly removed from the first class compartment of a train in South Africa, even though he had a ticket. At that time in 1893, no person of colour was allowed to travel in first class along with white Europeans.  

This day marked the beginning of his journey to put an end to the unfair treatment of Indian people in South Africa, and later in India. A journey to teach everyone that you can change the world without using violence. A journey to make the world a better place. A long journey that begins with one small word: No.

Gandhi remembers his mother’s lesson: ‘When you harm others, you harm your own soul.’

He follows a powerful form of protest called Satyagraha – non-violent resistence.  

The unfair treatment of Gandhi and his fellow people will stir up outrage and sadness, and lead to many deep discussions. There are notes at the back of the book to prompt these and also guide parents or teachers to discuss the fact that Gandhi was not perfect, and neither are we.  But everyone can make a difference.  All you have to do to make a change is to stand up and say NO to what you believe is wrong. 

The perfect book to introduce young readers to another hero of the anti-discrimination struggle.  

Also available in Afrikaans as Hoe Om ‘n Trein Te Stop. Paddy Bouma is also illustrator of the children’s adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. 

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you!

Share this on
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial