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Guest blog: Nelson Mandela tells his story to children

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He's sold nearly six million copies of his adult autobiography and now Nelson Mandela is targeting the youth market with a child-friendly version of his "Long Walk to Freedom." Fifteen years after the release of the original, the former South African president was presented with the new children's version by his great grandson Ziyanda ahead of the official launch in Johannesburg.

The 64-page illustrated book with a sketch of Mandela on the front has been released in all 11 of South Africa's official languages plus American English and Portuguese. Like the 600-page adult version, the children's book chronicles Mandela's childhood, the fight against apartheid, his 27 years in prison, and the road to the presidency in 1994. The English version is the only one in hardback, said Lara Cohen from publisher Pan Macmillan.

Mandela, who is more commonly known in South Africa by his clan name Madiba, was said to be happy with the children's book. Verne Harris, acting chief  executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said: "The book is aimed at six to 10-year-olds. Madiba withdrew from making public comments several years ago but he did give a short message at the launch to say he was pleased with the book and that children could have fun reading it."

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