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Notable among these heroes is Helen Lieberman, a white speech therapist to whom Mr. Lapierre dedicates his book. In 2002, Mr. Lapierre traveled to South Africa to meet Mrs. Lieberman, the founder of Ikamva Labantu (The Future of our Nation), the country’s largest social welfare organization. In recent years, Mr. Lapierre has devoted much of his efforts to helping the world’s poorest children. A portion of this book’s proceeds will go to funding Mr. Lapierre’s charitable organization City of Joy Aid, devoted to helping the children of Calcutta.

His meeting with the 59-year-old Mrs. Lieberman, who at great risk saved the lives of several thousand black children during the darkest days of apartheid, is what led to the writing of “A Rainbow in the Night.” With 60 hours of taped interviews with Mrs. Lieberman, he learned, as readers do, of the extraordinary courage of this woman dedicated to protecting the world’s most helpless citizens. Her story - along with the story of heart surgeon Christian Bernard and of countless others who pressed forward during South Africa’s darkest days - is unforgettable.

Carol Herman is books editor at The Washington Times.