Review Blog

Feb 19 2019

Malala, my story of standing up for girls' rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

cover image

Wren and Rook. ISBN 9781526361592.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Auto-biography. The extraordinary true story of the Pakistani girl who stood up for girls' rights to education and was shot by the Taliban is now available in a new publication for a younger audience, so that they too can learn about the young girl who refused to give in to terrorism and believed that truth must prevail.
Malala was fortunate to have a father who encouraged her independence of thought and her aspirations for education, allowing her to participate in a BBC website on the daily life of a girl in Pakistan under the rule of the Taliban, highlighting to the wider world the issue of girls' rights to education. Hoping to silence her, Taliban supporters stopped her school bus, and fired shots to her head. The ensuing airlift to medical services, first in Pakistan then to Britain as the seriousness of her injury became apparent, brought her once again to the attention of the world. When Malala's bravery is recognised with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, the youngest person to ever receive it, it means that instead of being silenced Malala's message will continue to be heard.
This version of Malala's life is written simply with short chapters and large font. There are explainer boxes on some pages to explain topics such as the celebration of Ramadan, the shalwar kamiz clothing, the difference between an internally displaced person and a refugee, the Malala Fund charity etc. And simple black and white drawings by Joanie Stone further enhance understanding of the text. At the end there is also a glossary of terms, a guide to pronunciation of some words, and a timeline of significant events in Malala's life.
All in all, this is a very accessible book, and would make a worthwhile addition to every school library. The story of standing up for one's beliefs and refusing to give in to bullies, is one that will continue to be relevant to young readers.
Helen Eddy

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