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Malala: Activist for Girls' Education Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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A fight for girls' education. Opinionated, vocal, and resilient, Malala Yousafzai stood up for herself and for girls everywhere when the Taliban destroyed schools in her native Pakistan. Striking illustrations, evocative of the Pakistani landscape and of Malala's own hopes and dreams, show Malala and her world in intricate and colorful detail, while straightforward text depicts her childhood and family life in the mountains and valleys of Pakistan and describes the growth of her determination to improve opportunities for girls in her own country and elsewhere. The Taliban's assassination attempt is dealt with sensitively and honestly, with a focus on her ultimate recovery and return to work as an outspoken advocate for children, girls, and education. Children will find much to be inspired by and empathize with here, from Malala's warm and supportive family, her stalwart belief in doing what is right, her concern for the lives of others and her determination to help them, and her own words: "One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world." Extensive notes and photographs are included in the backmatter, as well as a timeline, map, and further reading. A realistic and inspiring look at Malala Yousafzai's childhood in Taliban-controlled Pakistan and her struggle to ensure education for girls.
- Kirkus Reviews
Most recent biographies of Malala Yousafzai are for early readers. This French import stands out for its vivid, naive illustrations, its present-tense narration, and the pages that stress Yousafzai's ongoing, post-Nobel efforts to bring education to girls in other nations. The paintings and folk designs are bright and positive, and the shooting scene is depicted sensitively. Translator Cormier's clear text uses mostly simple sentences and vocabulary. Five spreads (with photos and a map) at the end provide excerpts from Yousafzai's speeches and writing, her inspirations, a time line, short reading list, and additional information about girls' education in Pakistan and elsewhere. Initially, the Taliban is called "a violent group." Only in the back matter is Islam briefly mentioned, along with Yousafzai's rejection of fundamentalism. The book does not present her as a victim and emphasizes her family's support and the help she received from others: she isn't fighting cultural traditions alone. VERDICT Although similar to Rebecca Langston-George's For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story and Karen Leggett Abouraya's Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words, this work surpasses them in contextual scope.
—School Library Journal
In a clear, measured narrative, smoothly translated by Cormier, French author Frier (Angela and the Cherry Tree) details Malala Yousafzai’s childhood in Pakistan and the events that drove her to become an activist. Encouraged by her father, who ran a school for girls, Yousafzai pursued knowledge and autonomy, yet her education was threatened by a 2008 Taliban ban on girls attending school. A vivid energy suffuses Fronty’s vibrant folk-naive artwork; when Yousafzai is eventually shot during a bus ride home from school, Fronty shows the gunmen in silhouette and gunfire exploding around her in a halolike burst. Substantial back matter includes a timeline of Yousafzai’s life, contextual information about Pakistan, and details about other major humanitarian figures, including Gandhi and Mandela. Though not the only picture book biography of Yousafzai available, this is a solid introduction to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
In this vibrant picture-book biography, translated from the French, Malala Yousafzai’s courageous story is retold in considerable detail, with nuances and illustrations that highlight the salient people and places in her life. The now-familiar account of a father who defied tradition by wanting his daughter to have the same rights as his son is expanded to provide a view of Mingora, Pakistan, which possesses great natural beauty (snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, orchards) and a cruel patriarchal social order that forces young girls into marriage and denies them basic civil rights. The story covers Malala’s early activist years, the shooting, her recovery, her speech at the UN, and subsequent efforts to speak up for girls around the world since she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. If the narrative sometimes feel stiff, it is softened by Fronty’s gorgeous illustrations. Highly stylized and rich in detail, texture, and color, they suffuse Malala’s life with beauty. Back matter about Malala, Pakistan, girls’ education, and more supplements this lovely biography.
About the Author
Raphaëlle Frier is an elementary school teacher. She has written fourteen books for children, including The Ogre and Maguerite (Talents Hauts) and Room with a View (Thierry Magnier). Raphaëlle lives in France.
Aurélia Fronty attended the Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris. Aurélia has illustrated many books for children including Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees and I Have the Right to Be a Child (Groundwood). She lives in France.
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Top customer reviews
The artwork is an essential part of this book, providing colorful symbolic images. At the end of the book there is a helpful timeline of events in Malala’s life as well as photographs of her. There is an added useful feature for parents and teachers who want to extend the study with information on Pakistan, education in Pakistan and the world, and Malala’s religion and inspiration. There are also brief discussions of other peacemakers: Gandhi, Mandela, and King. This section includes quotes from Malala as well as a listing of other sources of information about Malala including links to various important speeches she has made.
Teachers will find Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education a valuable teaching resource. It empowers both children and women to stand up for what is right and summarizes the religious and historical context in a way that is understandable and appropriate for children. This book could be used as an integral tool in many curricular units as well as to provoke thoughtful discussion by itself.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Charlesbridge Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great book for all ages. From all I can find, it is classified for grades 1-4 and ages 6-9. Let me clarify that I gave this a PG rating due to the violence against Malala Yousafzai and others. Not all kids are emotionally ready to read this on their own so it’s always a good idea for a parent or teacher to read these types of books before handing them over to the kids.
What a wonderful book for a teacher to read to a class. There are many words and circumstances younger children will not understand that present perfect teaching opportunities. From what I could see (unfortunately I read this on a Kindle paperwhite so I did not get to view the whole scope of the illustrations and photographs) it is a beautiful book. The first half has Malala’s story and wonderful illustrations to help draw the kids in. The last half is more facts on Malala (who is her inspiration, awards she’s won, etc.) with photos of her and her family.
This is a book that could help younger kids start to understand that it’s okay to stand up for what they believe in even if it’s not the norm. It’s a wonderful book for older kids to spark their interest in Malala’s story. Listed at the end are other books, videos, and websites where they can continue to learn more about Malala and what she stands for.
I will definitely be recommending this to my teacher friends and my younger nieces. It seems especially relevant right now. I would strongly recommend going with the hardcover book instead of the Kindle edition to greater appreciate all this book has to offer.
Translated from its original French, this book is transportive, beautifully designed, and strong in its motivational qualities. Fronty does an amazing job with the kindly rendered, feminine, Pointilistly elaborate pictures and portraits of Malala in Pakistan and the U.K. A beauty to behold and be inspired by.