I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

with Patricia McCormick. Young Readers Edition. 224p. chron. glossary. maps. photos. Little, Brown. 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9780316327930.
Gr 6 Up—In this young readers edition of Yousafzai's best-selling memoir, the Nobel Peace Prize winner retells her experiences at home and at school and discusses the impact of the Taliban presence in Pakistan. Her strong voice and ideals come across on every page, emphasizing how her surroundings and supportive family helped her become the relevant figure she is today. Yousafzai highlights the importance of school and how it was the only space where she felt empowered. Although at times the transitions between personal accounts and historical background feel abrupt, Yousafzai effectively summarizes her story and her advocacy for girls' education, peace, and human rights. Above all, she stresses that she doesn't want to be known as the girl shot by the Taliban but rather as a young person who actively fought for education. A strong addition to social studies, history, and biography collections.—Sujei Lugo, Somerville Public Library, MA
[=With]Young Readers Edition. Young education activist and Taliban victim Malala Yousafzai recounts her Pakistani childhood in this deftly adapted memoir. Domestic and academic tales illustrate her unusual maturity and resilience in the face of increasing Taliban threats. Yousafzai's moving narrative and engaging, sincere voice may provide an entryway to international awareness for middle-grade readers; a map and a thorough timeline provide additional political context. Glos.
An activist for women’s rights and girls’ education since childhood, Malala Yousafzai proves that people are never too young to have a voice or stand up for their beliefs, and that kids can make a big impact on the world. Her inspiring story may motivate readers to advocate for causes they find important. Malala’s humor and lightheartedness make her easy to relate to, as do her typical teenage behavior and activities. She fights with her siblings, enjoys watching TV, and gossips with friends about face creams and a balding teacher. Provides a solid, easy-to-understand historical background of the Taliban’s infiltration of the Swat Valley—the region of Pakistan where Malala grew up. Children will readily comprehend how much changed when the Taliban came to power, due to concrete examples such as women being punished for not wearing hijabs and music being banned. Abundant details make it easy to imagine Malala’s daily life. For example, she describes playing with her brothers in Pakistan: “Sometimes we rang the bell at someone else’s house, then ran away and hid. Our favorite, though, was cricket. We played cricket day and night in the alley by our house or up on our roof, which was flat. If we couldn’t afford a proper cricket ball, we made one out of an old sock stuffed with rubbish; and we drew wickets on the wall in chalk.” The contrasts between Malala’s life in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, and Birmingham, England, are fascinating. For instance, in Pakistan, her teachers’ school supplies were a blackboard and chalk, whereas in Birmingham, they have laptops and projectors. It’s touching that despite the horrors of living under the Taliban, Malala still misses many things about her life in Pakistan, including close relationships with her neighbors and exploring the beautiful wilderness outside town.

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