I Am Malala Yousafzai

Dial. (Ordinary People Change the World). Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780593405888.
K-Gr 2This first-person biography presents Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai from the time she was a young girl to more recent times. In the chatty early pages, Malala describes her favorite color and foods, is shown arm-wrestling with her brother, and talks about games she plays with her friends. The narrative then abruptly changes to a street scene in which the unfair treatment of girls and women is briefly explained. Following pages depict Malala’s education at her father’s school—later shut down by the Taliban—the horrific attack that left her with a devastating facial wound; her subsequent recovery and determination fueled her message of empowerment for the world. Though the events in the book are presented in chronological order, there is a disjointed quality to the text which may prove confusing to younger readers. Several pages at the end, for example, are less biographical than a call to power: “The world doesn’t change unless you speak up. Use your voice. Help those who need it.” Despite the current appeal of graphic novels to young readers, the illustrations in this book seem oversimplified, with very limited facial expressions. Back matter includes a time line and photographs.
VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries that don’t already have one of the numerous excellent biographies on this Malala.

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