Malala Yousafzai

Philomel. (She Persisted). Jul. 2022. 80p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593402917.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai loves learning and is an inspirational advocate for universal education. This book focuses on her passion for knowledge and her risky support for women’s rights during a dangerous time in Pakistan’s history. As the young daughter of an educator, she was distressed when the Taliban closed down all the girls’ schools, forbidding music, television, and dancing. These restrictions eventually relaxed, but it was still dangerous for girls to get an education. Yousafzai refused to be discouraged. Through a series of circumstances, she became an impressive advocate for women’s rights, writing articles that were published in newspapers, and appeared on television. Along with international acclaim came an assassination attempt that almost ended her life. Recovering fully, she resumed her education in England, graduated from Oxford, and continues working to make the world a better place. Saeed addresses religion, politics, and social commentary in a developmentally appropriate way. The hostilities and violence perpetrated by the Taliban are referenced mainly as they pertain to Yousafzai personally and how they impacted women’s education as a whole. Flint’s black-and-white interior illustrations allow readers to make cultural connections. Included are a table of contents, references, and an appended section listing six things readers can do to emulate Yousafzai’s advocacy for educational reform.
VERDICT This early chapter book is a good addition to biography collections with a focus on young people who have changed the world through their advocacy.

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