Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Reading 2013 Malala Yousafzai: Education Activist

This biography is very well-written. I especially appreciate the organization of the information. The book begins with a chapter on the assassination attempt on Malala. With that image in the reader's mind, the next few chapters give background information on Pakistan, Islam, and the Taliban. Because Malala is introduced first, readers have her face in mind and they can picture her in the context of growing up in that country and religion and with the threat of the Taliban ever present.

Once that background is set, the book then starts at the beginning of Malala's life and traces her journey to the present. Details about her family and friends, her education, and her activism are explained as the sequence of events unfolds. Sidebars with additional information about topics like the Pashtun ethnic group, health risks in Pakistan, or the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are also helpful for readers who may not be familiar with the cultural factors of the country.

The nonfiction features throughout the book are very helpful for those doing research or a biographical report for school. There is a timeline of events, a glossary, a list of additional resources, and a concise 2-page spread of "Essential Facts" about Malala's life. The table of contents and the index make it easy to locate specific information within the book.

The publishers have identified this for an interest level of grades 6 - 12, and I would also recommend this for middle or high school students. An article about Malala's life in England was recently published in People magazine (October 2013). Here is a preview of her exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer.


I was provided with a copy of the book by the publishers for review purposes.

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