Inspiring, heartbreaking, and timely, this is must-read nonfiction.
Recommended grade level: 6-12
Pages: 240 (for ISBN 9780316327930)
Summary: I Am Malala. This is my story.
Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.
Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.
No one expected her to survive.
Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did.
Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond. (Source)
Who will like this book?: Readers seeking an inspirational story about young people who make a big difference will find Malala fascinating and heroic. The book is full of engaging elements, from aspects of Malala’s daily life in Pakistan to the rise of Al Qaeda to Malala’s recovery. This is an excellent choice for those interested in current events and in learning about other parts of the world. Those who have strong beliefs and want to make a difference will find it encouraging. Girls especially will find it empowering.
Who won’t like this book?: This may feel like a “school book” to kids who haven’t developed an interest in real-world affairs.
Other comments: This is an adaptation of the adult book of the same title. I haven’t read the adult title, but I’ve heard it gets more into politics than this version.
Readalikes: For another inspiring story of young people in non-Western countries, try A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom : My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery is the memoir of a young American fighting for her rights. For those looking for empowering stories of inspiration women, recommend Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World by Laura Barcella.