Hello, friends! In honor of International Women’s Day, our book today is For The Right To Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story, written by Rebecca Langston-George and illustrated by Janna Bock, the story of the courage and determination of the youngest Nobel Prize winner to fight for the right to education.
Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan, in a once beautiful and peaceful mountain town, to loving parents who encouraged learning. Her father ran a local school, and did everything he could to provide education to any boy or girl who sought it. But when the Taliban took over her town, Malala saw the rights and freedoms of her and her fellow girls begin to disappear as they were banned from school and threatened with violence. Unwilling to give up her rights, Malala spoke out against this injustice, risking her life to continue her studies. Despite threats, obstacles, and even an attempt on her life, Malala continues her fight to this day.
Malala is a powerful figure as a relentless yet peaceful advocate for women’s and children’s rights, and kids can identify strongly to her, so this biography is a fantastic way to introduce her story to young readers. The illustrations are sweeping and emotional, and the text is perfect, focusing on Malala’s activism through adversity rather than the assassination attempt she survived (an event which made her famous, but is hardly her most significant accomplishment). Both the text and the art handle the event subtly yet poignantly; still, the subject matter should be considered before choosing this one. The length is also a bit much for baby bookworms (even JJ), but older kids could handle this one easily. Overall, it is a beautiful and moving true story of a remarkable young woman. Baby Bookworm approved!