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Our February book selection 2nd and 3rd grades is…
Who Is Malala Yousafzai? by Dinah Brown
Next week we’ll send everyone who has signed up for Book Club a Meeting Guide with Discussion Questions.
Not signed up yet?
About the Book
Malala Yousafzai grew up in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan. The daughter of an educator, Malala loved school and hoped to become a doctor one day. When the Taliban moved into her town, they decreed that girls could no longer attend school. They shut down schools that educated girls, like the school Malala’s father had started, and threatened anyone who broke their rules. Malala spoke to journalists, trying to get the world to pay attention to what was going on in her country.
On October 9th, 2012, two men from the Taliban boarded a bus and shot Malala while she was on her way to school with classmates. They wanted to silence her. But they did not succeed.
Malala and her family have had to leave their homeland, relocating to England. But Malala has not stopped speaking out about her belief that all children in the world deserve access to education. She wrote a book, I Am Malala, that became a best-seller. And, in 2014, she won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Malala continues to inspire people all over the world to speak out against injustice.
This book tells the story of Malala’s life and family, from the time of her birth through winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Helpful illustrations and sidebars provide additional context and information.
The Who Is…? (and Who Was…?) books are a series of biographies about important world figures, both contemporary and historical. Other subjects include Anne Frank, Gandhi, Marie Curie, Sonia Sotomayor, and Jackie Robinson.
The Girls Leadership Connection
Speaking out is not easy. Sometimes people won’t agree with you, and might even dislike you, because of your opinions. It feels safer to keep quiet, and we can even convince ourselves that it’s okay to keep quiet as long as we don’t perpetuate injustice with our own actions.
What is your response when you see injustice in the world? Do you frown, and turn away? Do you talk or write about it, expressing your thoughts to your community? Or, do you organize some form of action? It’s not easy to know what to do or how to help. Malala Yousafzai now works on a global scale to ensure access to education for all children. But, she didn’t start on a global scale. She started with her own family and community.
How can you start to make the world a better place? Perhaps one way to begin would be to notice where there is a need for help and – instead of simply frowning and turning away – discuss it with family and friends. Together, you can brainstorm ways to make positive changes.
For more information about Malala’s work around the world, check out her website. There, you can watch a video about the goals of the Malala Fund. You can also donate money or clothes to the fund, or start a fundraiser in your community.
Education is only one issue facing the world today. If you’d like to learn more about global issues, Chelsea Clinton’s book It’s Your World has ideas that are both inspiring and realistic for kids who want to make the world a better place for all. (read our review)
Also, check out this list of non-fiction children’s books about women who have changed the world in powerful ways. These real-life activists are great models for speaking out.