Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights

by Malala Yousafzai, Adapted by Sarah J. Robbins (2018)

A Sweet Spot and Intermediate title.

Picture Book Companion available.

 

This edition of Malala’s story is 172 pages – ideal for elementary and upper elementary school shared reading.

The story of Malala Yousafzai – the Afghan girl who defied the Taliban, was attacked and injured, and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize – is deservedly well-known by adults. But each succeeding wave of young people deserves to know her story.

Read to Them offers two versions of this story for young readers: a middle-school version titled I Am Malala and this newer elementary school version. (We also offer a Picture Book Companion, Malala’s Magic Pencil, for the youngest students.)

Malala: Standing up for Girls’ Rights is told in her own words, compelling and accessible for younger listeners because it is told in Malala’s voice, the voice of a young girl. She shows us her world in her native Pakistan as she sees it and understands it, providing a window for students living lives so different from hers.

Malala’s story is both instructive and inspiring. It is important for students to read about other children in other countries grappling with questions most of us don’t have to face – questions as fundamental as, “Are you forbidden from going to school because you’re a girl?”

Malala inspires because she does not give up. Not when the Taliban take over her village. Not when they threaten her. Not when they attack her! She writes her story. She speaks internationally. She demonstrates that one young person with unending persistence can truly change in the world.

Malala’s story rings true because it is told with authenticity. She reads with her father, cooks with her mother, plays games and watches TV with her brothers. All of that will resonate with students, no matter where they live. Then, when the Taliban comes and upends her life, you never lose the sense that she’s a kid, not an adult, grappling with world-shaking questions from a child’s point of view.

Ultimately, Malala desperately wants to go to school, a message that may be eye-opening to American students who may have never questioned their right to an education. No one can take education for granted after reading Malala, My Story of Standing Up for Girl’s Rights.

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