Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction


Fall 2015 Non-Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Author: Patricia McCormick
ISBN: 9780316311199
Hardcover Price: $17.00

I Am Malala is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary person, in her own words. By now most of the world knows something about the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize: how she spoke out publicly about girls' education in her native Pakistan, and how her brave remarks made her a target of terrorists. But her story goes beyond those facts, and in this compelling book readers see the whole Malala-the hero, yes, but also the girl who loves pink and cupcakes and doesn't care for candy or jewelry, the girl who loves TV shows like Ugly Betty and stresses about school exams. Her courage and maturity are truly astonishing, even before the attack that left her with hearing loss and facial nerve damage, requiring hours of surgery and lengthy physical therapy. As this is the Young Readers Edition, it is somewhat shorter than the original memoir co-written with journalist Christina Lamb. The tone and level of detail are more appropriate to an upper-elementary or middle-level audience. For instance, the language is simpler and less poetic than the original, and the details of the actual shooting are less graphic. The narrative voice is strong and clear, making for a fascinating read, and photos of Malala from infancy through present day enhance the text. She emphasizes that she doesn't want to be known for being shot by the Taliban, but instead as "'the girl who fought for education,' the girl who stands up for peace, with knowledge as her weapon." There is no doubt Malala will continue that fight, and continue to win.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

Look for this product at:
Little Brown Books for Young Readers

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