'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 24 January 2019

Review: The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai

This book tells an important story about a young person, living in our world today, who had the right to learn taken from her, and how far she has gone to reclaim that right for herself and others.

The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai, written by Hiba Noor Khan and illustrated by Rita Petruccioli, begins in Pakistan where we meet Malala, a young girl who loves learning.

Khan presents the narrative in clear terms that teenagers and children can relate to, while Petruccioli's illustrations, in washes of orange, evoke the valley's beauty and mosaic patterns of Malala’s homeland, as well as the challenges she faced.

Malala's life was irrevocably changed at ten years old when her valley was occupied by an extremist group and war led to a complete disintegration of her world.

In this new order, girls were forbidden from attending school, such that many girls and women were not permitted to learn to read or write or add up. Malala began to publicly speak out against this injustice from the age of eleven. Her family history outlined others who had also stood against injustice.

People’s lives were ravaged by war and many fleed from the terror. When it seemed to have ended, Malala and her family returned to try to pick up the pieces of their lives. Throughout all of this, Malala continued to learn and became more and more outspoken about the rights of all girls and women to receive education, with the support of her family.

However, one terrible day, when Malala was fifteen years old and returning from school, she was shot by members of the extremist group who were attempting to silence her. She had to fight for her life. Malala received extensive medical care in her own country and then in a specialist hospital in the United Kingdom, where she and her family came to live.

The book begins with a map of the world, showing the area of Pakistan where Malala lived as a child, and ends by outlining the ongoing ways in which this brave young woman continues to support the education and empowerment of girls and women across the world. This is an enlightening, inspiring and empowering book for all.

Title: The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai
Author: Hiba Noor Khan
Illustrator: Rita Petruccioli
Publisher: Puffin Books, $16.99
Publication Date: 8 January 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780241372753
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior non-fiction