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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Malala: Acitivist for Girls' Education, written by Raphaele Frier and illsutrated by Aurelia Fronty. Charlesbridge, Random House. 2017. $$21.99 ages 8 and up

"As 2008 ends, the Taliban announces another ban: girls no longer have the right to go to school as of January 15, 2009. "How can they stop us from going to school?" Malala is upset. Her friends are angry, too. "They have already blown up hundreds of schools, and no one has done anything."

Malala Yousafzai, the young activist from Pakistan, recently became an honorary Canadian citizen, only the sixth and certainly the youngest to receive the honor. She, once again, showed the courage and poise that have made her a hero in the eyes of many as she spoke to the Canadian Parliament.

Her family's belief in a right to education led her father Ziauddin to open a school in Pakistan that welcomed girls, feeling that girls should be valued in the same way as boys are in Pakistani society. The Taliban did not, and do not, agree. Education was not their only target. Laws banned music, computers and television; women were to cover their faces and bodies; men were required to grow beards. Disobedience led to swift punishment, even death. Finally, girls were not allowed to attend school. Malala's anger with the Taliban and their oppression led her to speak out against them and to speak for the rights of girls and children everywhere.

During the war that broke out, Malala at 14, was not discouraged when the Taliban returned to her valley. She continued speaking out. The Pakistani government even honored her with a Peace Prize.

"By 2011 Malala is so successful, she is able
to create an educational foundation. It helps
her and those who support her work.
But her family is threatened by the Taliban.
The military group does not like her father's
schools or Malala's activism."

So, they shot her and two of her friends, on a bus as they were returning from school. Near death, she was sent to England to recover. The Taliban did not know who they were messing with, obviously. Today, she continues her important work throughout the world.

She will soon be 20. What she has accomplished in that short life is inspirational! This book helps readers see the path she has taken. It allows readers a look at her family, her country, the Taliban threat, and the lengths to which she has gone to spread her powerful message.

Back matter is extensive and enlightening.

"With guns you can kill terrorists; with
education you can kill terrorism."

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