For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story
by Rebecca Langston-George
Those of you who know me know that girls’ education is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent the last three years of my life as Founding President of American University’s chapter of She’s the First, an organization that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. People like Malala inspire me to continue advocating for girls’ education, as well as educating myself and others about the struggles faced by girls and women around the world. Over the past three years, our chapter has raised over $40,000 to sponsor girls who will be the first in their families to graduate, and we’ve learned so much about leadership along the way.
When I saw that Rebecca Langston-George had written a book to tell Malala’s story to readers 9-12, I was so thrilled that there would finally be a way to share Malala’s inspiring story with children. While Malala’s rise to fame started with a violent act against her, her story is one of peace and teamwork that carries meaningful lessons for students.
The illustrations by Janna Bock are absolutely breathtaking. They truly bring Malala and her village to life for readers who may have never seen pictures of the beautiful mountains in which Malala grew up. The pictures add to the story, communicating meaningful information and allowing students to make inferences based on the visuals.
Starting the story back when Malala was a little girl, Langston-George’s beautiful writing brings the story to life and truly conveys the determination that surrounded every moment of Malala’s journey. The book manages to communicate a large amount of historical information into a piece that is appropriate in length and language for the 4th-6th grade set.
I expect this book to be turning up in many classrooms and libraries in the months to come. So many students will learn about Malala through this book, and I hope they will be as inspired by her journey as I am.
- A glossary is included in the back of the book, along with a page with more historical information for teachers and parents who may like to bring a little more detail to their teaching of the story. This is a great resource for adults who are sharing this book with young readers.
- This book is a great fit for a biography project. If students are researching key historical figures, Malala certainly qualifies as a “living legend.” This book is a great introduction to her story and can be a helpful starting resource for students who are looking into Malala’s life.
- Malala’s speeches and blog posts are key moments in this story. Youtube videos and online blog posts are publicly available, and sharing videos with students while reading about Malala’s story can help students to grasp that Malala is a real person with a real story of growth and determination.
Title: For the Right to Learn
Author: Rebecca Langston-George
Illustrator: Janna Bock
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Price: US $15.95
Source: NetGalley – Advanced Review Copy
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy of this text from Capstone in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own – thank you for reading!