Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words - Review #ReadYourWorld

I am so excited to be one of the bloggers and book reviewers for the upcoming Multicultural Children's Book Day #ReadYourWorld, tomorrow, Jan. 27th! As a participating blogger, I received a copy of the book reviewed below in exchange for a fair and honest review. (Please click on the image above or scroll down to the bottom of the post for more information about Multicultural Children's Book Day, including sponsors and hosts.)

Review: Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words (2014) by Karen Leggett Abouraya and illustrated by L. C. Wheatley.

This picture book biography about Malala blends her own words as quotations throughout the story, adding realism and a personal voice to the telling. The events of the shooting take place about mid-way through the story, which helps to balance her backstory and personal history with the events and impact that Malala has had as a survivor.

There is lengthy backmatter including a historical overview of the creation of Pakistan and the rise of the Taliban, a brief list of resources, and information about how kids can help through organizations (including the Malala Fund and others) that are working on the issues of girls and access to education.

This book is ripe for discussion and conversation with children. It is a great way to get them thinking about the importance and power of school and education. Many kids in the US complain about the mundane aspects of school without realizing the benefits. True stories like this of kids just like them in other parts of the world can really help them see through another's eyes.

Extension Activity: Poetry Response

With my third grade students, after reading and discussing the story, I asked the kids to use poetry as a way to collect their thoughts and share a personal response. (We are in the middle of our poetry unit right now and celebrate Poetry Friday each week, so poetry is a natural part of our classroom activities.) Poetry is a great way for kids to express themselves and especially to put themselves in another point of view. Poetry is a bit looser about the "rules" of grammar and structure as well, which invites all students to express their thoughts.

Here is an example of a poem by Leila, including her author's note introduction:

I wrote this poem because girls in some countries can not go to school, go outside without a boy, climb, play games, and have mostly no freedom. Malala tried to go to school and she got shot and almost killed so please think about it!


hurt feelings
over looking shoulders
friends gone.

Never again will that light of hope in your heart for them burn bright.

Classroom Reading Challenge - Free Book!

MCCBD is offering teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library! These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well. Click here for the full details or to join the MCCBD 2016 Classroom Reading Challenge!

More About Multicultural Children's Book Day

Mission: The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media. The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day also has 12 amazing Co-Hosts and you can use the links below to find out more about them:

All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup,I’m Not the Nanny, InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen, Mama Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Spanish Playground

Link up your own multicultural book review posts here!

How will you celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day?


  1. I love that there is a picture book about Malala. She's so inspirational! Thank you for your support of Multicultural Children's Book Day and for your great review! Mia from PragmaticMom

  2. This book is a stand-out for me not just because of the story, but the illustrations are unique and gorgeous! Thanks for being a part of MCCBD2016! (becky)

  3. This sounds like such a well-done book! I am never sure how to tackle difficult topics with young children. Good books are such a help, and this one certainly will go on my list. Thank you!

  4. This book was not only wonderful, it was a treasure-trove of excellent info (like you mentioned). Thanks for shining the spotlight on such an excellent book!


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