by Malala Yousafzai
Little Brown and Company
“One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.”
Reading Malala Yousafzai’s memoir reminded me of how lucky I truly am. Sometimes I forget everything that I have because, even as an adult, I’m focused on what I don’t have. Then I read something like this and it hits me--how much I have in this world. All the freedoms and abilities and love. I want to gather everyone I love up and squeeze them tight, thanking them for all that I have.
Malala reminds me of the strength and perseverance young people have and the greatness that our kids can accomplish, if given the chance. Malala’s father gave her the chance and tools to do everything she could and wanted to do. Her mother stepped back and allowed her daughter, her precious daughter, to do what she needed to do because “Falsehood has to die.” She knew her daughter could make a difference in this world. I loved how Malala focused so much on her family and how they were dealing the threats and the terror, just as she focused on herself. She looked at her younger brother and saw how they were affected by the fighting and terrorism of the Taliban.
I knew Malala’s story before I read this, but I was still moved by it, crying at parts because it was just so sad, and at other parts where it was just so beautiful, everything she had accomplished. I do wish I had also purchased the regular edition, but my intention is to share it with my sixth graders and let them see how much they can do to change this world and make into a better place. Still, I would have loved to read to the full scope of her writing.
Things I want my students to take away from this when they read it:
- Stand up and fight for what you believe in, but fight with your words.
- Value your education because that’s the most valuable gift you can have.
- Never give up.
I definitely recommend this, especially if you have a child in 5th-8th grades. There are so many ideas that you can discuss with them if you read it together. It would be a great book for a book study or book club for middle school students as well. Definitely a book that should be in your TBR list, if you haven’t already read it!