Monday, February 06, 2017

MMGM- Malala: Activist for Girl's Education

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

And yes, I am working on getting the evil kitten removed. Thanks to all those who offered help. Hopefully, it will be fixed by NEXT Monday. 

Frier, Raphaele and Fronty, Aurelia (illustrations)
Malala: Activist for Girl's Education
February 7th 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing 
Copy provided by the publisher

With colorful, vibrant illustrations, the story of Malala Yousafzai's noteworthy career as an activist is told in simple text. While the terrible things that occurred in Pakistan are not glossed over, they are told in a way that make them understandable by younger children. For example, the illustration that depicts Malala being shot is shown by shadowy men with guns on a bus that has a bright yellow explosion surrounding Malala, whose eyes are shut.  This would make this version of Malala's story (and there are many) appropriate for sharing even with younger students. 

What sets this apart is the additional information at the back of the book, which almost retells the entire story in a more matter-of-fact way. There are photographs, maps, and a timeline of what occurred in Malala's life. Other topics that are mentioned briefly in the first part of the book, such as education in the world, Nelson Mandela, and other civil rights leaders, are given a bit more information. There is a short list of web sites where readers can explore these topics more fully. 

The only way I could tell this was translated from the French was the device of using the present tense throughout the story, which is not as usual in historical books which are written in English. 

While there are a lot of books on this topic, it is an important one, and Malala's story is one that needs to be shared with children. This picture book version does a nice job of delivering a coherent overview supported by additional information, and would be a good choice for older children to read aloud to younger ones. This is the sort of picture book that I like to use in middle school to introduce topics to readers and encourage them to pick up longer books on subjects that they find of interest to them. 

30213952Macy, Sue. Motor Girls: How Women Took the Wheel and Drove Boldly Into the Twentieth Century 
February 7th 2017 by National Geographic Society
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Of course, as a bicycle rider, I vastly preferred Macy's 2011 Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way), but this is a great book about women's rights to include in any collection. My grandmother, who was born in 1893, never did learn how to drive, even though she lived out in the country away from absolutely everything. 

This is a beautifully formatted book, with plentiful illustrations to support the text, informative sidebars, and biographical information about particular women who drove at the time, such as Olive Schultz, who was New York's first woman taxi driver. I love that the foreword is by Danica Patrick, who says that her parents never told her she couldn't drive because she was a girl, and the chapter about women driving during WWI was particularly interesting. Who knew that Madame C.J. Walker's daughter was in the Colored Women's Motor Corps? Who even knew that such an organization even existed!

Definitely purchasing!


  1. Malala sounds great. And you're reminding me that I want to read the book she wrote. Awesome choice for nonfiction week.

  2. I love that there is a new MG book about Malala. But, I am very intrigued with the Motor Girls. Love true stories about little known women in history breaking barriers. My grandmother was born in 1896 and she drove cars. Sounds like a very good book.