More Young People Who Make a Difference: Malala and Iqbal

It’s important for kids to see other children and teens their own ages who are making a difference in the world.  Two books this year leapt out at us as wonderful additions to your social justice children’s literature bookshelves:

IqbalMalala, a Brave Girl  From Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy From Pakistan:  Two Stories of Bravery

by Jeanette Winter

Jeanette Winter is a favorite of ours for her fantastic picture books like The Librarian of Basra and Nasreen’s Secret School.   This time, she shares two separate true stories of courage in the lives of young activists from Pakistan:  Malala and Iqbal.  In her usual style of spare but compelling text, Winter shares two devastating stories, but in an age appropriate manner.  Malala Yousafzai is well-known as a contemporary hero and advocate for girls’ rights to an education.  When she was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, the world came to know of her bravery and strong dedication.  Iqbal Masih is less well-known, and his story is even more heart-breaking.  Twenty years ago, his story rocked the world when he was shot and killed at the age of twelve for his anti-child labor work.  This is an inspiring book of two important champions of human rights.


MalalI Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) 

by Malala Youisafzai and Patricia McCormick

Older teen readers can choose to read the adult version of Malala’s inspiring story, but for early adolescents (and even some early readers as a readaloud), we recommend this thoughtful Young Readers Edition. Malala’s voice comes through of her life and convictions, and the photographs are the perfect complement. We learn not only of her struggles, but her early life as a child in Pakistan.  Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.  Highly recommended!

And for more recommendations:

In the past, we have done a flight on People Who Make A Difference  providing recommendations for the whole family.  And we followed up with a special focus on Children Who Changed the World .


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