For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George
Illustrations by Janna Bock
Publisher: Capstone Press
Release Date: September 1, 2015
She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. She defied the Taliban's rules, spoke out for education for every girl, and was almost killed for her beliefs. This powerful true story of how one brave girl named Malala changed the world proves that one person really can make a difference.
You have to have been living under a rock not to know who Malala Yousafzai is. Her story is inspirational and powerful and will hopefully have ramifications for many girls throughout the world. The beginnings of her story are hard, but important. The problem with this particular version of her story is that, despite some lovely illustrations, this picture book is extremely text heavy. Picture book biographies are strange in that their audience pushes out from the normal 3-6 year old age range and can go all the way up to middle school. Yet, the illustrations almost always speak to a much younger audience and so the text and pictures become incongruous. Not to mention that the content of this story about a child being shot is way too intense for younger children. And so we are left with a picture book that is intended for older children and one can't help but wonder if there was a better format to present this story? And there is. A quick search shows numerous other formats of biographies and even an autobiography that will work far better for bringing Malala's story to its intended audience.