Malala’s life story

One of my favorite genres for students’ book reports is biography, especially when the subject of the biography or autobiography is “someone of enduring significance,” to quote a fourth grade teacher, or “someone whose life is worth reading about/worth imitating” (to quote me).

I’m so pleased that biographies of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai are available for our children.

Malaya is one gutsy young woman advocate for the education of girls and boys around the world.

What an inspiration!

How challenging I have found it to be: trying to convince our students how blessed they are to be able to—no! ..to be required to—go to school. What a protection from the many child abuses, deprivations, and neglects that befall their school-age-mates, especially their female school-age-mates around the world is mandatory education for our children.

Of particular interest to me, as revealed in a news interview that was shared on her website, was Malala’s revelation about the impact that reading a particular biography has made on her life.

In this regard, would it surprise you to learn that one of the fewer-than-a-dozen books Malala counted herself privileged to read before the assassination attempt on her life was Martin Luther King’s biography?

According to her interview, Malala credits Dr. King’s biography with informing her peaceful, yet determined, activism on behalf of childhood education, particularly for girls.

Today, on this July 12th, when Malala celebrates her eighteenth birthday, an age when American girls who have enjoyed freedom to have formal schooling might still be reveling in their recent high school graduation and looking forward to starting college or a job training program, Malala’s life story is reminding the world that girls in other parts of the world have not been as fortunate.

But their misfortune doesn’t have to continue. If you believe in the humanizing power of books and education, you might see what Malala is doing to help them, and how you might help them, too: http://www.malala.org 

If you feel inspired, you might even support her very worthy literacy advocacy cause, including her challenge to governments to invest in books–not bullets!

Happy Birthday, Malala!

May the next chapters of your life’s story continue to challenge and to edify us all, as you work to bring opportunities for schooling into the daily lives of all the children of the world, especially into the lives of all the girls and young women.

Books and life. Thank you for showing us how they go together, Malala!

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