Rosemary McCarney with Plan International
Second Story Press, Nonfiction, Apr. 1, 2014
Suitable for Ages: 5-9
Themes: Educating Girls, Letter from girls around the world to Malala Yousafzai
Opening: “Dear Malala, We have never met before, but I feel like I know you. I have never seen you before, but I’ve heard your voice. To girls like me, you are a leader who encourages us. And you are a friend.”
Synopsis: This book is an inspiring letter written to Malala Yousafzai from girls worldwide who have experienced educational and inequality barriers. Malala may be the most famous and outspoken girl in the world campaigning for the rights of girls. She is their hero, friend and role model in demanding change. McCarney opens the book describing how the fifteen-year-old was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way to school in Pakistan on Oct. 9, 2012. They wanted to silence her. They failed and she survived and became even more determined to work on behalf of children. In 2013, she was the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Why I like this book: This is a beautiful and timely book written in the form of a letter from girls around the world expressing their gratitude to Malala for bringing attention to the barriers they face in receiving an education — poverty, violence, early marriage, and discrimination. It is a wonderful book to use in the classroom to introduce girls (and boys) to the issues of gender inequality and to promote the rights of all girls to attend school. Malala clearly demonstrates that children everywhere can change the world. Each page of the book is a beautiful photograph of a girl representing a different culture and race with a very simple and powerful statement that they too have rights. Many photographers contributed to this book. My favorite photos are those of the girls raising their hands in support of Malala to show the world what girls can achieve if they stand together. I highly recommend this book.
Resources: The book is a wonderful resource. There is an introduction about “Who is Malala” in the front of the book. And it ends with the speech Malala delivered on her 16th birthday, Jul. 12, 2013, to the United Nations’ Youth Assembly. This book belongs in every elementary school library. It is a great way to discuss the plight of girls in other countries with students. Encourage students to write a letter to Malala.
The author, Rosemary McCarney, is president and CEO of the Plan Canada team, where she launched the important Because I am a Girl campaign and led the initiative to have the United Nations designate an International Day of the Girl to draw attention to their problems and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Proceeds from this book will go to Plan International.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.