Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7
Malala Yousafzai was denied education when the Taliban took control of her town in Pakistan. She decided to speak up, despite the danger it put her in. Her story is the story of many girls.
When Malala was fifteen years old, she was attacked by the Taliban for defending girls’ rights to education. She survived and recovered to become a world leader in education rights. In 2014, at the age of seventeen, she was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is her acceptance speech, in which Malala tells her story — the story of 66 million girls around the world deprived of education. Malala entreats her fellow children to decide to be the last generation “that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods and wasted potentials.” Her speech is strikingly illustrated and followed by an analysis written by Clara Fons Duocastella that provides context about Malala’s early life in Swat Valley, Pakistan, and examines what makes her call to action so powerful.
The Speak Out series publishes the most inspiring speeches of our times, then deconstructs them to give young readers a deeper understanding of global issues and the power of language to influence them.
About the Author
MALALA YOUSAFZAI came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban and her family's fight for girls' education in her community. In 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest ever recipient at just 17. Malala graduated from Oxford University in 2020 and continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund. She lives in the United Kingdom.
CLARA FONS DUOCASTELLA is the director of the magazine Dialogal, the founder of Lalè, a professional consulting company that helps diverse groups of people work together in a cohesive way, and the program director for the Catalan organization AUDIR (UNESCO's Association for Interreligious and Interconvictional Dialogue). She believes that disrespect and fear are the main obstacles to friendship and peace.
SUSAN OURIOU is an award-winning fiction writer and literary translator with over sixty translations and co-translations of fiction, non-fiction, children's and young-adult literature to her credit. She has won the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation. Jane, the Fox and Me, co-translated with Christelle Morelli, was named to IBBY's Honour List. She has also published Nathan, a novel for young readers. Susan lives in Calgary, Alberta.
YAEL FRANKEL is an author and illustrator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who has been published around the world. Her book The Elevator won the Nami Concours Green Island Prize, the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival prize and was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and a White Ravens selection. She has written and illustrated many other award-winning books.