Review by Anne Floyd
Can a picturebook explore difficult topics and still be appropriate for its young readers? For the Right to Learn shows that it can be done. The book’s inviting color scheme and youthful illustrations draw the reader into Malala’s story, as when a smiling Malala accepts her Nobel Peace Prize surrounded by flowers in all shades of yellow and red. Cultural differences between Pakistani and American culture are highlighted and explained in a way that makes Malala accessible.
A short index in the back defines cultural terms, encouraging young readers to understand and embrace a multicultural perspective. But Malala’s story—of courage, family, and standing up to injustice—is universal. This helps present Malala’s activism as something that all of us can, and should, pursue to achieve change. I would highly recommend this for all readers (especially kids 8 and under) as an inspiring read.
For older readers, Malala tells her story with Christina Lamb in I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.
For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story
by Rebecca Langston-George and Janna Brock (illustrator)
Capstone Press, 2016
Anne is a Master’s student in English literature who thinks that cats may one day achieve world domination (or perhaps her cat master made her write that).