One Girl’s Courage

Malala_front_coverMalala Yousafzai and the Girls of Pakistan
By David Aretha
(Morgan Reynolds, 2014, Greensboro, North Carolina, $ 27.45)

The world knows Malala Yousafzai as the Pakistani teenager who defied the Taliban in order to advocate for education for women, the brave girl who faced an assassin’s bullet for gender equity. In Malala Yousafzai and the Girls of Pakistan, David Aretha gives young adults a closer look at the courageous young woman. He introduces them to Malala’s region of Pakistan with its beautiful mountains and complex political history and its tumultuous present, focusing especially on the trials facing women, including child marriage, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. In addition, Aretha considers the movement Malala inspired and the controversies it provokes in both Pakistan and the West. Although Aretha’s biography is as much about Malala’s homeland and advocacy as it is about her, some poignant details bring the teenager to life. With breathtaking and often disturbing photos of Malala and Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai and the Girls of Pakistan is a succinct, nuanced, and highly visual introduction to an inspiring young activist.

-Dorothy A. Dahm

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