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Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

Warrior with Words
Illustrator:L.C. WheatleyPublisher:StarWalk Kids Media
Target Age:8 - 11Grade:3 - 5
Social Studies/History, World
Social Studies/People & Places
Social Studies
Narration:yesLexile Level:870L
Guided Reading Level:SReading:RI.4.3 RI.3.6 RI.5.8
Writing:W.4.3W.5.6W.3.7Speaking and Listening:SL.3.2
Language:L.5.5AR Level:N/A
AR Quiz:N/A


The inspiring, true story of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child’s right to education. Though she and two of her schoolmates were targeted by a Taliban gunman, a life-threatening injury only strengthened her resolve. Malala spoke at the U.N. on her 16th birthday in 2013, nine months after she was shot. Malala’s story is more than a biography of a brave and outspoken teenager. It is a testament to the power of education to change the world for boys and girls everywhere. A StarWalk Kids Media Digital Original.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are being donated to The Malala Fund. Learn more at

Editorial Reviews

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

A nonfiction picture book about a young Pakistani activist who believes that education is a basic human right.

Malala Yousafzai grew up in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where her father ran a school for girls. She loved books, words and language, and, in 2007, when the Taliban came to power in the area and tried to ban education for girls, she started writing brave blog posts asserting that education is a fundamental right. The Taliban infamously responded to the 15-year-old’s courage by shooting her in the head as she sat in her school bus. Malala became an international cause celebre, shining a light not only on the Taliban’s injustices but also on the work of activists like her who resisted the regime. After she recovered, she spoke at the United Nations and then took her message—“Every child. Every country. Free school”—around the world. Malala is a celebrity among politically conscious adults, and her story is exactly the sort that captivates kids: A relatable young teenager who stands up to injustice in a simple, powerful way. Leggett Abouraya (Hands Around the Library, 2012) gets off to a slightly shaky, abstract start on the book’s first page: “Malala Yousafzai did not celebrate her sixteenth birthday with a sleepover, but with a stand-up.” After that, however, her words and her storytelling are clear and moving, revealing a real talent for understanding young audiences. Instead of introducing or explaining the Taliban within the body of the story, for example, she leaves it in a longer endnote, so that the main narrative can focus on Malala herself. When Malala is shot, the author uses straightforward language that isn’t sensationalistic and doesn’t overpower the gravity of the act. The author also highlights elements of Malala’s bright personality, including her love of the color pink, and quotes often from Malala’s speeches and blog. Wheatley’s illustrations meet the high standards set by the text, using cut paper and occasional photographs to create skillful compositions.

A moving real-life story, well-told and beautifully illustrated.

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