A realistic and inspiring look at Malala Yousafzai’s childhood in Taliban-controlled Pakistan and her struggle to ensure...

MALALA

ACTIVIST FOR GIRLS' EDUCATION

A fight for girls’ education.

Opinionated, vocal, and resilient, Malala Yousafzai stood up for herself and for girls everywhere when the Taliban destroyed schools in her native Pakistan. Striking illustrations, evocative of the Pakistani landscape and of Malala’s own hopes and dreams, show Malala and her world in intricate and colorful detail, while straightforward text depicts her childhood and family life in the mountains and valleys of Pakistan and describes the growth of her determination to improve opportunities for girls in her own country and elsewhere. The Taliban’s assassination attempt is dealt with sensitively and honestly, with a focus on her ultimate recovery and return to work as an outspoken advocate for children, girls, and education. Children will find much to be inspired by and empathize with here, from Malala’s warm and supportive family, her stalwart belief in doing what is right, her concern for the lives of others and her determination to help them, and her own words: “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” Extensive notes and photographs are included in the backmatter, as well as a timeline, map, and further reading.

A realistic and inspiring look at Malala Yousafzai’s childhood in Taliban-controlled Pakistan and her struggle to ensure education for girls. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-785-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering.

THE AMAZING AGE OF JOHN ROY LYNCH

An honestly told biography of an important politician whose name every American should know.

Published while the United States has its first African-American president, this story of John Roy Lynch, the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, lays bare the long and arduous path black Americans have walked to obtain equality. The title’s first three words—“The Amazing Age”—emphasize how many more freedoms African-Americans had during Reconstruction than for decades afterward. Barton and Tate do not shy away from honest depictions of slavery, floggings, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, or the various means of intimidation that whites employed to prevent blacks from voting and living lives equal to those of whites. Like President Barack Obama, Lynch was of biracial descent; born to an enslaved mother and an Irish father, he did not know hard labor until his slave mistress asked him a question that he answered honestly. Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, Lynch had a long and varied career that points to his resilience and perseverance. Tate’s bright watercolor illustrations often belie the harshness of what takes place within them; though this sometimes creates a visual conflict, it may also make the book more palatable for young readers unaware of the violence African-Americans have suffered than fully graphic images would. A historical note, timeline, author’s and illustrator’s notes, bibliography and map are appended.

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering. (Picture book biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5379-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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