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In this fascinating memoir, Malala Yousafzait describes her journey from a young girl who wanted an education to an internationally recognized Nobel Peace Prize winner. The simple, happy times at her parent's school in the Swat Valley of Pakistan were shattered when the Taliban arrived. Despite the threat, Malala and her father continued to advocate for their girls school until a vicious attempt to silence her voice almost took Malala's life and forever changed her destiny. This book provides remarkable insight into the social injustices still occuring around the world while delivering a hopeful message on every page that challenges all of us to fight prejudice and hatred with love.
This book supports social studies outcomes that explore cultural concepts in relation to access to education. Students could examine this topic in more detail and build advocacy skills with action projects such as letter-writing campaigns that identify the importance of education for all children.
When Malala was shot she was moved to England and she describes the difficult experience as a stranger in a foreign country. Local refugees could be invited to speak to the class to build cross-cultural understanding. Students could also develop an action project that supports local refugee children with activities like teaching them Canadian traditions and providing homework help.
Older students could examine how radicalization leads to such horrific acts as the shooting of Malala. A class could also explore the factors that lead to young people being drawn into extremist groups like the Taliban and how they can protect themsleves from these influences.
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