Friday, June 6, 2014

I am Malala

Last week I shared my favorite read aloud of this past school year-- Wonder by R.J. Palaccio. Today I would like to share my second favorite read aloud from this past school year. The book was I am Malala. This is the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, the 16 year old girl who stood up for girl's education and was shot by the Taliban.

When I decided to tackle this challenging non-fiction title with my 5th and 6th grade students I was worried it would be beyond their ability to understand or appreciate. Boy, was I ever wrong! Not only did they get it but reading this book became a life-changing experience for all of us.

Malala has become a personal hero to all of the girls in my class. No one can read this book without gaining a profound appreciation for the rights of eduction that we take for granted every day. I promise if you read this book yourself and/or read it with your kids, you will never see your life or school the same way again.

Malala is an engaging storyteller and each chapter in the book prompted so much dialogue and conversation. It is a violent story but it told in such a way that it is appropriate for 10 and 11 year olds. If you want to prevent summer brain drain, put this on your reading list for the summer.

I showed my students this amazing video of Malala's UN Speech.

We loved this interview with Malala by Diane Sawyer.

Here is Malala's father as he speaks about her on the TED Stage.

I love Malala and her cause. I am praying with the rest of the world for the safe return of the kidnapped Nigerian school girls. Only through education can we hope to change our world for the better.

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