Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Malala: a Brave Girl from Pakistan/ Iqbal: a Brave Boy from Pakistan

Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan
Malala: a Brave Girl from Pakistan/ Iqbal: a Brave Boy from Pakistan
By Jeanette Winter
Beach Lane Books, 2014. 40p. Picture Book Biography

This book tells the story of two remarkable children from Pakistan.  Iqbal was made an indentured servant at the age of four and had to work long hours chained to a bench in a weaver's shop.  When we was freed from his indenture at age ten he began speaking out against child labor.  Malala attended a girl's school until the Taliban came and shut it down.  She began speaking out for the rights of girls to get an education. Both Iqbal and Malala were ultimately shot by those who didn't want children to have basic human rights. The book is formatted so that Malala's story starts on one side, Iqbal's story starts from the other.  The two stories meet in the middle of the book, which shows Malala reaching out to Iqbal who died more than a decade before she was attacked but survived her gunshot wound.  The text is written in short simple sentences that even young children can understand.  The illustrations are simple as well, created with basic shapes and colors.  The minimalism of the text and illustrations strengthens the impact of the message. These inspirational stories show that children can be brave and make a difference.

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