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Malala Yousafzai

Written by Lisa Williamson

Illustrated by Mike Smith

Part of the First Names Series

Key Stage 2 People / Places True Stories

LoveReading View on Malala Yousafzai

An accessible biography bringing Malala’s story and struggle up to date

This series describes itself as the ‘true life stories of the most amazing people ever!’ and already has several volumes available, including Emmeline Pankhurst and Ada Lovelace.  

This life story of Malala is both very instructive on the political turmoil that led to her shooting, and in portraying Malala as a very engaging, brave and dedicated young person.  It is written in an easily readable text using side panels to explain situations and traditions without interrupting the flow of the biography.  It also contains a timeline taking us from 1947 – Pakistan’s independence – right through to 2018.  A very useful glossary explains unfamiliar words and a well detailed index all add enormously to the value of this biography.  

I particularly liked the explanation panel on the mechanics of writing this book (verso title page) – so that readers can know which are Malala’s actual words (in italic) and which are the authors interpretations – vital to students in this world of fake news. The line illustrations add a graphic novel feel to parts of the story – all making this a fascinating, well-written biography that will find a well-deserved place in many classrooms and libraries. 

Tricia Adams

Malala Yousafzai Synopsis

The fun-filled and fact-packed First Names series invites young readers to get to know the world’s most amazing people on first name terms. With spirited black and-white illustrations on every spread, and lively interjections from each book’s subject, these biographies (from the editorial team behind the mega-bestselling Horrible Histories) are equally entertaining and educational.

Malala Yousafzai’s story is astonishing. Aged 15, she defied the Taliban in Pakistan when fighting for girls’ rights to education. She survived being shot in the head, continued arguing for equal rights and went on to be the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

This accessible biography lets readers get to know Malala before she became famous – when she was a young girl at home, annoyed by her brothers and going through friendship drama at school. Young readers can aspire to be as brave and principled as Malala by realising that she is an ordinary person who did extraordinary things. 

Malala Yousafzai Press Reviews

Praise for Lisa Williamson’s other works:

 ‘A life-changing and life-saving book’ – Philip Pullman

‘Heart-warming and ground-breaking’ – The Independent

 ‘Impressive and affecting’ – The Guardian

 ‘Passionate and gripping’ – The Telegraph

Praise for First Names series:

'Fun, fact-packed . . . Brilliantly entertaining' National Geographic Kids

'Exciting and original' Lancashire Evening Post

'Fantastically engaging, brilliantly written and attractively illustrated . . . The books are truly brilliant' Read It Daddy

 ‘entertaining, child-friendly’ – The Bookseller

 ‘brilliantly accessible, fantastically funny’- LoveReading4Kids

 ‘a fabulous series…really valuable’ - Parents in Touch

 ‘extremely enticing…with great charm’ Comics Review

 ‘the perfect addition to every inquisitive child’s shelf’ – Lancashire Post

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788450478
Publication date: 1st August 2019
Author: Lisa Williamson
Illustrator: Mike Smith
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: People / Places, True Stories

About Lisa Williamson

Lisa Williamson was born and grew up in Nottingham. Following a degree in drama, she worked as an actor for over a decade before writing her debut novel: The Art of Being Normal, which went on to win the Waterstones Children's Book Prize in 2016. Lisa is also the author of All About Mia and Paper Avalanche and was one of seven contributors to collaborative novel, Floored. When she's not writing, Lisa loves long walks, long talks, dessert, good books and bad TV. She lives in London.  Author photo © Anna Hull  

More About Lisa Williamson

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