Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Malala, a Brave Girl From Pakistan; Iqbal, a Brave Boy From Pakistan

Winter, Jeanette (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2014. 40 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781481422949 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 331.3
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character, point of view, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Two stories in one, this inspirational read-aloud celebrates the bravery of two courageous children from Pakistan. Iqbal, aged 4, worked from dawn to dusk in a carpet factory to help repay his parents’ debt. After he was liberated, he spoke out against child slavery. For her part, Malala wouldn’t be intimidated by the Taliban who wanted to deny her right to a basic education—all because she was a girl. Both children were shot by people who disagreed with them, Iqbal in 1995; Malala, in 2012. He was killed instantly but Malala survived and continues to travel the world speaking out against social injustice.

Simple, direct language makes the book suitable for a young audience. Emphasis is not on the gruesome details of violence, but rather on global empathy for their message: “The world hears the voice of this brave girl;” Iqbal “travels across the ocean to speak out in America.”

Artwork is rendered in a soft paint palette with the children’s words written in purple and red. Students will read one story, then flip the book upside down for the other. A double spread ties the two stories together midway through the book.

Focusing on the theme of strength in the face of adversity, the stories begin with a fuller biography of the children, including a list of their humanitarian awards.

  •  

    Discuss what makes a hero. In what way are the two main characters heroes? Why do you think “the shot fired at Malala is heard the world over”? How do Malala and Iqbal’s actions affect your life?

  •  Discuss why the author decided on the two-story format. Why is the page 1 quotation the same for both stories? How are colours and kites used to send a message, particularly in the two-page centre spread?
  •  

    Use a Venn diagram to compare the two stories. Consider the characters’ gender, age, home, problem, solution, message and result. In writing, explain with whom you most identify and why.

  •  

    Learn more about Iqbal and Malala (watch her UN Youth Assembly speech online). Take notes and present additional facts and stories about their lives to your classmates.

  •  Research stories about other inspirational young people. What brave thing can you do? What can you stand up for?
  •  

    Discuss features such as the two-story format, the illustrations, the colours and the centre spread. How do these features support and enhance the stories?

  •  

    Read the Author’s Note about Malala and Iqbal. Make a Venn diagram to compare their lives.

  •  

    Discuss the meaning of the recurring kite in the illustrations. Name rights that children have according to the “United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child.” Are these rights respected in Canada? Elsewhere?

  •  

    Research information about the Canadian, Craig Kielburger, and the Free the Children movement he founded after hearing Iqbal’s story. What can your class do to help children who are forced to work and are denied an education?

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship