News, Politics

“I Am Malala” – A New Memoir By Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai's memoir, I Am Malala.
Malala Yousafzai’s memoir, I Am Malala.

It was a year ago this week that the world came to know young Malala Yousafzai.

The girl, who is now 16, was riding a bus on her way home from school in Pakistan.

Two men, who were members of a terrorist organization in Pakistan, came on the bus and attacked Malala. The group known as the Taliban, doesn’t agree with girls getting an education.

Malala had been writing online about the importance of girls going to school and about her own love of learning.

The Taliban wanted to stop Malala—but their actions created a world-wide outpouring of affection for the brave girl, who has since nearly fully recovered from her ordeal.

Malala was taken to a hospital in England, where she had a life-saving operation. She now lives and goes to school in England.

Since the incident, Malala and her cause of education for girls has gotten a lot of attention. Many people, including the Queen of England, have invited her to meet with them.

She recently spoke to the United Nations Youth Assembly about the importance of education for girls. The UN declared her birthday, July 12, Malala Day.

She was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize from a Dutch children’s rights organization. And nearly 300,000 people around the world have signed a petition which calls for Malala to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The nominations for the Peace Prize will be announced tomorrow (Friday).

Malala spoke to CBC News about the Taliban. She said, “They are afraid of educated women. They are afraid of the power of knowledge.”

She said, “My goal is peace. My goal is education for every child.”

Malala has recently published a book called “I Am Malala,” which is a memoir in which she talks about the incident on the bus and her campaign for girls’ education.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
When Malala spoke to CBC News about the Taliban, she explained that the Taliban do not want girls and women to be educated because “they are afraid of the power of knowledge.”

What do you think Malala means by this statement? How can knowledge be powerful? Use examples from the article and your own experiences to understand this statement and explain what it means.

Reading Prompt: Purpose
Malala wrote a memoir to describe her experiences and to support girls’ education.

What is a memoir? Why do you think Malala chose to write a memoir instead of another type of writing, such as a short story, a newspaper article or a journal entry?

Junior and Intermediate
Identify a variety of purposes for reading and choose reading materials appropriate for those purposes (OME, Reading: 1.2).

Grammar Feature: Commas
One way that commas are used in a sentence is to interrupt a thought with an additional piece of information. For example, the following sentence uses commas for this purpose: Malala, a girl from Pakistan, wrote a memoir about her life. Commas are used in this sentence to include information about where Malala is from. This information is good to know, but it does not connect with the rest of the sentence, which is about her writing. To show that this information is an interruption, it is surrounded by commas.

Find and circle all of the sentences in this article that use commas to surround ideas that are interruptions. Read these sentences aloud and pay attention to how the commas help you to read these sentence clearly.