Book Talks: I Am Malala and The Wild Rose

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

malalaOn Tuesday, October 9, 2012, on her way home from school, a Taliban militant boarded the school bus and asked “Who is Malala?” before shooting the fifteen-year-old at point-blank range in the head. This book is her answer. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with foreign correspondent Christina Lamb gives us a glimpse into Malala’s life and events leading up to that day.

Growing up in the remote Swat Valley in northern Pakistan, where boys are privileged and girls are not, Malala Yousafzai excelled at school. The eldest and only daughter of an activist and private school founder who believes education is a right for all, it was not long before Malala was fighting alongside her father for the right for girls to attend school. Caught between Pashtun societal norms and modern ideas, Malala and her father’s voices had seemed little match against the effects of an onslaught of natural disaster, political negligence, and Taliban insurgence into Swat Valley. However, the world was beginning to take notice of Swat’s plight because of Malala and her father’s efforts, which is when the Taliban did what no one thought they would ever do, despite their demonstrated brutality.

I Am Malala gives a window into the history and culture of Pakistan through the eyes of a young girl growing up in an age of globalization. With a love of both her family’s traditions and Western influences like Justin Bieber and Twilight, Malala is just like any other girl growing up, but also rising to the challenge of her extraordinary circumstances to fight for what she believes is a right for all. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai is available from the Haliburton County Public Library.

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

wild roseWhen she was little, Jennifer Donnelly never wanted to go to Disneyland. Instead, she wanted to step back in time and live in history. Since scientists haven’t figured out how to travel through time just yet, Jennifer has decided to write novels set in the past instead.

Jennifer’s young adult novel A Northern Light won the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature in 2003. Another young adult novel Revolution was shortlisted for the Medal.

The Rose series, her adult romance trilogy that begins with The Tea Rose, continues with The Winter Rose and concludes with The Wild Rose, is a sweeping saga of love, passion, and betrayal that unfolds over four continents. Set during World War I, the series incorporates historical figures with fictional characters in vivid, impeccably researched detail.

Asked in an interview what she is looking for while researching for her books, Jennifer says;“I’m looking for everything when I research—from the immutable time lines of major historical events like the Great War, to the structure and composition of an artificial limb in 1914, to songs sung at posh parties. Research both informs and inspires me. I use it to portray the world that my characters live in accurately, and also to determine the possibilities, options, and limitations they face.”

Jennifer Donnelly’s Rose series as well as A Northern Light and Revolution can be requested through the Haliburton County Public Library.

* originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM January 13th – 26th, 2014

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