Winter (Henri’s Scissors) continues her series of illustrated biographies with a two-in-one volume. One side memorializes Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani boy sold to the carpet industry to pay off his parents’ $12 debt. The reverse tells the now well-known story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who ignores the Taliban’s threats and resolves to continue her schooling. Of her pursuers, Malala says, “They are afraid of women. How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” Iqbal declares himself free when he learns that the Pakistani government has declared debt enslavement illegal. When he begins talking to gatherings of other child laborers, he is murdered. Malala, too, is shot; unlike Iqbal, she is flown to hospitals in the West, treated, and survives. Naïf, milky-toned digital illustrations make the story’s terrors easier to bear—the stiff figures and static action have the flavor of religious art. The thread joining these stories is the children’s thirst for education, no matter the cost. Readers who drag their feet to school may benefit, at least briefly, from an introduction to children who are desperate to attend. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/06/2014 Release date: 11/11/2014 Genre: Children's
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