Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala

Lina Maslo. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-256077-3
Nobel Peace Prize–winner Malala Yousafzai is immediately recognizable in newcomer Maslo’s graceful acrylic and ink artwork, through which she traces the girl’s burgeoning desire to defend the rights of girls and women. Tension builds amid threats to Malala and her father; eventually, “the day came when he could not protect her.” Maslo uses a limited palette of red and blue to dramatic effect, and she opts for an abstract representation of the Taliban’s attempt on Malala’s life: over several pages, a bulletlike blast of black on red morphs into choppy blue waters, a waterfall, and a cluster of soaring birds, signaling Malala’s recovery. An author’s note and timeline of Yousafzai’s life close out this visually poetic addition to the growing collection of children’s books about this activist. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-06-302034-4
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