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Children's Nonfiction Social Activism & Volunteering

Malala Speaks Out

by (author) Malala Yousafzai

commentaries by Clara Fons Duocastella

translated by Susan Ouriou

illustrated by Yael Frankel

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Social Activism & Volunteering, Composition & Creative Writing, Middle East
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Malala Yousafzai was denied education when the Taliban took control of her town in Pakistan. She decided to speak up, despite the danger it put her in. Her story is the story of many girls.

When Malala was fifteen years old, she was attacked by the Taliban for defending girls’ rights to education. She survived and recovered to become a world leader in education rights. In 2014, at the age of seventeen, she was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is her acceptance speech, in which Malala tells her story — the story of 66 million girls around the world deprived of education.

Malala entreats her fellow children to decide to be the last generation “that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods and wasted potentials.” Her speech is strikingly illustrated and followed by an analysis written by Clara Fons Duocastella that provides context about Malala’s early life in Swat Valley, Pakistan, and examines what makes her call to action so powerful.

The Speak Out series publishes the most inspiring speeches of our times, then deconstructs them to give young readers a deeper understanding of global issues and the power of language to influence them.


Key Text Features

biographical information





historical context


informational note


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.


Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).


Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).


Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

About the authors

MALALA YOUSAFZAI came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban and her family’s fight for girls’ education in her community. In 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest ever recipient at just 17. Malala graduated from Oxford University in 2020 and continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund. She lives in the United Kingdom.

Malala Yousafzai's profile page

CLARA FONS DUOCASTELLA is the director of the magazine Dialogal, the founder of Lalè, a professional consulting company that helps diverse groups of people work together in a cohesive way, and the program director for the Catalan organization AUDIR (UNESCO’s Association for Interreligious and Interconvictional Dialogue). She believes that disrespect and fear are the main obstacles to friendship and peace.

Clara Fons Duocastella's profile page

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.

Susan Ouriou's profile page

YAEL FRANKEL is an author and illustrator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who has been published around the world. Her book The Elevator won the Nami Concours Green Island Prize, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival prize and was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and a White Ravens selection. She has written and illustrated many other award-winning books.

Yael Frankel's profile page

Editorial Reviews

By almost any measure, Malala’s speech is inspiring. … This speech is worthy of highlighting to a larger audience, and Malala Speaks Out will make a great addition to social justice units.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

The speech is powerful on its own, but the design of the book’s pages and the inclusion of stylized drawings and illustrations add to the appeal.

School Library Connection

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