Hiba Noor Khan, The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai, illustrator Rita Petruccioli

Puffin, 2019, ISBN 978-0-241-37375-3

The outline story of Malala Yousafzai's amazing and inspiring life, at least from her devastating shooting onwards, is of course relatively well known, but it's good to have all the facts about her family, her upbringing, her life in Pakistan, the attack that nearly killed her and its aftermath pulled together and brought up to date in this concise and accessible account. Her influence and legacy are also explored. The information is laid out clearly. Key words are printed in bold and explanations of words that children may not be familiar with, for instance oppression and extremist, are provided in bubbles on the page, preferable to a glossary, as children are more likely to look at them. Particularly significant or surprising facts are highlighted through the use of large print, different fonts and comic-style bubbles. Each page is curated carefully so that readers are not inundated with information. Monochrome illustrations help with visualising and understanding. Historical, geographical and religious and cultural background information provides context. There are maps and a timeline. A number of pages have 'Did you know?' sections. One example informs readers that Malala was the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, another that staff at the hospital in Birmingham where she was treated brought her food from KFC to cheer her up. A double-page spread prompts readers to think about issues Malala's story raises, such as how they would feel if their right to education was taken away and whether there is anyone else they particularly admire. Quotes from Malala herself as well as others pepper the book. The sources of these are provided at the end, together with an index. The pages are off-white to aid readability, with the text and pictures in shades of salmon pink.

Suitable for key stage 2 and lower key stage 3, this will be a useful addition to classrooms and libraries, complementing the books that Malala Yousafzai has herself written for children. Puffin's new Extraordinary Lives series also includes books about Michelle Obama and Stephen Hawkins. The book ends with snippets from these. Still to come are volumes about Katherine Johnson, Rosa Parks, Mary Seacole, Mahatma Gandhi and others.