Malala Yousafzai always knew she wanted to become a doctor someday. But a new extremist group in her home country of Pakistan wanted to stop girls from going to school.
Malala knew what was important, and so she spoke out. Even after she was attacked in the street for her views, she persisted.
Learn about Malala's incredible recovery and her journey to becoming a world-famous advocate of girls' rights and education -- and the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner.
Meet Malala. Get inspired.
About the Author
Jenni L. Walsh's passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings. She is a proud graduate of Villanova University, and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband, daughter, son, and newfypoo. She also writes historical fiction for adults and children. Learn more about Jenni and her books at jennilwalsh.com.
Read an Excerpt
Finally, a week after the girls' schools should have reopened, Malala's neighbor whispered something positive through their wall: The Taliban agreed to let girls go back to school.
A huge smile spread across Malala's face, until she learned more. The Taliban meant only girls up to Year 4 could attend, in the classes for both boys and girls. Malala was in Year 5, in the girls-only school.
But she wouldn't let that stop her. Her teacher wanted to teach and she wanted to learn, so she would pretend she was younger. The next morning, Malala got dressed for school. She reached for her normal uniform, then stopped herself. She didn't dare wear her favorite pink outfit either. Colorful clothes would bring too much attention to her. Instead, Malala dressed in plain clothes and snuck to school.
She did it the next day, too.
Malala did it every day that week, without the Taliban knowing. Her heart raced as she passed them on the streets, silently pleading with them not to read her mind, not to know her destination was a classroom. They looked so scary with their covered faces.
Malala's teacher told her, "The secret school is our silent protest."
Malala didn't dare write about it as Gul Makai. School was too precious to her.
But she didn't keep quiet otherwise. She continued to share other details of Gul Makai's life. And Malala continued to give interviews with her dad. Her mum always encouraged Malala and her two brothers to get their education and create their own paths in life. And Malala was passionate about it during the interviews and speeches. Her father spoke with his hands, waving them wildly to make a point. Malala spoke with her eyes and a clear, strong voice.
"Education is education," she said. "Education is neither Eastern nor Western. It is human."