Skip to main content

#AuthorApril: Y is for Malala Yousafzai #AtoZChallenge


Dear Alison,

The other day I wrote about Walter Dean Myers and my reading relationship with my son.Today, I want to talk about my reading relationship with my middle daughter. My eleven year old is a voracious reader. During our most recent visit to BAM (Books A Million), she planned to purchase I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzi with her own hard-earned money.






My mother, who had read the adult version with her book group, worried about the graphic imagery projected in I Am Malala and the impact it would have on my daughter. After my bubble-wrapping dilemma with my son and Monster, I decided to let my daughter proceed with her purchase--I say that as if I had a choice. My children are stubborn with strong minds of their own--I'm proud of that. She bought I Am Malala, Young Readers Edition.

She read it in two days. She wept. She laughed. She wept some more. When she finished, she rushed home and told me all about the book, then shoved it in my hand and said, "You have to read this--NOW!" (No gross under-parenting here--I've read Khaled Hosseini, Salman Rushdie, and many other books depicting not only the violence of the Middle East but also the love and joy and beauty of the people and the region. I also knew Malala's story.)

Malala Yousafzi gave my daughter a voice in a way I could not. She gave her passion for school and for life in a way I could not. My daughter finally understands the privilege given to her and her classmates--the privilege to be a girl and to be able to go to school, the privilege to go to sleep at night without being woken up by gunfire and bombs, the privilege to walk freely into the school without fear of being shot.

I could not have selected a better role model for her. Malala Yousafzi says herself, "I am a good girl--I always have been. But now, I must be really good. So I take extra care with what I say and do. No one is telling me to limit myself like this. If anything, the teachers here are always encouraging me to be free, to feel at home. But I'm not really free to be like other girls my age--because of the way the world sees me. When you have such a public role and so many people counting on you, I believe you must always act in the way people expect of you."

Malala Yousafzi understands what it means to be something bigger than herself. She is a movement. An advocate for education for everyone. She created the Malala Fund. You too, can join in the conversation at #WithMalala on Twitter.

Image result for malala yousafzai

I find Malala's shooting ironic. The Taliban wanted to silence her. They gave her a voice instead.

Alison, I leave you with this quote from I Am Malala. I call it Malala Wisdom: "What I'm finding is that we have much more in common than we have different, and every day we learn something new from one another."

The Letter Y is the end of my journey in the #AtoZChallenge and #AuthorApril. I consider it a privilege to end with Malala Yousafzai.

Sharing the writer love one letter at a time,
Kim



Popular posts from this blog

The Querying Writer: Part II

Dear Kim,


Remember that letter I sent you way back in October? (You remember October-- back when all things seemed possible.) 





The letter, COMP TITLES and THE QUERYING WRITER, shared details from our Novel Nuts & Bolts class with Empire Literary Agent Carrie Howland. (I may have referred to her as "agent-extraordinaire" in another post.)

Though today's post will be my third about Carrie, it is titled "Part II" because my querying journey seems sequel worthy.







I started looking for an agent soon after you and I met at the NYC SCBWI conference in 2012. I had nice feedback from an agent at a conference and sent him my work. His response was kind (which I've found most responses from agents to be.) But my writing wasn’t ready. The novel he saw was the first I’d ever finished. I wasn't ready.

I swallowed that little voice that said, SEND! SEND! SEND! for two more years until I entered #PitchWars-- Brenda Drake’s crash course in pitching. In the years between t…

School Visit Recap: Assemblies to Workshops, and the CONVERSATIONS in between

Dear Kim (and friends),

This morning I put away my rainbow superhero mask, gold top hat, and banana-on-a-stick. Few things are sadder than closing your banana-on-a-stick into a dark closet. But, I guess it will rise again next month for my next school visit.

Oh, you thought my collection was somehow Halloween related? No, no. Just part of the workshop portion of my school visits. For the past two weeks I had the privilege of speaking to, and then with, students from one of our nearby districts.



Dwight Smith, the founder of My Special Word, joined me for the assembly portion of the event. We were able to share with the children Dwight's vision for the program, as well as my process for writing the books for him.

There was music. Lots of it.
Some singing. (Would you expect any less?)
And shouting! (Mostly the kids, but I got a few words in too.)



We met with over 800 kids during the assemblies and got a sense for how the school district planned to use My Special Word. I'll say,
w…

BOOK REVIEW: Starr Fall & BOOK RELEASE: Once & Forever

Dear Alison,

Goodbye January, Hello February! Last week, I let everyone peak in my drawers.  Today, I'm opening my inbox. Well, not literally. You DO NOT want to see my inbox--though I do try to keep all the accounts very tidy--sometimes the emails get a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Expansive. My favorite emails are from fans. I LOVE them. They make me all warm and fuzzy. Seriously, touch my arm...

See? Warm and Fuzzy. Oh, wait those are my doggies;)

While, I ADORE the fan mail (I DO, I REALLY DO) I would LOVE them even more if they were added as a review to AMAZON and GOODREADS. For instance, look at some of these reviews:


Must Read!!!, January 31, 2017 By  Kelly

This review is from: Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series (Kindle Edition) Purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who is NOT a fan of reading for pleasure or at all for that matter. Well, the book immediately grabbed her attention. In her words..."I can't put this book down. I ne…