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Book cover of Every Day is Malala Day

Every Day is Malala Day

By Rosemary McCarney with Plan International. Second Story Press, 2014. 32 pages, $18.95
Lindsay Freedman

Every Day is Malala Day, written by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International, is a powerful picture book structured as a letter of sisterhood to Malala Yousafzai. The book gives readers information about Malala, her struggles and triumphs. The last few pages recount how Malala’s advocacy and perseverance led the United Nations to proclaim July 12 Malala Day in 2013, and include some powerful words from Malala’s inspirational speech. McCarney ably captures the impact that Malala has on girls all over the world by sharing some of their voices, photos and personal stories.

The photos of girls from different parts of the world portray stories and realities many girls face in their lives that may be different from your students’ lived experiences. This culturally responsive book uses an antioppressive lens while highlighting the discrimination, violence and lack of privileges that girls face in many countries and opens a multitude of conversations about feminism, privilege and equal rights movements.

There are many social studies curriculum connections that work with Every Day is Malala Day. For Grade 1, these could include A1.1 (“describe how and why a person’s roles, relationships, and responsibilities may change in different places or situations and at different times”) and A3.1 (“describe some of their own roles, relationships and responsibilities”) while for Grade 2, A1.2 (“compare their family’s structure and some of their traditions and celebrations with those of their peers’ families”) is a good option. For slightly older learners in Grade 4, curriculum connections could include A1.1 (“compare social organization”), A1.2 (“compare aspects of the daily lives of different groups in an early society and explain how differences were related to the social organization of that society”) and/or A1.3 (“describe some of the ways in which their daily life differs from the lives of young people from different backgrounds”).

As a bonus, if you purchase a copy of the book, proceeds from the sale will be donated to Plan’s global Because I’m a Girl campaign. I highly recommend you give Every Day is Malala Day a look. I have no doubt it will be a great addition to your classroom library.

Lindsay Freedman is member of the Peel Teacher Local.