Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2017- April 19, 2017

19 Apr


Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and ActivistRed Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was on a display during Women’s History Month at one of my local library branches. I’m glad I picked it up.

Culling from a variety of primary and secondary sources including Zitkala-Sa’s pieces that were featured on The Atlantic Monthly, we follow her life raised on the Yankton Sioux reservation and then sent to a boarding school. It’s interesting to think how much we lose and or give up as a consequence of getting something we want. On one hand, she got the opportunity to an education that wasn’t available to many girls at the time. As a consequence, though, it required assimilation to a culture that wasn’t hers and will never be despite all her successes. In turn, she would be caught in between.

But she used her education and her experiences to become a voice for Native Americans through her works as an author, musician and activist.
View all my reviews

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just finished listening to the audio book of I Am Malala (Young Reader’s Edition.) And I am inspired by the young girl who only wanted to go to school and who spoke out against those who tried to silence her. I am inspired by the young girl who has become a champion for children’s rights to get an education.

It was eye-opening to read her thoughts on how her piece of paradise turned to a war zone and how the weak and cowardly can prey on people’s fears and insecurities (and twist religious beliefs for personal gain) to gain the upper hand and suppress them. It’s a lesson we practically have to learn over and over again.

The audio book has a prologue and epilogue read by Malala as well her UN speech in full. I may end up listening to the regular audiobook edition as well to see what the difference are.

I appreciated that despite everything happening around her and then everything that’s happened to her she was still a normal girl who still worried about homework and tests, fitting in, and fighting with her brothers.

I hope her story will inspire many others (young and old, male and female) to be activists.

I am also very aware that despite my ups and downs, my frustration of certain situations and my moments of overwhelming gratitude, and my many rants or raves depending on what has transpired that day, that I am a lucky guy surrounded by great people and offered many opportunities if I only choose to take them.

I am inspired by my family and friends who are everyday heroes because we all know how difficult it is to try and make ends meet. And yet they do.

They also try to make the world a better, more loving, place for others. They fight. They resists. They persists. Because they know this world- and all the beauty it has to offer- is not just for a select privileged few but for every one.
View all my reviews

I did listen to a few chapters of the regular edition of I Am Malala(co-written by Christina Lamb) but it just seemed false the way so much historical information was presented while all the time using a first-person narrative. It sounded like a report by some older, more experienced scholar. I did appreciate more details about her family background but I wish they presented it in a different way. I would have been fine if it was Christina Lamb’s research interspersed (or even just bookended) by Malala’s personal voice and experienced.


4 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2017- April 19, 2017

  1. Jane the Raincity Librarian

    April 19, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Red Bird Sings sounds so incredibly inspiring, I wish we had more books about Native American / First Nations figures.

  2. lindabaie

    April 19, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I know I Am Malala and it is inspiring, but Red Bird Sings sounds equally so & is new to me. Thanks, Earl.

  3. Michele

    April 19, 2017 at 11:29 am

    There have been many books written about this incredible young woman, but I have not read any yet. At some point I need to find one.

  4. annettepimentel

    April 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I thought Red Bird Sings was amazing. It was such a careful, thoughtful look at someone who has been largely marginalized.


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