lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

Y is for Malala Yousafzai, #AtoZBlogChallenge

Wikimedia Commons

This entry is by my guest blogger Michaela Morgan,  one of my fellow authors of Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, also by me and Jan Dean, published by Macmillan. This poem and the entry are found in the book.


Malala Yousafzai was born on 2 July 2 1997 in the Swat district in Pakistan. She is known because on the afternoon of 9 October 2012, she was seriously injured after a Taliban gunman attempted to murder her. After extensive medical care Malala eventually recovered.

She has since continued to work for education and rights for girls. On 12 July 2015, her 18th birthday, she opened a school in the near the Syrian border, for Syrian refugees. The school, funded by the Malala Fund, offers education and training to girls aged 14 to 18 years. Malala called on world leaders to invest in “books, not bullets”.

She believes in the power of books to change the world.


On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, Malala boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots into her head. She survived, recovered, and continues her fight for rights. She is now the youngest ever winner of the Noble Peace Prize.




A girl with a book.

A girl with a book.

That’s what has scared them –

A girl, with a book.


They get onto the bus.

They call out my name.

They aim. And they fire.

A shot to the brain.


Because a girl with a book,

A girl with a voice,

A girl with a brain,

A girl with a choice,

 A girl with a plan

To have rights, like a man.

That’s what they’re scared of

One girl, with a book.


A girl who has words.

A girl with a pen.

A girl to be heard

With support of her friends

Who want to live free –

That’s what they fear

a girl just like me.


© Michaela Morgan




Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls

Image: By DFID – UK Department for International Development (Malala Yousafzai: Education for girls) via Wiki Commons.


  1. Such a wonderful example of courage and determination in the pursuit of what’s good & right.


  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book and finding out about her life – but if you want to read it too, don’t go for the abridged version!


  3. I read her book! She is such an inspiration and a good role model for young girls.
    Writer In Transit


    • She is the absolute antithesis of all that people criticise about young people nowadays. I feel very sorry for your collective youth – what a mess, what a worry, and no real definite hope of improvement.


  4. Oh, I hoped you’d feature her – such an inspiring young woman!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • Hi Susan! She is in our book, this is the entry by Michaela. Very handy for my ‘Y’, but also as you say, unmissable!


  5. I’m just in awe of this gallant young woman. She amazes me every single day


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