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The Power of One Book

Malala Yousafzai continues to advocate for education.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot last year by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, continued to spread her message when she spoke at the opening of the largest library in Europe in September. Yousafzai, now 16, delivered an address about global education in front of the United Kingdom’s Library of Birmingham.

“We must not forget that 57 million children are out of school,” she said. “And let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Yousafzai has lived in Birmingham since she was brought to the city for treatment seven days after the attack. She was surprised by the broad access to books. “Here, people tell me that they have read hundreds of books,” she marveled.

Yousafzai said she had read only nine books—aside from her textbooks—in her former home. One of those was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Yousafzai placed her personal copy on the library’s shelves. It was the last book to be added to the one million–book collection, according to BBC News.


Fall 2013—

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