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Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who became an international icon after being shot by the Taliban, has closed a book deal.
Yousafzai’s I am Malala will tell the story of Yousafzai’s life so far, which has included campaigning for women’s education in the Swat Valley, work that saw her targeted for death by the Taliban. The book is slated for a fall release and will be published by Little, Brown and Company in a deal the Guardian reports to be worth about $3 million.
“I hope this book will reach people around the world, so they realize how difficult it is for some children to get access to education,” Yousafzai says. “I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can’t get education. I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.”
Yousafzai came to prominence after being outed as the author of a blog she’d written since 2009 chronicling life in the Swat Valley, an area where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. She went on to appear in international media as an advocate for girls’ education and was nominated for the international Children’s Peace Prize in December 2011.
In October 2012, Taliban gunmen boarded her school bus and demanded to know where Yousafzai was sitting. When the men learned which child she was, one of them shot her, with the bullet passing through her head and neck and becoming stuck in her shoulder. She was flown to the U.K. for medical care, and returned to school this month.
“Malala is already an inspiration to millions around the world. Reading her story of courage and survival will open minds, enlarge hearts, and eventually, allow more girls and boys to receive the education they hunger for,” says Michael Pietsch, executive vp and publisher of Little, Brown and Company.
Hollywood stars who have taken up up Yousafzai’s cause include Madonna and Angelina Jolie. She is the youngest person to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and the United Nations has declared Nov. 10 “Malala Day.”
In the U.K., Weidenfeld & Nicolson will release the book simultaneously.
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