“Malcom Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Become Malcolm X” By Ilyasah Shabazz; Illustrated By Ag Ford

Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice. Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance. Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today — that we must all strive to live to our highest potential. Ages 6–10.

About The Author

Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, is an activist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X. Ilyasah promotes higher education, interfaith dialogue, and building bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world. She produces the WAKE-UP Tour™, her exclusive youth empowerment program, and participates on international humanitarian delegations. She is the founder of Malcolm X Enterprises and is a trustee for the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center as well as the Malcolm X Foundation. She holds a master of science in education and human resource development. Ilyasah lives in New Rochelle, NY.

Read Aloud Tips

    • Incorporate Malcom Little into a history unit about Civil Rights. Use a timeline to discuss key moments in the movement.
    • Assign students to do research about one of those moments from the timeline.
    • After reading the book, have students watch a video of a speech from Malcom X. Have students pick a quote from one and make a poster to display in the classroom.

“The childhood of the controversial AfricanAmerican activist was shaped by parental love and white racism.Writing with the fervor and intensity of a motivational speaker, Shabazz recounts her father’s early years, which were filled with the loving support and teachings of his parents as well as the hate and destruction of the Ku Klux Klan…. With the passion of a preacher, she celebrates love, respect, tolerance and education without restraint…. Ford’s oil paintings, framed on the page, are lush and filled with detail. A daughter’s proud…tribute to her father and his parents.” – Kirkus Reviews

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