Fearless: the Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Defender of Free Speech by Gattaldo

Fearless: the Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Defender of Free Speech by Gattaldo. Candlewick Press, 2021. 9781536219180

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Biography

What did you like about the book? Daphne Caruana Galizia was an investigative journalist and human rights activist in Malta. We learn that Daphne was an activist from a young age, inspired by her family history and her love of reading. Arrested at a protest at age 19, Daphne went on to become a well-respected journalist who targeted corruption and other social ills. Her courage in standing up to powerful enemies is emphasized in the simple, straightforward text.  The text ends with saying that Daphne inspired others to speak out and continue her work to make the world a better place. 

The simple illustrations are moody and atmospheric, with Daphne always in brighter colors than the often bluish grey backgrounds suggesting difficulties and the “bad things” she writes about. She’s pictured on the cover with her legs apart and hands on hips in a superhero stance. 

Back matter features a statement from Amnesty International on human rights and the importance of investigative journalism. There are also photos of Daphne and her family, and a longer explanation of the type of work she did and the dangers she faced. It closes with her death in 2017, when she was killed by a bomb placed under her car.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For 4th-6th graders who are interested in social justice and activism. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kerry Lamare, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA.

Date of review: September 21, 2021

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