This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
Published by Hachette Book Group on October 8, 2013
Genres: Personal Memoirs, Politics, Women
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When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.
Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban was one of my book club books for February. When March started and I had still not started reading it, I took advantage of Audible’s free 30 day trial to “read” it. I have of course heard of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Noble Peace Prize, and knew somewhat her story, so I was interested in diving in and learning more. Unfortunately, the story was 80% the history of Pakistan and the region and maybe 20% Malala. I wonder if having her write the book at such a young age hampered the story, as there was not a lifetime of action behind her. While I enjoyed the history, I didn’t go into the book to hear about the formation of Pakistan, I was interested in hearing the words of Malala.
Malala is known around the world for having been shot in the head by the Taliban while attending school. A strident advocate for the right of all females to have access to education, she is an inspiring young woman. However, in hearing her story on how she got there, at times it felt like she was a pawn in her father’s education and political aspirations. Not many ten-year-olds can tell stories of their father bringing them to government meetings and encouraging them to speak. While undoubtably a very intelligent girl, I do not know if I can honestly say that the start of her educational platform was her desire, or her fathers. The other issue I had was in her stories of classmates and friends, Malala was frequently jealous or boastful. “On some shelves were all the gold-coloured plastic cups and trophies I had won for coming first in my class. Only twice had I not come top – both times when I was beaten by my class rival Malka e-Noor. I was determined it would not happen again.” I believe this can be attributed to the age of the author and would like to see her author an auto-biography at the end of her career to compare and contrast.
To sum it up, Malala is a voice the world needs to hear, as all children should be entitled to education. However, this memoir was primarily a history text with a few sprinkles of a young girl’s story, told at times in a very juvenile tone. I hope Malala is able to write a stronger version of her story once she has fully matured that focuses on her true mission.
Favorite lines – “Though we loved school, we hadn’t realized how important education was until the Taliban tried to stop us. Going to school, reading and doing our homework wasn’t just a way of passing time, it was our future.”
Have you read I Am Malala, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge