Book Review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala by Malala You
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Title: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Author: Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir, Feminism, History

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Published: October 8, 2013

Page Amount: 327 pages

Blurb From Goodreads: 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-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

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.

Why Read: I mean do you really have to ask? I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a while. Actually, when I read the published date on Goodreads – I couldn’t believe that it’s been over 2 years since this book hit shelves worldwide. Luckily though… through a friend and the infinite power of borrowing, I’ve managed to lay my hands on a copy!

Review: There’s no question that this book and the young woman who wrote it have been central to our understanding of Pakistani culture since 2012. The problem is that besides that, the common reader doesn’t know much about Pakistani history, or how the many customs have come to be. That’s one of the things I love about this book. More than a sentimental memoir about educational reform and personal anecdotes, I Am Malala goes beyond and connects her childhood with historical events that have shaped Pakistan into the nation it is today.

From a memoir standard, I certainly have nothing but good positive things to say about Malala. The tone is crisp and clear without much embellishment. As a reader with a fairly good grasp of international events, I appreciated the way that Malala formulated historical events using both accuracy and her own history to make them palatable to any reader.

As a woman, and I believe as any woman – reading this book reminds us how lucky we are to have all the opportunities of a Western girl. Of course I know that girls in Pakistan and other countries don’t have the same freedoms that I have… but it’s one thing to know it, and quite another to read it.

The addition of pictures was a fun addition that adds some color to what otherwise may be a bleak and drab picture of her hometown and the infiltration of the Taliban into Pakistan. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in learning about Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai or who is just interested in learning a bit more about international politics. It’s really a fantastic read – and I strongly “upvote” it!


Rating: 5/5 Stars

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