If you live under a rock and don’t know who Malala is please read this book. If you know and have no interest because you don’t wish to hurdle into a group based on her religion or nationality, read this book. If you have little hope for the future of humanity, again, read this book. Finally, if you’re aware of who Malala is and commend her for all that she has done, if you think you grasp most of the facts, please, take a moment and at least read the epilogue. I learnt a lot from this read. I learnt more about the politics of Malala’s country then I have reading several more famous books. Every bit helps in my understanding of the complexity of these countries. Especially hard to do when you’re like me, and lucky to be born into a country that has a stable government. Where it is safe to walk the streets unescorted. Where a girl can walk without fear whilst holding a book in public. Where a woman can walk into any hospital unescorted and be treated for injuries. Malala and millions of other women have not been so lucky. However, Malala, even as young as she is, has a passion for politics and understands them…she is even, at times, able to manipulate those political unrests and bend them to her favour. She is also young enough to be frank about politics and to be sensible about them. She is not trying to bend or mould them into something to ensure her own political gain. It’s so much easier to see things when the speaker is not trying to manipulate the story to cover their own agendas. Malala is honest and upfront with her desires. A world where we are all equal, educated, and free to follow our own heart’s calling….
The epilogue is a true bright and shiny gem. It sums up the changes and challenges she and her family now face. It sums up her belief system and her love for her country. As well as why she can’t go back. But mostly, I hope that you can see the young woman who has sacrificed so much and asked for so little. Sacrifices I dare say that no one reading this review (myself included) would ever be brave enough to make…and she does it with such grace to make it look like it wasn’t a sacrifice at all, but an honour. She might be a noble peace prize winner…but first and foremost, she is a young girl, a daughter, a silly girl with silly friends, a student, a misfit, a nerd, a Muslim….first and foremost, she is just like any of us…
Until next time…
Buy it now I Am Malala
How do you define courage? It can be exemplified in many different ways. A firefighter rushing in to a burning building. A shy student standing up in front of the class to give a speech. A child riding a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. Malala’s story gives a whole new meaning to the word. If by some chance you haven’t heard of Malala, that’s even more of a reason to read this book.
The prologue takes us back to the day that Malala was shot as we are given a brief overview of that fateful moment. We then get a glimpse into the childhood of Malala’s parents. This backstory provides us with the knowledge of what exactly a woman’s role was and still is in many parts of Pakistan and the Middle East. Having this background knowledge made me even more appreciative of the strength and courage shown by not only Malala but her entire family. I also felt a huge amount of respect for her father for following his heart and not bowing down to traditional roles he disagreed with. As the leader of this family, he truly set the stage for all the good things that followed.
We are next taken through her childhood and witness tragic events such as 9/11 and the Taliban’s invasion of Pakistan through her eyes, those of a young girl. Malala’s story made my heart weep at the tragedy she faced but more importantly at the bravery of this young girl who wanted nothing more than to simply go to school. Such a simple thing but yet one that most children in more industrialized countries take for granted. We are reminded of the harsh lives that children around the world face.
In Malala’s words, looking the other way is not an option when thirty-two million girls around the world are not in school. She’s not asking for anything special, just the right to go to school. Most people would withdraw from the public eye after coming so close to death for simply standing up for their beliefs. Not this young woman. Although her family has not returned to Pakistan, she continues to speak out for all children.
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book and was not disappointed. It was everything I expected and more. I had to keep reminding myself that this horrible tragedy happened to a fifteen-year-old girl. I am simply in awe of this young lady and can’t wait to see what else she accomplishes in her life. My favorite quote from this book also happens to be the last one:
I am Malala. My world has changed but I have not.
Buy it now I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban