REVIEW: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

REVIEW: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Published: June 2015

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

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.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. –Goodreads

There are two versions that were published about Malala-one is subtitled “The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” and the other is “How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Reader’s Edition).” I did not know there were two editions when I picked this one up, so I plan on reading the Young Reader’s Edition as well, and I will post a review below this one when I do. From what I have learned through researching (Google) the differences are how they are written. The version I read is more factual and gives background into her culture, country, and family. The Young Reader’s Edition has more of a narrative feel and sounds more like Malala. These are not my evaluations however-I read this blog to help me with the difference: Ph.D.s and Pigtails.

I gave this book a FIVE STAR Review. It was a very historically based document, with a lot of details on the Taliban, Pakistan, Pashtun, and Swat. I love reading nonfiction and that was the feel of the majority of this book. Intertwined with the historical elements was Malala’s story and what happened to her. The ending was very powerful and sounded like she was speaking to me about education and how she wants to change the world. It was very empowering and made me want to do more for the world. This book was eye-opening. It’s hard to fully understand what goes on in other countries. One really does not realize how fortunate you are until you read someone else’s struggles. Education is something we are given in America, it is a right and a must. We do not allow children to be denied an education, until they reach a certain age.

My Favorite Quotes:

  • “To all the girls who have faced injustice and been silenced. Together we will be heard.”
  • “But when you are exiled from your homeland, where your fathers and forefathers were born and where you have for centuries of history, it’s very painful. You can no longer touch the soil or hear the sweet sound of the rivers. Fancy hotels and meetings in palaces cannot replace the sense of home.”
  • “My father always said, ‘Malala will be free as a bird.'”
  • “He (her father) believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.”
  • “Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.'”
  • “The Taliban became the enemy of fine arts, culture and our history.”
  • “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’ This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”

Recommendation

I recommend this book for those that want to learn more about the Middle East, education, and Malala. I will add that there is some disturbing violence in this book. She goes into detail on the punishments the Taliban carried out to the citizens that defied them. This can be disturbing to those that are sensitive to violence, especially because it is historical-it really did happen. I believe the violence is done in order to show the brutality, and she does not go in to a lot of detail, but there is enough that it could bother some.

I am a middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher.

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