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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
I Am Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Author: Malala Yousafzai
A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE — "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...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316322423
ISBN-10: 0316322423
Publication Date: 6/2/2015
Pages: 368
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 27 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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njmom3 avatar reviewed I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban on + 1361 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Review first posted on my blog:

It is difficult to be tuned into the news recently and not have heard the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young woman in the northern regions of Pakistan who spoke out for education, was shot by the Taliban, and has become a world celebrity. She is now the youngest person in the world to ever be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This book is her story, and through her story, a history of the northern part of Pakistan and somewhat a history of the fight for education. The culmination of the book, of course, is the event that brought Malala worldwide attention. The bulk of the book builds the background of the situation that leads to her shooting.

I was actually not sure I wanted to read the book. It sat on my night stand for a week before I read it. Not because I do not want to share in her story, but rather because I was not sure how the story would be told. Would it be a medium for publicity? Would it be the voice of the adult co-author instead of this young woman? Would a reader be able to read the book as a book and not get bogged down in political statements? Would the book be her story or a way of depicting history and politics? Would the book be a one-sided view of Pakistan and its people? An article that appeared in The Washington Post captures my concern: "It can sometimes feel as if the entire West were trying to co-opt Malala, as if to tell ourselves: "Look, we're with the good guys, we're on the right side. The problem is over there." Sometimes the heroes we appoint to solve our problems can say as much about us as about them. Malala's answer is courage. Our answer is celebrity." (Max Fisher. "The Nobel committee did Malala a favor in passing her over for the peace prize." The Washington Post, October 11, 2013)

Surprisingly, the book does a good job of balancing the personal story of Malala and her family and the history and unsettled political climate of the Swat Valley. To me, the book projects the voices of both authors - a young woman coming through life altering changes and an experienced journalist investigating a part of the world. This history covered goes beyond Malala's young life, presenting background through the stories of her father and the generations before. Her voice comes through as that of a young woman - stories of arguing with siblings, spending time with friends, and longing for a home that remains out of reach. "Over the last year I've seen many other places, but my valley remains to me the most beautiful place in the world. I don't know when I will see it again, but I know that I will."

The issue of eduction is a global issue. Malala's story is only one of so many more. I hope this book and the fact that her story caught the world's attention leads to real global changes and efforts to help all the children. I hope that Malala is always known as the "girl who fought for eduction."
Jade4142 avatar reviewed I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I heard this book read by a woman with a strong Pakistani accent and I was immediately engaged. Malala knew how much danger she was in. Her father assumed the attack would be upon him. He and his wife greatly esteem their daughter and believe in her utterly. That adds a warmth to the book that puts these people in perspective. Our children, in America, are not shot in the head for standing up for what they believe in. My son did what very few 10 year olds will do and squared off against a construction company and a University who were together keeping him out of school, so I can almost understand Malala and her parents. My son's life was never in danger. Malala's always was and she lived every day with that reality. Her parents did, too. The long history of her remote Pakistani village illustrates who this small family is and why education is so important to them that their daughter will risk her life to bring it to every girl. Her father's delay in going to the hospital does not set well with me. He was about to give a speech to I think 400 Pakistani educators when the news came that probably Malala was on the way to the hospital. His brother convinced him to give his speech first and then go to her. I don't know if I could have done that. And I'm not sure I agree that he should have. But he did. At the end of the book Malala says she has heard from some of her Pakistani friends who scorn her now and wonder why she doesn't come home but instead stays away and lets her mission die. I don't think her mission is dead. I think her mission is safer now, away from Pakistan and the Taliban. But I am also convinced that she will go back, and I am equally convinced that they will not make a mistake next time. The world will lose a remarkably strong and courageous girl if the Taliban destroys her. But her message won't die. That was their mistake. They gave life to her message by shooting a child in the head. I think this is one of the best books I have ever heard, and the preface by Malala herself is almost heartbreaking. Because of course she knows that she will go home and she knows that this time, they won't make a mistake.
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reviewed I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban on + 1110 more book reviews
I loved the parts when Malala was telling her own story. I was less enthralled with the history and political machinations of Pakistan. She raises great questions - how can the Taliban require female teachers and doctors for women if they won't allow girls to go to school to qualify for these jobs? - and highlights hard to believe practices in the 21st century like girls being married off at age 13. I'm glad I read it.

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