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.
Jinnah said, “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”
“At night our fear is strong, Jani,” he told me, “but in the morning, in the light, we find our courage again.”
As the title suggests, this book needs a Trigger Warning for Violence.
This is a non-fiction book, which puts it outside the normal scope of books I would read for review but I had trouble thinking of any other books that would fit the Reducto requirements in the Dumbledore’s Army Read-A-Thon. I’m honestly glad I read it because even though it was a little difficult to follow at some points, I learned so much about a culture I now realize I knew nothing about.
The way Malala describes her surroundings is perfect because I was able to at least vaguely picture what Swat Valley might look like. Throughout the book, I felt like she was writing with a sense of longing for her home in Swat and the friends and family she grew up with there. There are times when the story jumps around a little while circling the main timeline but it feels more reminiscent than anything else.
Reading about Malala and her determination was incredible and empowering. She went on living day to day knowing there is a good chance there would be violence against her because she speak up for what is right. She continued to speak up, knowing the Taliban were asking for her death. Even after being shot, her goal is to return and continue fighting for education. She’s an incredible young woman and we could all learn from her. She has inspired me through the telling of her story.
This book highlights many things, including that it’s incredibly important that we realize words have power. Those holding the swords fear those wielding pens, so the old proverb must be true. The pen is mightier than the sword.
Overall, I rate I Am Malala 4 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Waterstones (UK)
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or local library
Malala has started a non-profit organization to further the cause of universal access to education. For more information about the Malala Fund, visit their website.
I read this book for the Reducto prompt in the Dumbledore’s Army Read-A-Thon.
Have you read I Am Malala? What is a book that inspired you?