Original title: I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Edition Language: English
Format: Audio book
Read by: Archie Panjabi, Malala Yousafzai
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 had to write a review when it was fresh in my mind, now the book is fading a bit.
The first thought I got when I started the book was: it is a huge speculation of a singular tragedy of a girl. There might be thousands of books written by victims of injustice and unfair world and not many are rushing to publish those. Then I relaxed a bit and just started to enjoy the book without prejudice as this story is deserved to be told.
Firstly, I like the poetic depiction of the countryside and nature, it was very vivid and full of love and affection. Secondly, I actually enjoyed Malala Yousafzai retelling on her school, true childhood with plays and friends and little mischief; her father's dream; her daily life.
I had difficulties with the political and historical parts: it sounded like memories or like knowledge gained through experience, but could not be so. I had to remind myself all the time: these are memoirs of a young girl, 14 yeas old, she cannot have this experience or vision of the world. It is obvious that Malala was greatly influenced by her father and I believe was speaking his words and making his dream reality. Of course she is a brave girl and has merits of her own, but she is just a girl with ambitions and desires, which is quite normal at that age, but there is no point of putting this in absolute as it is done in the book. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell what is written by Malala and what is done by her co-writer.
Another point for me was that, throughout the book the topic was so obviously dragged through: Malala suffered because she spoke for education. Yes, I do believe that that can be so, but it was written on every page and every chapter in case we forgot about it. Malala and her family went through unimaginable and here come my feeling of speculation on this tragedy: she is a great hit in the western world, but she is not understood by her own country, even by some members of her family. From their point of view what she has done? Just talked a lot as many others at many other occasions; this is their reality: Malala writes it herself about politicians who just talk and do nothing, even her brothers asked her what she has done to earn all the buzz.
Still a worthy read and I really appreciated the insight into the young girl's life with her family; into the country so unfamiliar to me and its traditions. And this book reminded me again how blessed I was to have a carefree childhood without any troubles and hard choices.