151. I am Malala- Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

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Title: I am Malala: The Girl who stood up for educaiton and was shot by the Taliban

Author: Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> Autobiography

The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban.

The highly anticipated memoir of Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl from Pakistan’s Swat region who stood up to the Taliban.

‘I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. We’d finished for the day and I was on the open-back truck we use as a school bus. There were no windows, just thick plastic sheeting that flapped at the sides and a postage stamp of open sky at the back through which I caught a glimpse of a kite wheeling up and down. It was pink, my favourite colour.’

In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in Pakistani and international media, campaigning for education for all. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot at point-blank range by a member of the Taliban on the way home from school. Remarkably, she survived. In April 2013, Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

I Am Malala tells the inspiring story of a schoolgirl who was determined not to be intimidated by extremists, and faced the Taliban with immense courage. Malala speaks of her continuing campaign for every girl’s right to an education, shining a light into the lives of those children who cannot attend school. This is just the beginning…(Goodreads 2015)

I have wanted to read this book for a while now. I’ve followed Malala’s story since the incident occurred back in 2012. I have a friend, who when she found out I was reading this book, came out with “you do know she isn’t exactly the only girl who puts up witht hat”. Of course I do. I do feel it is necessary to acknowledge that no, Malala isn’t a “one of a kind”- she is one of many, many girls who are expected to know their place, and are often tortured or abused when they try to achieve their equal, human rights. However, she is recognised, and is representative of these girls/women- all over the world, as a result of the media spotlight that hit her after the shooting. She helped to bring this issue to the forefront of social media, and that is no negative thing.

All the way through this book, you are not seeing Malala as a representative or a political figure, however, but rather as who she is- a young girl, who simply wants to get an education. Who loves her family and has a close bond with her father, more than anyone. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction work, although I am trying to branch out my horizons, and this story mattered to me. It reminds me not to take for granted the fact I’m lucky enough to be a girl in a country where simple things like education, freedom of religion and even driving are readily available to me with minimal price regardless of my gender, age or any other factors. It’s easy to take those things for granted and forget that not everybody is fortunate enough to have that- hopefully, one day, everyone will…but not yet, sadly.

I highly recommend this to anyone. That’s pretty much my professional review. Read it. Now.

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