Book Review: I Am Malala By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Since today is Malala Day, I decided to post a review of Malala Yousafzai’s memoir. Enjoy! (By the way, thanks to Chloe @ Free As a Girl With Wings for notifying me that today was Malala Day!)

About the Book

Title: I Am Malala

Author: Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Source: Personal Purchase (Woohoo! I almost never buy books.)

Publication Date: October 8th, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 327

Blurb:

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 nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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.

My Review

This book was an eye opener for me because it revealed to me how much freedom I am privileged to have.  Unlike myself, when Malala lived in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, she experienced limited rights due to Taliban control.  The Taliban strictly oppose education for women and those who violate the Taliban’s rules are subject to harsh treatment.   The situation that Malala grew up in limited her from freely going to school, wearing what she wanted and going outside by herself.  As Malala puts it in her autobiography “I was a girl in a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son, while daughters are hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and give birth to children.”  After reading this book, I truly realized how privileged I am to be able to go to school and obtain a solid education because I have something that many other girls around the world don’t have.

I also loved how Malala’s personality shone through in her memoir.  Clearly, she has a strong spirit, as she was able to stand up to the Taliban and declare her right to gain an education. This trait is shown in her memoir through her strong convictions and opinions.  One example of her conviction is portrayed in this statement from the book: “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.”  Additionally, despite Malala’s amazing achievements, she still lives the life of a normal girl at home.  In her memoir, she describes how she sometimes fights with her brother and even her best friend.  These details make it much easier for the reader to relate with Malala and thus, enjoy a better read.

One thing that some readers may not enjoy about I Am Malala is that it can often get bogged down with history.  At times, Malala goes into detail about the history behind the Taliban without expressing enough of her own experiences and feelings.  Although understanding the history behind her story is vital, some readers may not enjoy the long stretches of historical background.

All in all, I found I Am Malala to be a satisfying read that opened my eyes to the true extent of my privileges as the citizen of the US.  While readers will enjoy how Malala’s personality is evident in her writing, some may not enjoy the extensive historical background included in the memoir.  I would recommend this book to any girl because it sends an empowering message of women’s rights and Malala’s journey to fight for education.

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My Rating

Five out of five butterflies.

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Have you read Malala’s memoir? What did you think of it? If you found it inspiring, how has it inspired you?

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: I Am Malala By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

  1. I definitely do want to try this. The history part worries me though, because I get sidetracked very easily, buuut it seems like a really important story. Historically and just for women’s rights too! It’s freakishly sad what happens out there… 😦

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    1. I would read it, even though there is a bit of an excess of history. Even though the history part wasn’t that exciting, I learned a lot. I hear a lot about the Taliban and the Middle East on the news, but I didn’t really know what exactly was going on until I read this book. Yes, it is a very important story and it made me appreciate my life so much more. I feel like I shouldn’t complain about homework now.

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  2. I’ve heard so much hype around this one, and I really want to give it a try. It sounds like such a wonderful story, and Malala sounds like such a brave and courageous young women.

    It’s always difficult to read about stories like this because we hear about it on the news / TV / etc, but living in first world countries we never really are able to engross the pain and the hardships that are truly happening around us; and it sounds like this is a perfect way to demonstrate that.

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤ Definitely going to give this a try. 🙂

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  3. Here another great example of White savior syndrome and western feminism at work with Malala Yousafzai. While the book is distorted to suit the western mind-sets about Pakistan, nothing new to see, a western writer’s narrative being lauded.

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