Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai
Little, Brown & Company
Copyright: October 8, 2013

The blurb:
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,I Am Malala 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.
 is an amazing book. Once I got well into it, I couldn't put it down, especially when I got to the point where she was shot. Even though I knew from the start going into the book that Malala survived, I had to know how.

This is one of the Chapters/Indigo Best Books for 2013 as well as a Heather's Pick title, and I can see why for both. I Am Malala paints a picture of a culture we, or at least I, don't know much about. Prior to reading it, about all I knew about Pakistan was what I'd seen in the news. Now, having read her story, I'd like to think I have a slightly better feeling for that part of the world and an understanding, however slight for her culture.

I've also got an even greater appreciation for my education, seeing the value she's put on schooling and the fight it can be to get it in some parts of the world. Keep up the good work Malala.

In some ways, I Am Malala reminded me of Little Princes by Conor Grennan - mostly in that it's a book that's really inspiring and I'd love to recommend it to everyone I know as a reminder of the impact that one person can have on the world.

It also serves as a reminder not to write off whole countries because of issues like the Taliban - even when things seem to be at their worst there are ordinary people who are trying to go about their days and work despite living in fear under threat of death.

Even in somewhere like Pakistan with the restrictive rules they live under, girls will be girls, trying to enjoy life with games, music and movies. That's something that Malala's story demonstrates again and again - as well as the reminder that no matter the rhetoric, not everyone belonging to a region or religion subscribes to extreme views, something I think we all need reminded of now and again.

I have to recommend this book to everyone from teens on up. Five stars!

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