An unforgettable memoir

Hi everyone, this week I’m reviewing a memoir I read several years ago which still has the power to render me speechless and in tears. This young woman’s story is like no other and has circled our globe over the years since. If you have a rough idea then make sure to have a box of tissues handy…

cover image of girl in red/pink headcovering. girl looks Indian with sharp features. background is green. white text below face reads 'I am Malala' and orange text along bottom read Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
Inspiring and poignant…

Title: I am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban

Author: Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Publication details: Little, Brown & Co; NY; 2013

ISBN: 9780316322409   (Hardcover)

What this book is about: 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: “I came from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday’. In just two sentences, Malala Yousafzai sent shivers down my spine. Her story is what follows. We learn of how she grows up in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan with her family and of her happy life there until the sequence of events that change her life. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, only a handful of people spoke out. Among them was eleven year old Malala. She refused to be silenced and fought for her right to education. On October 9, 2012, Malala almost paid the price when she was shot at point-blank range in the head while on her way home from school. Not everyone expected her to survive. With the help of Pakistani and British doctors, Malala recovers and the second half of this book recounts her incredible journey. By the age of sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize!! Told in her own unique voice, Malala’s story of courage and perseverance, had me in tears at some points. I am both awed and inspired by everything Malala has achieved in her young life. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was the winner of Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize in 2011 and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Malala continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation investing in community-led programs and supporting education advocates around the world. I urge everyone to read this and join Malala in her mission. Let’s help young girls like her find their voices and create a safer tomorrow!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: This title has too many accolades to it’s name and I won’t be including them. It has also been adapted into many junior versions for younger readers. Since publication of this book Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is now a graduate from Oxford university!! What an inspirational young woman!!

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