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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    My journey of biographies has taken me inside the lives of political figures, television personalities, and even those involved in cults and religious sects. This next book shifts focus while retaining the perspective of a girl (and young woman) at the narrative helm. In this piece, young Malala Yousafzai chimes in and offers some of her own opinions growing up and becoming an international advocate for universal primary education for all children. Malala lays a foundation for the reader with a My journey of biographies has taken me inside the lives of political figures, television personalities, and even those involved in cults and religious sects. This next book shifts focus while retaining the perspective of a girl (and young woman) at the narrative helm. In this piece, young Malala Yousafzai chimes in and offers some of her own opinions growing up and becoming an international advocate for universal primary education for all children. Malala lays a foundation for the reader with a brief background on her native Pakistan and how it came to fruition some seventy years ago. Predominantly Muslim, Pakistan found itself trying to protect its population from religious and cultural incursions from its neighbouring states while developing a powerful military in the region. The reader is also offered a decent backstory about the Yousafzai family in the Swat Valley, where a dedicated father sought to develop a school for area children. His impetus was to hone these skills at an early age before releasing them with a thirst for knowledge and the wherewithal to become Pakistan's future. The narrative explores this dream and fosters the growth from a dilapidated building into a successful initiative with over one thousand pupils attending annually. With the rise of the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan and the eventual American invasion of that country, the region's stability weakened and Pakistan found itself pulled in two directions. Malala recounts that while the Pakistani Government tried to pave the way for America and its forces, there was a strong and historical allegiance to Taliban forces, something the reader will have to discover within the pages of this book. When the Taliban pushed into Pakistan, they brought their literal interpretations of Koranic verses and tried to invalidate those who blasphemed, from women who were not veiled through to education for any girl. Malala discusses her horror at seeing this and how her father was bullied as principal of his own school. After a period of flight for their own safety, the Yousafzai family returned, only to discover that the Swat Valley had become a battleground between Taliban forces and the Pakistani military. Encouraged by her father to advocate for girls like herself, Malala continued to speak in favour of education for all and would not stand down. Momentum grew and she soon found herself speaking to large groups with Taliban leaders hiding in the shadows, but surely no one would try to harm a child. What began as blanket rule enforcement within the Swat Valley soon turned to the 'Talibanisation' of those who spoke out most vociferously against this minute interpretation of Islamic principles. In October 2012, Malala faced the ultimate retribution for speaking out against the Taliban when she was shot. The medical fallout found her sent to the United Kingdom, where Malala uses the latter few chapters to discuss her injuries and the slow recovery she made. Even in the face of this violence, Malala and her spirit never faded as she kept advocating for universal education, no matter one's socio-economic, religious, geographic, or physical background. She seeks to promote the idea that one girl's voice can make a difference, as long as there are many who are willing to listen. An interesting biographical piece that pushes the reader into many interesting directions and is sure to stir up much controversy amongst other reviewers. I found myself reading this book because of another great recommendation by a dear friend, not to jump on the burgeoning bandwagon or to sensationalise the life of this young woman. I wanted a great book that would educate me on issues with which I have little knowledge and found myself intrigued more than anything at what I discovered. This book explores the plight of a young girl trying to demonstrate the political and ideological struggles faced by a population powerless to push back against violent enforcement of contradictory rules. The oppression of a people who seek the freedom to obtain basic education is non-sensical. Doing so in the name of a loving God only strengthens the need for this freedom. The rationale to suppress is lost on me, though I am open to having someone explain it to me. There have been some who have commented that Malala does not speak for Pakistan or segments of the population. The fame she may garner from her efforts or this book do not interest me, nor should they lessen the message that she wishes to promote. This is Malala's story told through her own memories. I am baffled by those who feel they can call her own view wrong or that her personal beliefs are a hoax better kept in a journal than placed out for public discussion. Furthermore, to posit that Malala is a complete laughingstock in her own Pakistan seems highly generalised, but that is through my filter of free speech and expression, values that are fundamental in Canada, as I write these words. To vilify Malala for her own personal views undoubtably commences a slippery slope towards the antics undertaken by the Taliban. Far be it from me to deny these individuals their own right to disagree, though without a foundation for their arguments, I cannot admit to being swayed in the least. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to look at the book itself and how it was presented to the reader. The biography flows well and offers a a strong message on numerous occasions. The reader receives a healthy dose of history (both of Pakistan and Malala) to help formulate an educated opinion without the sense of overload. Chapters move fluidly and Malala seeks to keep things light where she can. Vignettes and lessons about her life offer the narrative additional colour and shape, which provides some entertainment to offset some of the darker moments during the fight for freedom in the face of religious oppression. It is, however, hard to miss that Malala thrives on self-aggrandisement throughout the book, where she brags of scholastic achievements or must tell the reader who she spoke before so many and liaised with Ambassador X and World Leader Y. The reader must realise that this is a child and so the starry-eyed nature of that ego boost is to be expected, even if she plays the peacock well as she struts throughout her story. Overall, it was an educational read and I can see why it received such hype. Let us see if it will spark ongoing momentum to ensure all children have access and utilise educational facilities the world over. They are our future, right Neo? Kudos, Madam Yousafzai for helping me see the importance of your message. May you always have the courage to face your detractors and never let them derail your goals. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Churchill

    Not to be confused with the other edition with a very similar name, this is Malala's story 'rewritten for an audience her own age'. Having not read the original I can't really comment on what might have been changed here, though the idea of making any changes for a younger readership has me torn. I mostly disagree with the notion of 'watering down' or in any way omitting information in order to appeal to a younger audience, and in my experience YA readers are: 1. not easily offended or shocked, Not to be confused with the other edition with a very similar name, this is Malala's story 'rewritten for an audience her own age'. Having not read the original I can't really comment on what might have been changed here, though the idea of making any changes for a younger readership has me torn. I mostly disagree with the notion of 'watering down' or in any way omitting information in order to appeal to a younger audience, and in my experience YA readers are: 1. not easily offended or shocked, and 2. likely to read a book for its content if it takes their fancy regardless of the target market, so this edition seems redundant to me. However, as I said I can't really say what differences there are, and if just a handful more young readers pick this up because it says it's for them then that has to be a good thing. The only real concern is the amount of adults that will pick this edition up by mistake, I've seen that happen a lot already. So if you're considering grabbing a copy make sure you get the version you mean to!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    This was the Young Reads version, but it was still super compelling and informational! Wow! I never really knew the story behind Malala besides she was shot for standing up for women's education, so this was really informational! I read this for the Goodread's book club Diversity in All Forms! I recommend this book to everyone and I plan on still reading the adult version of this book. I bought a classroom set of this book, so I can read it with my students next semester :) This was the Young Reads version, but it was still super compelling and informational! Wow! I never really knew the story behind Malala besides she was shot for standing up for women's education, so this was really informational! I read this for the Goodread's book club Diversity in All Forms! I recommend this book to everyone and I plan on still reading the adult version of this book. I bought a classroom set of this book, so I can read it with my students next semester :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    “Like my father I've always been a daydreamer, and sometimes I'd imagine that on the way home a terrorist might jump out and shoot me on those steps. I wondered what I would do. Maybe I'd take off my shoes and hit him, but then I'd think if I did that there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. It would be better to plead, `OK, shoot me, but first listen to me. What you are doing is wrong. I'm not against you personally, I just want every girl to go to school.’” “No struggle can ever “Like my father I've always been a daydreamer, and sometimes I'd imagine that on the way home a terrorist might jump out and shoot me on those steps. I wondered what I would do. Maybe I'd take off my shoes and hit him, but then I'd think if I did that there would be no difference between me and a terrorist. It would be better to plead, `OK, shoot me, but first listen to me. What you are doing is wrong. I'm not against you personally, I just want every girl to go to school.’” “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” “To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish. I am Malala. My world has changed but I have not.” “I couldn’t understand what the Taliban were trying to do. `They are abusing our religion,’ I said in interviews. `How will you accept Islam if I put a gun to your head and say Islam is the true religion? If they want every person in the world to be Muslim, why don’t they show themselves to be good Muslims first?’” “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.” I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World chronicles the outrageous terrorist attack and inspirational recovery of an implacable young woman who, in her own words, “left [her] home for school and never returned” (Yousafzai). The audible audio version opens with a poignant epilogue read by Malala herself, one in which she laments the loss of her home, community and other small joys: “Now, every morning when I open my eyes, I long to see my old room full of my things, my clothes all over the floor and my school prizes on the shelves” (Yousafzai). She also recounts what little she remembers of the day the Taliban attempted to assassinate her then rounds things out with an expression of hope and a plea for peace. The story is broken up into five parts that function more like puzzle pieces than demarcations in a linear and chronological narrative. Malala begins with a brief but detailed history of Pakistan then discusses some of the relevant ins and outs of Pashtun culture. The book then jumps around between details of Malala’s childhood and of her father’s evolution as a staunch advocate for education. We then get into the Taliban’s invasion and systematic dismantling of Swat. Through Malala’s horrified eyes, we watch helplessly as schools are bombed and/or ordered closed, police are killed and/or are defecting from the force, Swat is torn apart by Taliban and military checkpoints, water and power plants are disabled, women and girls are assassinated and the beauty of Swat gets reduced to a dark, silent, charred, blood-soaked and terrorist infested hellscape where no one is safe and no one comes to help. Scenes like this one became a regular occurrence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbrkT... All the while, the feckless Pakistani army and government would do absolutely nothing to help its people; Malala speculates that the governments inaction was due, in large part, to whatever use they may have had for the Taliban at the time. Meanwhile, growing resentment of the Pakistani government, post 911 conspiracy theories and anti-American sentiments brought about by drone attacks (these strikes resulted in countless Pakistani casualties, many of whom were children) would eventually harden the people of Swat Valley against Western ideas, ideals and pastimes. Anger with and resentment of the American and Pakistani governments would eventually manifest themselves in the form of an ever-growing mob of newly minted Talib Jihadis. Over time, the Taliban’s nightly radio show continued to impress upon people the dangers (spiritual and mortal) of deviating from the Taliban’s religious precepts and cultural mores. Citizens were willingly destroying and/or surrendering their televisions, avoiding music and dancing, burning their DVDs and CDs and pulling their daughters out of school in fear that the Quetta earthquake of 2008 (they’d been told repeatedly by the Taliban that this had been a punishment for their ungodly, Westernized way of life) had only been the beginning of the horrors they would eventually bring upon their sinful selves. Anyone found to be in violation of or in opposition to the Taliban became a very dead resident of what many would come to refer to as “bloody square,” a dumping ground and exhibition littered with warnings about and examples of the Taliban’s grip on Swat. In the midst of the Taliban’s perpetual assault on Swat Valley and its people’s way of life, Malala and her father launched a public campaign for the education of girls, giving interviews to media outlets all over the globe and granting the New York Times a glimpse into their daily lives as rebellious educators and education advocates. For a brief time, Malala would post (pseudonymously, of course) blog entries detailing her experiences under Taliban rule. Malala and her father would receive multiple threats, right up to the day that her school buss was surrounded then fired upon by Talib soldiers. https://poy.time.com/2012/12/19/the-o... Now, critical as I often am of those who take the opportunity to center themselves or their world/society/culture/plight when discussing those of others’, I couldn’t help but consider the parallels between the destabilization of Malala’s society and that which is currently being attempted in The United States. One thing in particular that struck me as I listened to Malala’s description of the “Talibanization” (Yousafzai) of Swat was how similar the “leader” was to the “leader” the United States has just survived. Fazlullah was able to sway large swaths of people who, in large part, were far too incurious to understand what was happening until it was far too late. This charismatic orator would publicly attack those who either spoke against him or behaved in a way that displeased the Taliban. Fazlullah employed fearmongering and other tactics in order to extort money from the people of Swat, often twisting, and outright inverting, Islamic precepts for the purposes of inducing blind acceptance of his edicts and increasingly barbaric treatment of errant citizens and suspected “infidels.” More than a story about one girl’s elevation to education and human rights advocate, Malala’s is also a dystopian warning of the dangers of keeping silent in the face of atrocity and of embracing fear, tribalism, ignorance and incuriosity. This is a must read for anyone who needs to be reminded of how fortunate they are and for those who are passionate about education, freedom and human rights. Five stars. Further Reading/Listening/Watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F5ye... https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQL8b... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hx0a... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-4.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZVva... https://abcnews.go.com/International/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    emi

    "This was my calling. Some powerful force had come to dwell inside me, something bigger and stronger than me and it made me fearless." Malala redefines the definition of hero and courage. An inspiration to all. She stood up for what she believed in (girl's rights & education) despite all odds - if that doesn't act as encouragement to pursue your dreams and never back down for what you believe is right, then I really don't know what is. The Young Learner's edition was written simply and intellec "This was my calling. Some powerful force had come to dwell inside me, something bigger and stronger than me and it made me fearless." Malala redefines the definition of hero and courage. An inspiration to all. She stood up for what she believed in (girl's rights & education) despite all odds - if that doesn't act as encouragement to pursue your dreams and never back down for what you believe is right, then I really don't know what is. The Young Learner's edition was written simply and intellectually - both a dazzling story of courage and an insight into Pakistan and the lives of its citizens and the Taliban. I learned a lot from this book, not only about culture, and the world around me, but also about the importance of staying true to yourself and your beliefs in a world that is desperately trying to change you. I recommend this book - it's a truly great and insightful autobiography. I can only hope that you decide to pick it up!

  6. 5 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    Thank you to Orion for providing me with this book in return for an honest review! Firstly, I just want to mention that this memoir is the 'younger readers' version of her memoir titled, 'I Am Malala'. I think that older children in schools should definitely be reading this book and talking about it. It will open their eyes not only to the importance of education, but also to different cultures, religions, beliefs, countries and the impact that terrorism can have. Reading Malala's story was truly Thank you to Orion for providing me with this book in return for an honest review! Firstly, I just want to mention that this memoir is the 'younger readers' version of her memoir titled, 'I Am Malala'. I think that older children in schools should definitely be reading this book and talking about it. It will open their eyes not only to the importance of education, but also to different cultures, religions, beliefs, countries and the impact that terrorism can have. Reading Malala's story was truly an inspiring experience and even though I'm now fully aware of her story and everything that occurred, I still find myself wanting to read the Adult version of her memoir to see the differences and just because her story is so inspiring and encouraging that I would certainly read it again. I would definitely recommend this book to children and young adults over the age of 12, because even though it is the 'younger readers' version, it still contains mature themes and violence that could be disturbing to young children. I definitely highly recommend this book or even the adult version because it's definitely a book that anyone can get something out of. The fact that children in westernised countries hate going to school when Malala is fighting for the right to learn, it really puts things into perspective. To see a seventeen year old girl go through so much terror and trauma to go on to becoming such a success and an advocate for change is so inspirational.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    Such a powerful read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I admit that I only heard about Malala Yousafzai after she was shot, and I had thought that she was just attacked because she was a girl on her way to or from school. I had no idea until now that she was working, speaking, and writing on behalf of girls' education from the time when she was eleven years old! Her story is truly inspiring, and so is her strong will and clear voice. She is passionate about women's rights, and so brilliant, but it's also wonderful to see how "normal" her life is. Sh I admit that I only heard about Malala Yousafzai after she was shot, and I had thought that she was just attacked because she was a girl on her way to or from school. I had no idea until now that she was working, speaking, and writing on behalf of girls' education from the time when she was eleven years old! Her story is truly inspiring, and so is her strong will and clear voice. She is passionate about women's rights, and so brilliant, but it's also wonderful to see how "normal" her life is. She loves Ugly Betty and Shrek, and she fights with her brothers, especially the youngest, Atal. It was fascinating getting to know her, and her family, their devotion and love. Side note: I had thought about reading this book one of these days, but my daughter had been in the middle of reading it in class when the pandemic hit, so I got it from the library for her when our public library reopened. And then I thought, if not now, when? and also, Might as well talk about it with my daughter, since she really liked it! Such a good idea I had!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lui Vega

    I mean, this person is a living saint. You need to read this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Malala Yousafzai is one incredible girl. I don't know a single person who isn't familiar with her. For those who don't recognize the name, she'd the one who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for taking a stand for education. I can't even fathom going through the things that she did. Now, for the review of the book. Malala herself gets a 5/5. She has an amazing story that everyone needs to hear. But the book fell through for me. There was lots of history about Pakistan and Islam, which is all g Malala Yousafzai is one incredible girl. I don't know a single person who isn't familiar with her. For those who don't recognize the name, she'd the one who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for taking a stand for education. I can't even fathom going through the things that she did. Now, for the review of the book. Malala herself gets a 5/5. She has an amazing story that everyone needs to hear. But the book fell through for me. There was lots of history about Pakistan and Islam, which is all good and fine for those who are interested in that sort of thing. But all I really wanted was Malala's story, which was why the book itself gets 3/5.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    You need to read this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Xander

    This book was amazing. i read this on a unit for oppression in class. this book is super inspiring, and wonderful. I have a lot to say and to much laziness to say it. spoilers below Malala lived in a peaceful valley of swat until it was taken by the Taliban, Malala stood up and spoke out and continued to speak out even after they threatened to kill her. and she was shot. she survived and even though she was hurt she continued to speak out and continues to do today. such an inspiring book and youn This book was amazing. i read this on a unit for oppression in class. this book is super inspiring, and wonderful. I have a lot to say and to much laziness to say it. spoilers below Malala lived in a peaceful valley of swat until it was taken by the Taliban, Malala stood up and spoke out and continued to speak out even after they threatened to kill her. and she was shot. she survived and even though she was hurt she continued to speak out and continues to do today. such an inspiring book and young girl. her father was very supportive which is not common for Pakistani and Muslim fathers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bibliovoracious

    Of course! It was amazing. It was a revelation to me that she was an activist from a family of change-makers, and she was targeted BECAUSE of her activism. I had somehow absorbed that it was a random attack, but no, they were trying to silence her! EPIC fail. The book is actually buoyant and fun. It's the story of a teenager, with teenager problems and ambitions that yes, somewhat exceed the usual, but a relatable life, until the event that changed everything. Her father comes out the real hero of Of course! It was amazing. It was a revelation to me that she was an activist from a family of change-makers, and she was targeted BECAUSE of her activism. I had somehow absorbed that it was a random attack, but no, they were trying to silence her! EPIC fail. The book is actually buoyant and fun. It's the story of a teenager, with teenager problems and ambitions that yes, somewhat exceed the usual, but a relatable life, until the event that changed everything. Her father comes out the real hero of her story, treating her differently than other girls might have been treated, that is, treating her like her brothers, and taking great risks. I'm glad for them they all survived.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed al-Jamri

    Who didn't hear about Malala? This is the book she tells her story, well at least the early part of her story for she's just 22 now and is studying politics in Oxford. The story begins before she's born, explaining the history of her family and country. Then we get to learn about the story of her father and his efforts to establish a school. Malala becomes a part of this project and from a young age the talented student advocates for education of women. The rise of the radical Islamic movement T Who didn't hear about Malala? This is the book she tells her story, well at least the early part of her story for she's just 22 now and is studying politics in Oxford. The story begins before she's born, explaining the history of her family and country. Then we get to learn about the story of her father and his efforts to establish a school. Malala becomes a part of this project and from a young age the talented student advocates for education of women. The rise of the radical Islamic movement Taliban through the region and its relation with Pakistani intelligence agencies is told briefly with special focus on her region. The story culminates with the Taliban attack on her, and her treatment story. This young heroine is likely to play a major role in Pakistani politics in the future, and globally she's the most well known advocate for women education, something we take for granted in many parts of the world. Some parts of the book are naive and simplistic, but hey she was only 16 when writing it. The story didn't move me much, for I followed it as it unfolded, nevertheless it is that of bravery and courage. I have views I'm not ready to defend publicly, you may have some too, and we can learn something from Malala.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    In a country where women aren’t allowed out in public without a man, we girls traveled far and wide inside the pages of our books. In a land where many women can’t read the prices in the markets, we did multiplication. In a place where, as soon as we were teenagers, we’d have to cover our heads and hide ourselves from the boys who’d been our childhood playmates, we ran as free as the wind. (p. 34) When I read Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl in 8th grade, I was deeply moved. I continue to r In a country where women aren’t allowed out in public without a man, we girls traveled far and wide inside the pages of our books. In a land where many women can’t read the prices in the markets, we did multiplication. In a place where, as soon as we were teenagers, we’d have to cover our heads and hide ourselves from the boys who’d been our childhood playmates, we ran as free as the wind. (p. 34) When I read Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl in 8th grade, I was deeply moved. I continue to read more than typical amounts of resistance stories from WWII and other wars, as well as dystopian novels, both of which I see as sharing many of the same themes. I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World is cut from the same fabric: deeply moving and empowering, Malala is someone who would be a good role model for a young girl or boy – and someone much older. So, yes, the Taliban have shot me. But they can only shoot a body. They cannot shoot my dreams, they cannot kill my beliefs, and they cannot stop my campaign to see every girl and every boy in school. (p. 188) This book can also be read as a model of resilience, to remind the reader that one can be resilient under any circumstances.If you tell yourself, “Malala, you can never go home because you are the target of the Taliban,” you just keep suffering. I look at it this way. I can see! I can hear! I can talk! I can go to school and I can fight with my brothers! I am having a second chance at life. And I am living the life God wants for me. (p. 186)I have considered reading I am Malala since shortly after it came out – but didn't and for no good reason. I read it now because a friend is using it in class in the fall and I try to read many things from her reading lists. She is using the Young Readers edition, describing its language as "poetic," as can be seen in the quotes here – its use of repetition and attention to rhythm and cadence. I had expected this book to be pedantic and heavy-handed, but it wasn't. If I were reading this as a teen, I would be able to see myself in this book. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. (p. 192). As my friends and I talked about I am Malala – and immigration and politics – I told one, a Moslem immigrant from Egypt, that I was worried about him in our political environment. Two friends talked about this idea (Egypt and the book): “You cannot be out this late in Birmingham,” he said. “This city, at night it can be dangerous.” My father and I looked at each other, then we explained to my mother what the boy had said. The poor boy was confused by our reaction. My father hugged him and thanked him. But we couldn’t quite explain. How could this quiet, orderly place be unsafe compared with what we had come from?I am Malala is, apparently, an exercise in relativity. Malala will turn 21 tomorrow; I had assumed she was much older. Her wisdom and courage are an inspiration.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joood Hooligan

    http://www.platypire.com/j-hooligan/i... I checked the audiobook out from the library, forgetting that I had bought the ebook when it was on sale... because I'm that sort of person. As amused and annoyed as I was with myself when I realized this, I actually ended up getting a better experience with the book this way. Malala speaks at the beginning and end of the book, and there's her UN speech as well. So, the audio version is definitely worth listening to. It's pretty emotional, hearing about how http://www.platypire.com/j-hooligan/i... I checked the audiobook out from the library, forgetting that I had bought the ebook when it was on sale... because I'm that sort of person. As amused and annoyed as I was with myself when I realized this, I actually ended up getting a better experience with the book this way. Malala speaks at the beginning and end of the book, and there's her UN speech as well. So, the audio version is definitely worth listening to. It's pretty emotional, hearing about how so many children in Pakistan are unable to be educated because their poor and/or female. I think it was very important of her to point out that the biggest issue with the ignorance there is because of this lack of education. These people are studying their holy text, but aren't understanding the words. That's something to be said of all religions. It's scary what happens when the uneducated come into power and twist a holy book to their desires. And knowing she stood up for her education despite the threats, she is amazing. Truly. I introduced my 5 year old son to the story of Malala last year, we own a couple picture books about her. I wanted him to know how important it is for all people to be given the opportunity to be educated. Also, I want to raise him to understand that there is no type of person better than another - people of all races, religions, genders, etc. all deserve the same opportunities. To me, the worst part of this was knowing there was a period of time when her father regretted letting her choose an education over her safety. I cannot even imagine the grief her parents went through. I've been reading a lot of non fiction lately, and I've noticed there is a lot of rambling in them. This book didn't have that. It is a fascinating story and I am so glad she lived through being shot. I wish I could afford to go to her talk in Houston, I expect it is going to be great.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This girl is a real inspiration. Sometimes I forget she was only 11 or 12 or 13 years old as she describes speeches she gave to various organisations long before she was shot. Her parents are also strong people who encouraged her all along and stood up for what they believed was right all the time. She explains how things changed politically in Pakistan over the years clearly and in a very balanced way. She loves her homeland and would love to go back but sadly as we know the Taliban have strong This girl is a real inspiration. Sometimes I forget she was only 11 or 12 or 13 years old as she describes speeches she gave to various organisations long before she was shot. Her parents are also strong people who encouraged her all along and stood up for what they believed was right all the time. She explains how things changed politically in Pakistan over the years clearly and in a very balanced way. She loves her homeland and would love to go back but sadly as we know the Taliban have strongholds in Pakistan and she is a major target for them. This is not an easy read at times as her family really did go through a lot but she never plays the "poor me" card. Her accounts are factual and detailed but boy thy were brave. It makes you realise how much normal people suffered and are still suffering because of these militant Muslim groups. They not only had the Taliban but also suffered the major earth quake and then flooding as well in the area of Swat where Malala and her family lived. I liked the inclusion of family photos too as it made her story much more intimate and gave faces to names she talked about.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I did not realize there are two different I Am Malala books and was disappointed that I had not read the adult version by Christina Lamb. However, Kasey, a phD student of literature, analyzed the two books and found this young readers edition to be the better of the two. She says, "Although I think that the Christina Lamb version does give more context to the story, which is important and useful, I think the biggest difference between the two books is that the latter sounds more like the Malala I did not realize there are two different I Am Malala books and was disappointed that I had not read the adult version by Christina Lamb. However, Kasey, a phD student of literature, analyzed the two books and found this young readers edition to be the better of the two. She says, "Although I think that the Christina Lamb version does give more context to the story, which is important and useful, I think the biggest difference between the two books is that the latter sounds more like the Malala we hear in her speeches. The young readers edition focuses more on Malala’s story itself and uses more direct language as well. Not only was it more enjoyable to read, it seemed more like she had actually written it herself." Then Kasey goes on to illustrate the differences. It is the sobering story of life in Pakistan under the heavy burden of the Taliban; of an ordinary, yet heroic girl with parents who valued equality of education for all and encouraged their daughter to think for herself.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dinah Moore

    There are not enough good words to describe Malala. Courageous and phenomenal are the two best adjectives that I can come up with . She’s such an inspiration and we could all learn a thing or two from her. “So, yes, the Taliban shot me. But they can only shoot my body. They cannot shoot my dreams, they cannot kill my beliefs, and they cannot stop my campaign to see every girl and every boy in school.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Malala was unlucky enough to be born in a country where girls were told they could not attend school. Malala was courageous enough to take a stand against this. Malala was unfortunate enough to be the victim of those who do not want girls to get an education. Malala was fortunate enough to live through the bombing. We are lucky to have Malala in the world, championing the rights of girls.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Viir

    Malala is a strong woman who, at a very young age, started to campaign for women’s rights and education. I believe her parents played a big part in raising Malala to be humble but standing her ground and questioning her surroundings. This book not only describes her life till now but also how Pakistan changed with the Taliban, a very interesting read that I highly recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Santhi

    Inspiring... This Young Readers Editiion a must read for all school-going children!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rissa

    I am Malala Everything she loved was taken from her yet she rose up and changed the world as she knew it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Malala is an amazing, inspiring young woman, and I have great respect for her and her story. However, I was really not a fan of the way this was written. It came off very simple and young sounding (which I understand since Malala is very young and not a professional writer), and from the few biographies I have read this was not a favorite. I read this for school, and we also watched the Malala movie documentary. I feel her story was much better suited to movie format than book. I am glad I had the Malala is an amazing, inspiring young woman, and I have great respect for her and her story. However, I was really not a fan of the way this was written. It came off very simple and young sounding (which I understand since Malala is very young and not a professional writer), and from the few biographies I have read this was not a favorite. I read this for school, and we also watched the Malala movie documentary. I feel her story was much better suited to movie format than book. I am glad I had the opportunity to read this but I would recommended watching the very well made documentary rather than reading the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    3.5 stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    Whoops. I didn't realize there were two books! I read the Young Adult version, but I'm going to pick up the other version next! Whoops. I didn't realize there were two books! I read the Young Adult version, but I'm going to pick up the other version next!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katerina

    5/5 BOOKSTAGRAM There are no words with how profoundly this book spoke to me...no sung to me. Ever since I was a little girl education (reading, writing, researching) has been my entire world. Literature captured my heart when I was younger. If I wasn't found inventing silly things, I was found in my room hidden under the covers reading about the outside world. Knowledge was my weapon, learning was my tool. When I was younger, it never occurred to me that girls my age were not allowed to even set 5/5 BOOKSTAGRAM There are no words with how profoundly this book spoke to me...no sung to me. Ever since I was a little girl education (reading, writing, researching) has been my entire world. Literature captured my heart when I was younger. If I wasn't found inventing silly things, I was found in my room hidden under the covers reading about the outside world. Knowledge was my weapon, learning was my tool. When I was younger, it never occurred to me that girls my age were not allowed to even set foot in a school. To me it was blasphemy of the worst kind. The Taliban want to turn the girls of Pakistan into identical lifeless dolls. Reading Malala's story not only emboldened my beliefs that education needs to be available to everyone but it also opened my eyes to new worlds and ideas. There isn't one thing I could point out wrong with "I am Malala". In fact there was nothing but anticipation and joy that was reflected in this young girl even as she stood against the Taliban and even death. So many themes come up in this book that not many think to pick out: idea of living after death, what it means to fight for your beliefs, feminism in its purest form, identity, what it means to be a true Muslim, and so many more. Many people in swat saw danger everywhere they looked. But our family didn't look at life that way. We saw possibility. Many stories and books tend to be written with the truth slightly glossed over. In fear of what the public will think or in fear of what their government will do. However, this book...Malala herself...do not back down from the harsh details. Yes, this is a young readers edition; however, this does not stop her or the co-writer from putting in the harsh realities that befell Malala, her family, her friends or her town. It was written in plain truth to us - that outside the comforts of the western world lives another world. Where children are afraid, parents are quiet, and no voice is heard. Some of my friends asked why I let the world see my face. "Fazlullah's men wear masks," I said, "because they are criminals. But I have nothing to hide, and I have done nothing wrong. I'm proud to be a voice speaking out for girls education. And proud to show my identity." Identity and who we are plays a large role in this book. It even made me question what I stood for and what my actual identity is. So many times we hide behind false identities in fear that we will be harshly ridiculed. This young girl, who grew up being just Malala, has become the symbol of what trueness looks like in this world. Even in her book she talks about always being open and honest because what is the point of being a spokesperson - a political leader - if you are not going to be honest to your followers. So yes the Taliban have shot me. But they shot a body. They cannot shoot my dreams, they cannot kill my beliefs, and they cannot stop my campaign to see every girl and every book in school. This story cried out to me and I listened. So profoundly beautiful, written for every person to understand her message - that no matter what you pursue your dreams, your beliefs. I could not recommend this book enough to not only young readers but everyone.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zainab Bint Younus

    I cannot help but feel most saddened for the real victims of the entire Malala saga: all the other men, women, boys & girls who have found their lives, their livelihoods, & their educations decimated due to the combined horrific messed of Western imperialism, political corruption & warfare, & local culture and ignorance passed off conveniently as Islam. One cannot deny how many thousands of people have suffered due to these factors. Yet one cannot simply swallow the convenient narrative spun by M I cannot help but feel most saddened for the real victims of the entire Malala saga: all the other men, women, boys & girls who have found their lives, their livelihoods, & their educations decimated due to the combined horrific messed of Western imperialism, political corruption & warfare, & local culture and ignorance passed off conveniently as Islam. One cannot deny how many thousands of people have suffered due to these factors. Yet one cannot simply swallow the convenient narrative spun by Malala (& those managing her) in either her autobiography or countless other interviews, articles, books, speeches, & more. It is glaringly obvious to those who critically read through this book that there is an agenda being pushed - one that thoroughly relies on Western presumptions & Orientalist stereotypes about Muslims in "the East." The conflating of Islamic teachings with local culture, while vilifying perfectly legitimate Islamic positions (e.g. music as haram; beard being wajib; lowering the gaze as required); making common military tactics seem unique to "religious fundamentalists" (while never stopping to define such terms in the first place); spinning a tale of a heroine emerging as though from a vacuum, with no acknowledgement or discussion about the geopolitical context within which everything has taken place... it all comes together to fuel Western fantasies of oppressed brown girls being saved by the wonderful West. After all the Malala hype, I cannot help but think instead about the many other young women fighting not just for education, but for their survival - whose names are not internationally famous, whose fathers were not given political positions, whose educations in elite institutions were not handed to them, who were not given Nobel Peace Prizes. Always ask yourself: What is the story we aren't being told? Which facts have been obscured? Who is benefiting from this narrative? What do other voices from the region say? There is so much more to the true story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie

    I don't really like non-fiction books but I am Malala kept me wanting to read all day! I don't really like non-fiction books but I am Malala kept me wanting to read all day!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

    This book was mind blowing. Malala is truly an inspiration to me and i know to many others. Her positivity and devotion to her cause and clear in her biography. And I am so sorry for what she went through. Although I meant to pick up the original version of Malala’s biographie, I still really appreciated and enjoyed this version. This book taught me so much and has truly open my mind to issues that I didn’t even know existed and most of all, this book has given me hope. Malala narration is beautifu This book was mind blowing. Malala is truly an inspiration to me and i know to many others. Her positivity and devotion to her cause and clear in her biography. And I am so sorry for what she went through. Although I meant to pick up the original version of Malala’s biographie, I still really appreciated and enjoyed this version. This book taught me so much and has truly open my mind to issues that I didn’t even know existed and most of all, this book has given me hope. Malala narration is beautiful, and makes it very clear to understand what happened to her and what needs to change it the world. This book is so engaging, enlightening and inspiring.

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