I Am Malala

I debated whether or not to write this review, since lately I’ve only reviewed books through Blogging for Books, but in the end, I decided that this book and the message that it delivers is too important to not say anything about it.

I’d seen Malala Yousafzai make the rounds on late night talk shows and after hearing the tiniest bit about her, thought she was probably a cool kid, but didn’t look any further into her story.  Well, Andrew bought me her book I Am Malala for Christmas and I gobbled it up in about two days.  Though it isn’t the best narrative I’ve ever read (it’s choppy in some places and the way it is written can sound awkward to the Western ear), the story is so so good.

Malala is a Pakistani teen who was shot in the face by the Taliban for being vocal about children’s, and specifically, girls’  rights to education.  She tells of her childhood and the brave example that her father has been, championing education and being an advocate for girls in an extraordinarily conservative culture, and how it all led to the eventual attempt on her life and moving to England.

One of the tests of a good book, in my opinion, is how it challenges your thinking and causes self-reflection.  And after reading this, I thought about how courageous Malala is, though she is still so young.  She is still essentially a child, something highlighted by her squabbling with her brothers and friends, but her bravery is astounding.  And I couldn’t help but think that I am probably not as courageous as she.  Probably because the older we (I) get, the more we (I) realize we (I) have to lose.

In a country and season where there is a lot of fear mongering going on, this was a most refreshing read and gave a lot of food for thought.

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