→Laura's Book Review Caveat: I don't usually tend to hate books, (and if I do I just stop reading them so I wouldn't review them anyways) so you won't see me ranting and railing on any here. I tend to read books as a spectator of sorts to the creative work the author has done; I try to be respectful of that. I don't consider myself an authority on literature, just a grateful consumer with an opinion. The opinions I do share are my own musings from who-I-am/where-I'm-at in my life...both of which are obviously constantly evolving. Take my thoughts for what they're worth to you.←
I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai (and Christina Lamb)
What It’s About:
It’s about Malala! Haha. She’s the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history for her outspokenness and activism from such a young age about the right that women have to education, particularly in her home country of Pakistan. This book tells her story, growing up in her beautiful Swat Valley, inspired and supported by her father’s view of education, and then watching the Taliban gain power and destroy the lives and homes of her and her people. She ended up being shot point-blank at 16 years old by a member of the Taliban for her high-profile opinions and lived to tell the tale and continue her courageous work.
What I loved:
I found Malala’s story SO fascinating and inspiring. Hearing of how the leader of the Tailban in her area rose to power sounds VERY Hitler-like: gaining favour during a vulnerable time, spouting hope and promises, and then slowly cinching up the chains until it was too late to escape.
It gave me a soft spot for the people of Pakistan and their beautiful culture. I loved hearing about her life pre-Taliban and how her faith helped her pull through difficulties in her life.
I loved that I was able to see post-9/11 incidents from her perspective, and also from the perspective of others in Pakistan (that she didn’t necessarily share, but could empathize with). It was good to have more light and understanding shed on those complicated circumstances.
I loved her honesty and straightforwardness, her willingness to be bold and be herself.
What I didn’t love:
I honestly can’t really think of anything; I love memoirs and human stories. Sometimes I got lost in the history as she was running me through it because I didn’t have a great understanding in the first place to give some context to adhere to in my brain, but she laid it out simply enough that even I got it eventually.
Also, reading about how vicious and cruel the Taliban were is pretty horrifying. It made me so grateful for my life and freedom.
I’d recommend this book if:
You wanted greater compassion and understanding for Pakistan or middle eastern countries in general, or during the post-9/11 timeframe in particular; if you wanted to be inspired by a young girl's bravery and her father’s pioneering spirit in education for girls and women; or if you don’t really know much about Malala and why she’s so special and want to get to know her story better….then I definitely recommend picking it up!