AUTHOR: Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
PUBLISHED: Oct 8th 2013
BUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company
NON-FICTION – BIOGRAPHY
RATING: 4 out of 5
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. 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-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. 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.
REVIEW – THE LONG VERSION:
I was given this book as a gift for Christmas by my cousin and didn’t get to reading it until many months later. When I finally read it I was so proud of this girl, I started searching on the Internet to find interviews and articles by her, I was so inspired! It’s very motivation to read about people who are able to persevere through difficulties and continue fighting even when people around them try to stifle their voice. At least for me, stories like Malala’s have a very strong impact; they motivate me and make me feel strong and remind me how resilient humans are even if sometimes we might not feel like it.
The story itself was very moving and eye opening. I was surprised to read some very negative comments on goodreads. Personally, I didn’t find the book too controversial –at least not in a bad way. I don’t think the author was that sympathetic towards the Taliban or the people who enforced the Taliban rule. She did try to show some empathy but that did not bother me because it is tragic to think that these people are taken in at a very young age and are brainwashed by “wise” and “holy” men. It is brainwashing and it’s sad. In no way am I excusing their actions but I did try to understand. I think Malala approached a very taboo and difficult topic with great sensitivity and maturity.
You could tell by the narration that the author was young and English was not her native tongue but I think that gave it authenticity. I liked that Christina Lamb did not change or “correct” Malala’s voice. This is Malala’s story after all.
There were some parts of the book that felt a bit repetitive and slow but not too much so that it got distracting. There were also many details but they were presented in such a way so that anyone could follow the story -no matter how little background knowledge they had- without getting lost in a sea of names and dates and facts.
Malala is a special girl, mature for her age and very wise and talented. She is someone I would like to meet and talk to one day but I wouldn’t know what to say if the opportunity ever arose.
REVIEW – CONDENSED VERSION:
♥ Very easy to follow –not much background knowledge required
♥ Authentic narrative voice
♥ Shocking at times
♥ Eye opening and controversial
♥ Approaches difficult topic with sensitivity and maturity
× A little repetitive and slow at times
× Needs level of maturity and open-mindedness to appreciate
Do I recommend it?
Have you read I Am Malala? What did you think? Would you be interested in reading about her story? How do you feel about books dealing with controversial topics?