Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Title: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban
Author: Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
Enjoyment Rating: *****
Source: Audible
Content Alert: lots of violence

A couple of weeks ago, the Nobel Committee announced that Malala Yousafzai had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. While I knew that she was the Pakistani student who had been shot by the Taliban, if I hadn't recently finished I Am Malala, I think I would have thought she had been awarded the prize primarily for publicity or for sympathy because of the accident. However, after reading I Am Malala, I was cheering for this courageous young woman who has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of girls in the Muslim world.

I Am Malala is probably the most inspiring book I've read this year. Yousafzai and Lamb did a great job situating Malala's story within the larger story of what the Taliban has done in Pakistan, and the political climate in which she was raised. She tells about both her interior life and the life of her family, and never comes across as a do-gooder, but rather as a real person with faults and problems who happens to have done extraordinary things. It's a book that I hope to listen to with my kids, to inspire them and to open their eyes to what is going on in other parts of the world.

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