A Kind-Of Review: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

The world knows Malala Yousafzai. This young woman has inspired millions and I Am Malala will do nothing but teach you to love her even more.

Let me start by saying something that I believe is a feeling I share with people around the world: Malala Yousafzai is a role model to millions. At only 17 years old, she is undoubtedly one of the most loved people on the planet. While this is true, all of this love does not come without a price. Malala is an advocate for education for all young children, especially for girls. Through her determination, she has, unfortunately, become a target for hatred from those who truly fear the power of education. Above all, this book will show you the terrible tragedies Malala and her family have had to experience simply because they decided to stand up for their beliefs and fight for those who can not necessarily fight for themselves.

While I was reading this book, I often felt myself getting very emotional. As an American, I’ve almost never been told that I cannot do something I wanted to do and I have never even experienced one bit of the terrors experienced by a girl much younger than me. As a girl, I’ve been lucky enough to almost never be kept from doing something that is believed to be “only for boys.” Malala, “Pakistan’s Mother Theresa,” is an extraordinary person who has put everything on the line for her beliefs and the fact that she’s even had to fight this much is a testament to how far we all have to go. Yes, all of us. Malala is the poster-child and, unfortunately, the victim of this fight but every single one of us who believes in this cause needs to fight for it. I don’t know, it just breaks my heart that this young girl has been through all of this while so many of us don’t give it a second thought.

Okay, onto the book: I really liked it. As you can tell by my rant, it has got me really thinking. I loved the look into Malala’s life and her family, especially information about her father. As much of a hero as this young girl is, so is her father. He has also risked his life for his belief in education for all and has always made it so abundantly clear his wholehearted love he has for his daughter. In the book, Malala recalls her father saying “‘I will protect your freedom, Malala. Carry on with your dreams.'” At another point, Malala admits that she believes part of the reason she has been able to express her beliefs publicly is because her parents have been so supportive and that, if any of the other girls had this same home life, she was sure they would have acted the same. Maybe she is right, but I also believe it takes a great deal of bravery. Malala is so admirably humble – she has won a Nobel Peace Prize but is still a seemingly pretty grounded 17-year old girl. What a woman.

I feel weird writing a “review” about this (hence my “kind-of review”), so I’m just gonna finish up here with a few lines I highlighted in my book while reading that resonated with me.

  • “‘Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.’ Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”
  • “Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.”
  • “My feeling was that nobody can stop death; it doesn’t matter if it comes from a talib or cancer. So I should do whatever I want to do.”
  • “Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself.”
  • “‘I’m still me, Malala. The important thing is God has given me my life.'”
  • “I am Malala. My world had changed but I have not.” (This girl is amazing.)

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