Book Review: I am Malala

Why I picked it: I love reading memoirs and books about cultures I have little knowledge/experience with beyond what I can read.

Synopsis: 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 nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Quick Take: Memoirs are hard to review.

Do you know Malala?  She's a teenage girl from Pakistan, with an incredible story. It's clear that girls are not a families preferred choice in her culture but Malala's parents felt blessed that she was born. At least the book reads this way.

Doctors and Lawyers, these are the options for girls who go to school.  Or should I say the expectations put on them (to be successful, independent, strong).

Not everyone is born with the drive for success and desire to change the world (or community) that Malala has.  Her life plan is to be a successful woman, standing up for the rights of education long before the moment on the bus.  It will be interesting to read a follow up when she's in her thirties or forties.

A quick scan through the reviews on goodreads shows you the wide range of reaction to this book. It's clear Malala's story is not well received by every reader.  Sadly you will quickly identify the political/religious views tied to some the negative reviews... which invites questions/discussion.

Would I recommend this to book clubs: Definitely!  Read it, then read a few goodreads reviews and you will find a lot to discuss.  It's political, religious, deals with family, womanhood, education and more.

Have you read it?  Did anything surprise/unsettle you while reading it?

Rating: 4 stars
Source: personal copy (audio)