Nonfiction–I Am Malala

How have I not read this sooner?!?!?

I Am Malala:  The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, with Christina Lamb

Synopsis from Goodreads:  
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 first heard of Malala when I watched her interview on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart around 2013.  I’m the first to admit that, at that time, I was vaguely aware of the conflicts in the Pakistani area of Swat, but only knew what was shown on our national news (and sadly not much other than that.  I’d much rather watch back to back rerun episodes of Seinfeld  than try to fathom international news at the time ).  I believe every story has two sides, and reading Malala’s accounts of the Taliban takeover of her beloved homeland truly hurt my soul.  Forget the politics and focus on the humans who live day to day in these ever-changing, dangerous conditions.   Then narrow it down even more and read the day to day synopsis from a young teen girl living in a world that was once familiar, then turned upside down almost overnight.    This is Malala’s story.

I’m not writing this as a political statement.  I want to share this as a statement for humanity in general.  Malala’s story could happen anywhere, and at any time.  My ability to read her story is taken for granted, but what would happen if literacy was once again given only to the elite?  Or worse yet, taken away altogether?

A very solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Read this book.  Learn from it.  Fight for education rights for everyone.

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