Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir
Publication Date: 2013
Page Count: 327
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Malala Yousafzai was a young girl in Pakistan who loved school and took pride in being first in her class. Her father built the girl's school she attended and traveled the country talking about the importance of education. Malala joined her father to campaign for girl's educational rights and became a well-known figure in all parts of the world. One day while coming home from school on the bus, she was shot by a member of the Taliban and she became even more famous and went on to be the youngest person to ever win the Noble Peace Prize. This is Malala's story as told by her.
Education and particularly education for girls around the world is a very important issue for me. I am myself an educator and very interested in women's rights and learning all that I can about feminism around the world. I had of course heard of Malala and knew the bare basics of her story and impressive awards, but I was really interested to hear more about her. Let me tell you, this is one impressive young lady.
Before I get into my thoughts I want to mention that I listened to this book on audiobook and I highly recommend reading this book in this way. There are a lot of words in various foreign languages, and the names are very difficult to keep straight. If I was reading this in physical form, this is something that would have stalled me a little as I would have made a bigger effort to keep these names straight and would have be slow reading the book. Listening to the narrator pronounce these words beautifully was great because I heard the correct pronunciation of the word and was so involved in the story I didn't worry about keeping unimportant names straight. Plus, Malala reads the prologue herself which was super cool.
I loved hearing about Malala's life in Pakistan before she was shot, which is when most of the book takes place. I had no idea that she was so active before the shooting and did a number of very brave documentaries and interviews. I loved hearing about her family, particularly her father who was very nontraditional and was also very active in spreading awareness about education for girls.
Reading this has made me want to do more research about her and girl's education around the world. I did a lot of reading and research on this topic a few semesters ago when I had my Women and Global Activism class and found it to be a topic that really calls me to action. I would love to find ways for me to help girls around the world get the access to education that they deserve, and reading this book has re-inspired me to find ways to help. Her and her father have started The Malala Fund (link here) which I really want to spend some time checking out.
If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend picking it up. I would love to read this book with a high school class in the future because Malala's voice is so strong and education is something that so many students takes for granted. She is such a humble and inspiring person.