I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Like everybody else in the world I had heard vaguely about Malala Yousafzai. I definitely recognised her face but I wasn’t sure what the specifics of her story were so when I was gifted this book from instagram I was super excited to read it.

Malala grew up in Pakistan in a Muslim family. She was a happy child and by many considered lucky as her father ran a school which allowed female pupils. She was determined to be a doctor one day and her family encouraged her aspirations and encouraged her education.

However, Malala’s little village soon became under the control of the Pakistani Taliban. She explains that it started through a radio channel and it was through fear that they slowly forced people to shun Westernisation, women were no longer allowed to leave the house unless wearing a full burqa and escorted by a man, girls were not allowed to go to school and TVs were not allowed. Those who didn’t follow the rules were tortured and/or killed for everybody to see.

Malala and her father refused to conform. Not only did they keep a TV hidden in the house, but they spoke out to whoever would listen of the importance of education for all. The bravery of the pair to take that stand whilst living through a war zone waking up every morning and not knowing who survived the night must have been petrifying.

However, it was about to get a lot more personal when the Taliban shoot Malala at point blank range in the head.

Such an insightful read. It was also really interesting seeing Malala’s comparison of her small village home life in Pakistan to her new life in Birmingham. It also served as a reminder of how lucky we are to live in a developed society which I think we definitely take for granted. Here’s hoping we never have to live through the fear like Malala did!

4/5 stars! Educate yourself.

PS. I read the teen edition which was re-written by Malala for her peers. It gave me all of the insight I required!

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