Skip to main content

Book Review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai for Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, and I am joining with nearly 2,000 other blogs around the world to talk about Human Rights. Since this is a book blog, I thought it would be best to talk about human rights from the perspective of a book. At first, I was going to read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's been on my shelf for a few years now after a friend recommended it. I started reading it, but soon I was drawn to another book that was just published last week.

I Am Malala is an autobiography by Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The subtitle of the book sums it up well: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. By the time she was 11 years old, Malala had become an advocate for education, doing interviews with journalists to try to make a difference. She says, "In my heart was the belief that God would protect me. If I am speaking for my rights, for the rights of girls, I am not doing anything wrong. It's my duty to do so. God wants to see how we behave in such situations. There is a saying in the Quran, 'The falsehood has to go and the truth will previal.'"  (p141)

Her father owned a school where both boys and girls could be educated. But he faced much opposition by the Taliban who insisted girls should be hidden away in their homes and not educated. They watched as the Taliban destroyed other schools throughout Pakistan. They feared what would happen to their own school, but did not back down. Malala and her father continued to speak up for the right of education. As her father said, "My only ambition is to educate my children and my nation as much as I am able. But when half of your leaders tell lies and the other half is negotiating with the Taliban, there is nowhere to go. One has to speak out." (p216)

Of course, as the subtitle declares, Malala was eventually shot by the Taliban for speaking out. The soldiers entered the school bus, asked which girl was Malala, and then shot her in the head. She survived and has become even stronger and more powerful than before. She continues her fight for the education of all children ~ boys and girls.

I Am Malala is a powerful book about an amazing young woman. The beginning of the book is filled with history lessons ~ about Malala's family as well as Swat and Pakistan. She provides much detail about the rulers of the country and the different rules imparted on citizens under each. I will say there is some repetition at times, and it's a bit hard to keep up with all of the details. The story picks up pace more in the second part.

I would highly recommend I Am Malala for adults and teens. Not only will it offer some historical information, but it also provides a glimpse into a very different culture from the perspective of a teenager. And it will show teens that they can have a voice and make a difference even at their young age.

Be sure to check out other blogs about Human Rights by visiting the Blog Action Day website or check out #BAD2013 or #humanrights on Twitter.


  1. i read it n came to the conclusion that there is nothing special just a kind of autobiography n mixture of inpirational thingy n all that kinda stuff

  2. I've been so impressed by the times I've heard Malala speak. I am looking forward to reading her story!

  3. Someone just donated this book to my middle school library! Can't wait to read and share it with my students :-)


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Book Review: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

When Stella and Tom move to a new home in London, they are sad to have left their friends behind. But soon they have a mystery to solve. Their neighbor's dog, Harry, keeps disappearing. Where is he going and why is he always wet when he comes home? As they investigate the area in the garden where Harry seems to come and go, they discover a hidden tunnel that takes them back to their garden ... almost 100 years ago.

The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis is a wonderful children's book that reminds me of the adventurous stories I read as a child. I saw other reviewers say something similar. I'm not sure what it is about the way the story is told, but it is reminiscent of children's books from many years ago, yet it will definitely appeal to the kids of today.

Stella and Tom have an adventure in the past that leads to new friends and discoveries. While it's a time travel story, it doesn't have a lot of fantasy elements (although there are some moles that act a bit unusua…