‘I am Malala’ – An inspirational read

By Caroline Gordon

Editorial Staff

A couple years ago I read the book “I am Malala” – I loved it. I’m now reading it again on the weekends when I do not have much schoolwork.

I do not like reading books or watching movies twice. What is the point if you already know the ending?

I enjoyed this book so much, I broke my rule.

Malala Yousafzai is the author. The book is about her life as a young woman in Pakistan trying to get an education during the Taliban’s rule.

Yousafzai broke the book up into five sections. The first section paints the perfect picture of her family before the Taliban came to power. Her father owned a school, giving Malala access to education.

Starting the book about her happy and fortunate childhood made me empathize more with the tragedy she endured later in her life.

The second section is about the Taliban’s rise and the harsh rules implemented by the group. Yousafzai did not hold back on discussing the gruesome murders and attacks the Taliban committed.

I found the specific details about the Taliban’s strict guidelines – such as not letting women outside – disturbing. However, these facts sprinkled throughout the book educated me.

The third section of the book demonstrates Yousafzai’s development as a feminist activist.

This is my favorite section. Despite Yousafzai being a target of the Taliban, she continued with her activism. The one aspect of this section that I did not like was when three men shot bullets and yelled her name as they snuck on her school bus.

Although I do not like this part, I think it was crucial for her to include it. This anecdote was an example of the violence she faced before her life-changing attack. For me, this event foreshadowed her worst attack which takes place in section four.

I really empathized with Yousafazai. I felt so sorry for her because it felt like I could relate to her.

Although we both grew up in vastly different environments, we are two young women, close in age, who want to get an education.

This book makes my heart break for her and other women in underdeveloped countries where women are denied access to education and other rights.

Growing up as a privileged girl in a first world country, I did not understand how blessed I was to have basic human rights and access to education.

This book taught me to be thankful.

Section four details the traumatic event that took place one morning while she was riding to school. The Taliban shot her. The bullet grazed her left eye and hit her in the shoulder. Two of her friends were also injured and their injuries were not life threatening.

Yousafazai was transported out of the country to undergo surgery in Birmingham, England.

The last section tied the book together well. She discussed her recovery at a hospital in Birmingham awaiting her family’s arrival.

Throughout the book, Yousafazai mentions her close relationship with her father. When she awoke in Birmingham, she desperately wanted to see her dad the most to reassure him that she was OK.

In my opinion, her discussing the bond between her and her father, made the book wholesome and relatable.

Whether you live in a developed or underdeveloped country, a father’s love and protection means the world.

I am close with my dad and he has always motivated me to pursue my educational and professional goals. When I read about Malala’s father doing the same under difficult, life-threatening circumstances, I appreciate how despite the odds, he is still encouraging his daughter.

The genre of this book and the notability of the author made me interested in reading it.

This story is obviously non-fiction and by far, this is the best book of this genre I have ever read.

Before reading this book, I had no idea how oppressed women were in Pakistan. I have heard of the issues women faced but nothing to the extreme of a young girl getting shot for going to school.

I feel more informed on the issues women face in other countries after reading this book.

Like I mentioned previously, there are some disturbing and graphic parts. However, these are the uncomfortable parts you should be reading in order to truly educate yourself on the problems women and girls face in Pakistan.

Malala Yousafazai is an inspirational woman who overcame a massive trauma.

I rate this book five out of five bookmarks!