By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
Little Brown & Company, 2013
Memoir, Ages 14 and up
ISBN: 10: 0316322407
Additional formats: e-book, audio book
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban is a poignant, educational, and surprisingly humorous memoir by Malala Yousafzai, the young woman who, at only fifteen, became one of the most heralded women’s rights activists in the world, when she was shot by a member of the Taliban on her way home from school with her friends.
The book provides extensive political, religious, and environmental history of the world Malala grew up in: the Swat region of Pakistan, Islam, and a family who raised Malala as an outspoken, educated girl. Malala describes the rich and, at times, turbulent culture and politics of Pakistan. She also expresses her love and admiration for Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. The memoir also offers an in-depth examination of Islam and the myriad sects that are a part of the world’s second-largest religion. The time spent delving into these topics is critically important to understanding what happened to Malala and also serves as a reminder of how the deeply personal parts of our lives are quite often the most political.
Most remarkably, however, are the revelations about Malala’s own family, who strongly support education, especially the education of women. Malala tenderly writes of her father and mother who encouraged her to learn, think, and question in a world that suppresses and the minds and bodies of women and often violently so. Beautiful and articulate, I Am Malala tells the story of a family with unimaginably fierce courage and their fight for the education of women in the face of oppression. – Gigi