Facts:

▪   Book: I Am Malala

▪   Author: Malala Yousafzai

▪   Genre: Non-Fiction

▪   Year of Release: 2013

▪   Read 327-page hardcover edition in March 2014.

Book Description: This incredible non-fiction book tells the story of Malala, the young girl who follows her father’s example and becomes a spokesperson for education rights in Pakistan, and specifically the rights of girls to an education.  However, in a country where there is extremist viewpoints and corruption in the army and government, Malala and her family find themselves in precarious situations many times, which eventually leads to the incident where terrorists board Malala’s school bus and shoot her in the head.  This book gives Malala the opportunity to share her story, her lessons learned, and what happened to her before, during, and after that near-death experience.

Book Review: Reading this, book written by 16 year-old Malala, was truly an amazing and powerful experience.  Malala does such a wonderful job demonstrating so many key lessons that we probably think about but don’t necessarily believe.  Malala proves to us with wisdom beyond her years that the pen is mightier than the sword, and that one person can make a huge difference.  Malala, in her writings, also has an innocence about her, which is very refreshing.  At the same time, her observations of life in Pakistan surrounded by corruption, sadness, strife, and religious extremism, offer a stark reality to how difficult life can be for so many people in our world today.  We also learn lots about Pakistani history, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and current events seen through the lens of a young girl growing up in Pakistan.  Malala also does a nice job illustrating the fact that religious extremism is not the only interpretation of the Quran, and there are many Muslims with much more peaceful viewpoints that are quite different from the Taliban.  Malala’s courage in standing up against various challenges is inspiring and emotional.  The book also had many humourous moments, where Malala spoke about situations or family life that really humanized things and showed the reader that wherever we are from, some things are truly global understandings, such as the bonds of family and friendship, and sibling squabbles over minor matters.  Overall, this book is a fascinating portrait of one of the young people of this planet who has already made a huge difference, and will continue to do so in the future.

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.

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