I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

5 Jan

yousafzai_iammalalaI Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World written by the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick.  This was an amazing biography (young reader’s edition) that makes me now what to read the adult version as well.  Although I was familiar with many of the events that were discussed in Malala’s autobiography, it was truly remarkable to see first-hand how difficult her life became after the Taliban took control of the region.

Malala’s father seems fairly progressive working as a principal of a school that included a girl’s school where he encouraged Malala from an early age to attend.  As she grew up, her parents believed in her and her right to receive an education and were courageous enough to let her continue her schooling even as it got to be more difficult with rules, curfews, and death threats.

Malala felt very strongly that she deserved an education and interviewed with journalists, wrote an anonymous diary, and received a number of awards for her work in promoting education, especially for girls in Pakistan.  One day, while riding home from school on the bus, a man fired three shots at point-blank range in the bus, hitting three girls, one of which was Malala.  She was shot in the forehead where the bullet traveled very close to her brain then behind her ear, through her neck and stopped in her shoulder.  If it wasn’t for the fast-thinking bus driver and the doctors and nurses that took care of Malala, she would have died.  Her parents, had to make the difficult decision to have her travel to England to receive treatment, not only while she was still in a coma, but also without them (there were trying to get travel papers).

After a number of surgeries, Malala continued to heal and received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 10, 2014.  She has continued to work towards her own education, while continuing her activism for the right to education.  She is an amazing young woman – strong, brave, and hard-working.  After reading this biography, I’m thinking about using it for our summer reading book discussion group.  The book also comes with a rather extensive glossary of words, a timeline of events, and a note about the Malala Fund – a way to change the world and provide education to boys and girls around the globe.

Title: I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
Author: Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 230 pgs.

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