Book Review: I Am Malala

br_iammalalaRead for: FABClub Monthly Memoir April 2014
Rating: 3/5
Malala is certainly an eloquent, courageous and intelligent young woman. Her quest to speak out against the Taliban and in favour of education for women and girls in Pakistan (and India, and Afghanistan, and worldwide, really) is necessary and she is the perfect spokes person for the cause. I am beyond impressed with her comprehension of the importance of education and that she and her father have made it their mission to undo damages done by the Taliban in the Swat Valley and across Pakistan. This book, however, seemed really rushed and poorly edited. The first 3/4 consisted of a history of Pakistan and explained how the Taliban came to find power and influence there, which is a necessary starting point in explaining how she ended up being shot for speaking out for education. It wasn’t nearly as engaging as I hoped it would be, though. There were a lot of names introduced and a dense amount of information packed into the pages, which is great, but the flow was choppy and it was hard to keep track of all the people. The last 1/4 related directly to her campaign for education and eventual assassination attempt by the Taliban, at which point the writing of the story was greatly improved. What Malala has gone through is intense, and she is very brave – that goes without saying. She was shot through the face and the bullet traveled inside her body down to her left shoulder blade, where it stopped. That is an absolutely insane injury and it’s miraculous she survived! And to think such violence was inflicted on her solely because she and her father were speaking out for the educational rights of women. It blows my mind. All-in-all, I learned a fair bit about Pakistan and I admire Malala’s courage. This book though… I wish it didn’t seem so slapped together. A House in the Sky is a similar type of memoir but it was just written so much better. If I’ve turned you off the book I really didn’t mean to! Regardless of the poor editing, it is really an important story and I’m glad Malala is getting so much attention for her cause. I hope she can continue raising awareness while also maintaining her safety and health. You should at the very least check out her interview on the Daily Show to see how lovely a person she is.

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