Reviews for I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, by Christina Lamb, Malala Yousafzai

debsd's review
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Malala is clearly a remarkable young woman, in her intellect, in her family background and in her experiences. However this book is a bit disappointing. The writing is somewhat disjointed and rambling, and while I appreciate that it was written when Malala was only 16 and that English is not her first language, I would have hoped that the co-author (an award-winning journalist) would have helped form it into something more coherent, more readable - and ultimately, more powerful.

Nnecatrix's review
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Book #68 for 2017
My Personal Reading Challenge:
- A book with the word "Girl" in the title
- An award-winning book
- A political memoir
Book Riot's Read Harder:
- A book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative
- A book set more than 5000 miles from Fort Collins
Better World Books:
- A banned book
- A book by a person of color
- A book by a female writer
- A book set in Asia
- A book about immigrants
- A book about a historical event
- A book that's been adapted into a movie
PopSugar's Ultimate Reading Challenge (max. 3):
- An audiobook
- A book written by someone you admire
- A book about an immigrant or refugee
Book Bingo Square: A Banned Book

Malala's story is an incredible one, yet far too credible. Her calm resolve amazes and inspires me. This was fascinating to listen to -- grotesquely so in the Taliban's treatment of Malala, her homeland, and the very concepts of freedom and devotion -- and beautifully so in Malala's love for her family and her people and in her will to survive and be a force for good in the world.

I listened to this, which is not my preferred mode of reading, so I'm not sure if it jumped around a lot or if I just wasn't paying attention well enough. Even if it isn't the best organized memoir, though, I got a lot out of it and am glad I finally got around to reading it. These are strange and scary times as we find our way in this fascist kleptocracy, and Malala's story has rekindled my determination to work for a better future.

brittmariasbooks's review
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it was a really interesting to read Malala's story and to get to know the history of Pakistan. I'm in love with her family.they seem so caring and supporting. I'm going to follow Malala and see what she will do to reach her goal for education for all children.

askiddo's review
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This book is very difficult to read, purely because it is hard to believe that the world I live in is the same world that Malala lives in. I am aware that I am privileged in the safety of my home, but this book brought to light just how much I take for granted. Malala is a beautiful narrator for an extremely difficult but extremely important story. I hope that everyone learns from this story, we can all do something to make our world better and education should be in the forefront of that conversation. I wish that such extremes did not need to occur for such a conversation to exist though.

Reading With Erin's review
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“I don't want to be thought of as the "girl who was shot by the Taliban" but the "girl who fought for education." This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”

This book reminded me how much I take for granted, freedom of speech, freedom of education, freedom to not have to constantly have a male escort.
Malala’s family is a little unconventional with her father not only celebrating her life, but always making sure her voice was heard and that she wasn’t to be hidden away. He believed that everyone should have an education and a chance at bettering there life and that it shouldn’t depend on if they are male or female. Her father also always asked her mother for her opinion on things and always told her everything. Her father is also a teacher/school owner he is always working to make sure that the less fortunate have a chance at an education and food to make sure they do well. Malala also wants these things and when she see’s children having to scrounge threw the trash to find things to sell she tells her father and he then goes and tries to help them. Because of these things , you can tell that she makes her parents proud. As she gets older she starts traveling with her father and giving her opinion in speeches and TV interviews (despite her mother not really liking this due to Malala then becoming a target for the Taliban). Even though she is very young when she starts this you can tell that her opinions are strong and that she is a very smart young lady.
After she is shot not only does she not hate the Taliban, she wants to show them that their fear tactics aren’t going to work and that the education for all movement will continue.

She truly is an amazing woman and deserves all the recognition that she is getting. More voices like her need to be heard so that everyone in the world can realize that the Taliban isn’t something they all believe in, nor is it truly following their religion.
I urge everyone to read or listen to this book and see from someone who has lived there what it is truly like and how it all slowly happened.

“He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.”

See more reviews like this on my blog

Emily93's review
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Malala's account of her famous shooting is a deeply upsetting one, not told only from the perspective of a young activist being attacked by the Taliban, but also as an account of parents, friends and family fearing their child is about to die. Malala is a brave girl, and throughout this book underlines the importance of every person's right to access education. Throughout, she exhibits her awareness of deeper issues in Pakistan, and why many were drove to extremism, including US drone attacks. She discusses accusations of her being a proponent of Westernisation, illustrating that education is not a Western or an Eastern issue, but a human one. And most importantly, she discusses the importance of not only standing up for oneself but for others, even if others' issues do not directly affect you. I am Malala portrays the fight of Malala and her father, and his peers, but also the horrors and the fear of living as a child in Taliban occupation, under corrupt political rule and in fear of foreign drones and suicide bombers. Her hope echoes that of all refugees: that she will return to her home. And throughout this book, her love of Swat comes across as one of the most important aspects of her hope. This book isn't just about the girl who was shot by the Taliban, but a young girl who was made a refugee and wants to see peace return to her home so she can return and help rebuild it. Malala is an inspirational young woman, incredibly brave and full of hope.

sarah.wilkes's review
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Absolutely outstanding book! Her story is so interesting and this book is definitely worth reading. Such a harrowing story, but it was very interesting learning the history of Pakistan and also hearing about her growing up.
It makes me realise that I am so lucky to be able to have an education and for that to not be controversial.
Would definitely recommend this book to everyone!

Katie Moten's review
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This book ended up being more than I expected. It does tell Malala's story about her fight for education, but it's also a history of Pakistan and all the trouble and unrest Malala and her family have seen. It's much broader in scope than I expected, so, although it is Malala's story, it's also a lot about Pakistan and the bigger picture.

I think there are positives and negatives to that broadness. On one hand, it helps to know the history, so we can situate Malala and her family within it, but, on the other, it makes me question how much of this is Malala's voice. I think it's very obvious that she's engaged with her country's history, and she's clever enough, at fifteen/sixteen, when she's writing this book, to understand it. Still, I wondered how authentic the Malala voice is when she's reciting all this history. She does have a co-writer in Christina Lamb, and I suspect there's quite a bit of her father's voice here as well. I suppose I might have gotten along better with it if it hadn't all been written as though it were all Malala speaking, because I don't think I fully bought into that.

That said, there are many moments where it's obviously Malala speaking. Her love for her home and her passion for education, and fear of that being taken away from her, are palpable. Her sources of inspiration - her father and murdered Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto - clearly mean a lot to her, and she speaks of her father in particular with deep admiration and respect. His love for and pride in her is also touching. The fact that he and other men of their culture are invested in their daughters' education might surprise people who are only familiar with the Taliban's version of Islam. Often, here, Malala and her father talk about how Islamic teaching says that all children should be educated. Their fight for education in a situation where their government seems to be doing little to help is inspiring. They clearly come from a proud people, and that pride and honour shows in this book.

Malala is brave and determined, but you're also reminded that she's also a young girl. She has class rivalries, argues with her friends and brothers, loves watching DVDs and gossiping about celebrities. She seems wiser than her years in some moments, and then she'll remind you of how young she is.

And that's what makes her so extraordinary: that this young girl, who cares about all the things every teenage girl cares about, also has this self-appointed mission, having been inspired by her father to fight for education, for herself, but also for every child who doesn't have access to it. She's seen and accomplished, and overcome so much already, and, reading this, and learning about her life and her family, I can only imagine how much more she'll get the opportunity to do. This is an inspiring story, one everyone should read.

Roz (Journey through Books)'s review
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I found this informative, yet easy to read. The book begins with Malala's father as a young man, before he was married, and ends with Malala and her family in the UK, with her still recovering from the shooting. The book covers Pakistani politics and history, and anecdotal stories that Malala experienced and her medical treatment. The combination made it easy to read, light parts and heavier parts. She also presented a fair view on Islam, as opposed to the view we normally get in the west, the one that is based on fanaticism. She portrayed her religion as one of love and respect. Quite the difference.

I learnt a lot from reading this. Unfortunately, I don't think it has given me any tools to try and convince the kids I teach to actually put in some effort, and to not want to drop out.

Kheleyr's review
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Review forthcoming


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