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  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Back Bay Books

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Back Bay Books

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

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A devout muslim teenager survives a terrorist attack aimed at stopping her activism for education for all.Malala tells her story...of her love for the beautifull Swat Valley of her childhood, and her father who dedicated his life to providing education to all the children of the area. Malala is a very bright and fiercely competitive student, always striving for first place in all studies. She also love to watch Bollywood videos, read western stories and play on the rooftops of the village with her playmates. Life changes after 9-11 with the onset of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Taliban spread through Pakistan and began stirring up local sentiment about preserving the traditional roles of girls and women. integrated schools became a target along with Malala and her father who continued in a very public way to resist this assault on education. One day a terrorist shot 3 girls as the left the school. She sustained serious brain injury, was airflited to a military hospital and utlimately allowed to be transferred to a hospital in Birmingham England. After several surgeries and rehab, here speech and hearing were restored. She and her family remain in England where Malala continutes her international campaign for education for all.4A Must-Read for Everyone!In her autobiography, "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban", Malala Yousafzai tells not only her own story, but that of other people who stood up in their own way for education or against oppression. She argues for the value and power of education again and again, making it clear that it is the most powerful weapon against terrorism or extremism.Malala writes, "'Why don't they want girls to go to school?' I asked my father. 'They are scared of the pen,' he replied" (pg. 118). Further, "The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn't stop our minds from thinking" (pg. 146). Countering the Taliban's claim that education threatens their view of the world, Malala writes, "Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human" (pg. 162). She also articulates a place for women's rights in the Muslim world, writing, "...We want to make decisions for ourselves. We want to be free to go to school or to go to work. Nowhere is it written in the Quran that a woman should be dependent on a man. The word has not come down from the heavens to tell us that every woman should listen to a man" (pg. 219). Malala concludes, "Peace in every home, every street, every village, every country - this is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish" (pg. 313).Though the basics of her story are well-known, everyone should read Malala's autobiography for the insight she offers into the role of geopolitics in creating an opportunity for the Taliban and other extremists to seize power. Education is the strongest weapon against them and knowledge of how they gained they power can be used to prevent it from happening again. All readers can learn from Malala's example and speak up for education and women's rights.5Highly recommendI have been meaning to read this book for a few years now and finally got around to it for Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage month this year (I'm just a bit late getting the review posted). This is a book that I feel like everyone should read, but the people who should read it the most are the people least likely to do so, probably.Malala's life is fascinating, even without her having been shot by the Taliban, although I imagine fewer people would care about her story without that detail (I know I never would have heard of her without it). I was astonished by the details about her homes and school. It seems like she was basically living in poverty, at least by American standards, but the way she talks about it, it seems like they were pretty well off by Pakistani standards. It was just a bit of a disconnect for me.I was both intrigued and horrified by her account of how the Taliban took over her beloved Swat valley. I know that we Americans, in general, wonder what would make Muslims turn to and/or support the Taliban, but after reading Malala's account, it makes sense. I imagine if the government and Red Cross had ignored the needs of the residents of New Orleans after Katrian, and the Taliban came in with food, bottled water, and lumber to start repairing the damage for the poor most affected, you'd find a fair few of them supporting the Taliban today, too. Nowhere close to a majority, but enough that getting the Taliban out of New Orleans would be difficult, especially if the National Guard wasn't really trying. It's easy to criticize the Muslims that don't speak out against radical Islamic groups, but it's harder to do that when you put yourself in their shoes, like this book does.Overall I give I am Malala 5 out of 5 stars.5Malala is the girl who will steal your heartI Am Malala will open your heart. If you are a decent human being, it will likely open your mind as well. Malala is so much more than the girl who was shot, and her book reveals all the ways in which she is more. She is by no means perfect and she doesn't hide her flaws. Some will see her as a feminist and some feminists will see her as an anti feminist, but the feminist movement has nothing to do with what Malala is about other than her desire for girls to have the same opportunity to learn as boys, although she is fine with education being separate because of her faith. It is also because of her faith that she is insistent on the right of girls to have knowledge.What made me love Malala was discovering the ways she and her family are similar to families here in the United States and how faith in Islam is in many ways similar to faith in Christianity. She is so charming and her dad says it best when he observed that Malala has become everyone's daughter.4Taken a Bullet For EducationThis book is an autobiography of Malala Yousafzai. She wrote about her experience in Pakistan and the effect that the Taliban had on her, her family, and the society. She s very courageous as a national leader. As a young woman in a country where individual groups and traditional civilians want her silence, Malala didn t hold anything back when talking about her story. She is authentic and bold. The book also had her parents perspective on the situation in which they went through. Her parents had a significant impact on her and her leadership as of today.I thought that the book was thorough. The story was in chronological order; it made it easier for the readers to follow. She also gave a short but essential background of the society and of her parents which all had affected her and the person she became today. If the reader didn t know about the culture or her parent's history, they wouldn t understand why people are inspired by her or what the current situation in Pakistan had on her. She didn t mention much about her two brothers. Knowing about them would allow us to see their perspective on her as a sister as she is straying from the norm.An important theme that I found compelling is persistence. Malala didn t give up her passion for education and even risked her life to be educated. Malala values education and school not only for herself but all the girls and boys. When the Taliban bombed schools and forced girls to stay home instead of going to schools, Malala tried everything in her power (interviews, diary, documentary) to be able to attend classes again. Even when shot in the head, she didn t give in. She turned a local issue into a worldwide discussion.Another theme is gender roles in Pakistan. Women aren't treated equally as men, but instead, the society represses women. Malala grew up with parents that are more liberal which allow her to have more freedom. That is not typically in Pakistan. Malala came to the leader not just for the people in Pakistan, but for all (girls/children) around the world. Because she is a young woman and fight for her rights to be educated, she is slowly changing the society and their view on gender roles.I truly enjoyed the book. Knowing Malala's story made me admire her even though I ve never met her. I m also motivated and is inspired to better my education and keep on pushing myself even when it is difficult. She is a role model for everyone. Women, girls, and boys will enjoy reading this book. They could benefit from reading this book by being more motivated, courageous, and to speak up for what is right. Also, anyone who wants to know more about life in Pakistan and Malala s experience in that society should read it. The book thoroughly talked about her experience in Pakistan and her work.5An amazing story of courage in the face of terror."So many people forget that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own." - Doctor Abraham Erskine, Captain America: the First Avenger (2011)I loved history in grade school, but am embarrassed with how little history I actually know as an adult. My history knowledge is limited to a few memories from grade school decades ago, and the occasional documentary. I did not know, for example, that Pakistan was such a young country. I was surprised to learn that they won their Independence on 14 August 1947, and continued to learn more about Pakistan, Islam, the middle east, the Taliban, and the history of the War on Terror as told from the Middle East while reading this book.I read the 1-star reviews, and most of them call the book boring, or are upset that it has so much history and not enough about the shooting. People have a right to their opinions, but what they disliked about this book, I enjoyed the most. Reading this was a window into a world apart, and a life of real fear and terror. If you just want the gory details of the shooting then perhaps a blog post or magazine article is more your speed, but if you're actually interested in the events in Pakistan and Swat Valley that lead up to the event, this is an amazing book that builds up brick by brick to the event we all already knew when first opening the book. This book isn't about how Malala got shot, it is about WHY Malala got shot.Malala paints an amazing picture of the beauty of Swat Valley in Pakistan, her home, and of her culture, her people, her friends and her family. It wasn't at all what I expected. Before reading this book when I pictured anywhere in the middle east I pictured endless deserts with caves full of terrorists, and dusty villages of mud hits full of filth and disease and mangy dogs and wandering goats and 100-year-old cars rusting in rubble heaps. I never once pictured lush green valleys, snow capped mountains, wildflowers, and rivers.Malala's story is beautiful, touching, humbling, and every bit as heroic as people say. She and her father are amazing human beings that the world could use many more of. But it was the window into the life, society and culture of Pakistan that kept me turning the pages of this book. I found myself pausing only long enough to google something I wanted to know more about, or flipping to the glossary in the back to remind myself what something meant. It also made me realize how very much I take for granted. I would have given anything to not have to go to school most days, and here is a girl that fought tooth and nail to get what I got without a second thought.It was interesting, and sad, to learn the history of the rise of the radical Islamic terrorism that would lead to the events of 9/11 and after that to the shooting of Malala, and it was fascinating to read about some bits of Islam that disagrees with radicalism. Too many people think that all Muslims are evil, woman-hating terrorists, but just learning about Malala and especially her father is proof that isn't true. So many people forget that the first countries the Taliban brought their terror to were their own. Afghanistan, and Pakistan, suffered years of fear, persecution and terror before it spread to effect us in the West.This book is a fascinating window into that world by letting us experience life from Malala's perspective. We see her (and her father's) bravery as they stand up for what they believe in, as they strive to bring education to women, as they risk their lives and their very safety doing what they believe is right, suffering horrific consequences, and yet never backing down, and never giving in. Malala is 15 years younger than me (she is 21 now), but after reading this book I consider her one of my idols, and I will strive to be as brave, compassionate, selfess, helpful and hopeful as she is. I think we could all strive to be a bit more like Malala.I highly recommend this book, and it has earned a permanent place on my shelf.5Read This BookI attended a conference last year and Malala Yousafzai was the closing keynote speaker. When I heard she would be speaking at the closing I bought a copy of this book, hoping there might be a chance I could get it signed. ON the final day of the conference I skipped the last break out session and went to the auditorium where she would be speaking, but when I got there and saw all the security guards, I realized there was no chance I would get anywhere near her to ask her to sign the book. I didn't bother asking. I just waited outside for the hour before she was to speak and then went in to the closing session. I sat there in the room with a few thousand others and listened to this young woman speak about her life and the cause of education for all children and I couldn't help thinking this person is destined for greatness.This book is the story of Malala's life, from a girl in a small village who only wanted to go to school, to a girl known throughout Pakistan for speaking out for education rights for all girls. The Taliban tried to silence her with a bullet, but they only made her the daughter of her nation, known throughout the world. She is an amazing person with an incredible story. Read this book.5Beautiful & HeartbreakingI Am Malala is a beautifully written memoir recounting the violent relationship of the Taliban with the people of primarily Pakistan. This relationship is akin to that of an abusive domestic one, as the militant group seeks to isolate, control, and terrorize its mostly unwilling subjects.Malala describes an idyllic existence in Pakistan's Swat Valley prior to the arrival of the Taliban. Her words slowly take apart her beloved homeland, as militants destroy important ancient landmarks and attempt to rewrite history and infiltrate Pakistan's rich culture.Named for Malalai of Maiwand, Pakistan's version of Joan of Arc, Malala is a special girl who is very close with her family, especially her father, the founder of the school she attends. Malala and her friends find respite from the near constant bombings and shootings on the streets of their city at school six days per week.Unfortunately, Malala's school and father are under threat from the Pakistan Taliban to close the school's doors, as its values do not coincide with those of Sharia Law.Following in the footsteps of her beloved father, Malala began speaking out against militancy and championing the right of girls to be educated and giving interviews to various news outlets at age eleven.Amid suicide bombings and the mass blasting of schools, Malala perseveres, continuing to attend school despite constant threats to cease her education.The Taliban virtually takes over Pakistan, while authorities stand idly by, merely allowing mass killings, all in the name of Sharia. Malala bravely asserts in an interview that the Taliban "are abusing our religion."In October 2012, Malala was targeted and brutally shot by a member of the Taliban, along with two girls sitting on either side of her, due to her standing up for the education of girls and speaking out against terrorism.Miraculously, Malala and her two classmates survived the attack and escaped Pakistan. Malala is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and continues to advocate for universal education through her personal fund.I never thought I would be interested in reading Malala's whole story, but I was captivated by her words. Not only am I in awe of Malala's accomplishments and good deeds, I am amazed and deeply saddened by the destruction of her homeland and culture.Malala tells her story in such a way that makes it easy for the reader to empathize with her and her situation. As I read I Am Malala, I imagined what it would be like if my home country, the US, were overrun by terrorists who want to destroy everything that I love and believe in.I admire Malala's courage very much and truly hope she is able to one day return to her beloved Pakistan.4Books Over BulletsReading this provides an opportunity to reflect on some blessings that escape the notice of most students in our country. The fact is a lot of students don t appreciate what an opportunity it is to attend school. At least, that s been my observation, and I m quite sure teachers all across our fruity plain will back me up. That s too bad. You don t know what you ve got until someone takes it away, or you have to fight for it.Malala Yousafzai, a girl of 15 from Pakistan, wanted to go to school to learn. Members of the Taliban attempted to kill her because they believe girls belong at home, barefoot, and set on fire if they bring dishonor upon the family. Malala was a vocal proponent of education, and had a blog openly criticizing the Taliban for its extremist views. Malala survived a bullet wound to her head while riding a bus to school. A fellow schoolmate, Shazia Ramzan, was also wounded in the attack. Today, Malala is hailed all over the world as a spokeswoman for everyone who wants nothing more than a right to escape ignorance. Oh, and she wants to become a doctor.Recent events in the Islamic countries suggest future Malalas put off buying a cap and gown. In Nigeria, militants doused a boarding school dormitory with fuel and set it on fire as students slept, killing at least 30 people. Authorities blamed the violence on Boko Haram which apparently translated into "Western education is sacrilege." The same group also opened fire on children taking exams in a classroom. No, they weren t taking the STAAR test, and the shooters weren t with the TEA. They were just trying to get ahead in a country where a dinner plate is tantamount to a gold brick.Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods, many students can't be bothered to bring so much as a pencil, let alone keep up with notes. They are the ones who may finally push many other teachers out the door with the district under federal and state scrutiny. A few bubbles filled in one way or another on statewide tests may very well determine whether or not many teachers will return. We might just as well start boxing up our belongings. Someone from Austin would be too happy to help us load our stuff in the car trunk.At the time this book was published, our intrepid heroine turned 16. SIXTEEN! Hey, kids. Put down the cell phone, unplug the i-pod, and ponder for a moment. How many of you have to worry about taking a bullet for wanting to become smarter? If you had to choose between death and escaping provincial prejudices to pursue higher education, what would you do? Can you look up the definition of any of the words I just used in that last sentence? Is there an app for that?If Western education is as dangerous as the Taliban and Boko Haram and the rest of their counterparts believe, let s make the best of it. Let s make our willing students as dangerous to their antiquated world view as they perceive.55 PlatypiresI checked the audiobook out from the library, forgetting that I had bought the ebook when it was on sale... because I'm that sort of person. As amused and annoyed as I was with myself when I realized this, I actually ended up getting a better experience with the book this way. Malala speaks at the beginning and end of the book, and there's her UN speech as well. So, the audio version is definitely worth listening to.It's pretty emotional, hearing about how so many children in Pakistan are unable to be educated because their poor and/or female. I think it was very important of her to point out that the biggest issue with the ignorance there is because of this lack of education. These people are studying their holy text, but aren't understanding the words. That's something to be said of all religions. It's scary what happens when the uneducated come into power and twist a holy book to their desires. And knowing she stood up for her education despite the threats, she is amazing. Truly.I introduced my 5 year old son to the story of Malala last year, we own a couple picture books about her. I wanted him to know how important it is for all people to be given the opportunity to be educated. Also, I want to raise him to understand that there is no type of person better than another - people of all races, religions, genders, etc. all deserve the same opportunities.To me, the worst part of this was knowing there was a period of time when her father regretted letting her choose an education over her safety. I cannot even imagine the grief her parents went through.I've been reading a lot of non fiction lately, and I've noticed there is a lot of rambling in them. This book didn't have that. It is a fascinating story and I am so glad she lived through being shot. I wish I could afford to go to her talk in Houston, I expect it is going to be great.5
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