Book Review: I am Malala

Last Wednesday, I told my students that I wasn’t sure the Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded this year because I wasn’t sure who really deserved it. On Friday, I learned that it is awarded to Malala Yousafzai, and as a woman and a teacher, I’m beyond thrilled. To me, she is exactly the sort of person who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

People who know me well know that education is extremely important to me. This probably isn’t surprising given that I am a teacher. Also given that I’m a woman, it’s probably relatively unsurprising that I have really strong feelings about the education of women. (If you’re wondering, I very firmly believe that all girls should have access to education.) Based on this, it’s probably not surprising that I am admire Malala Yousafzai.

I’ve been meaning to reading her book, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, for a while now. And after she  won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, I bought it. Yesterday, after I finished reading Mindy’s book, I sat down to read Malala’s book. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I was hooked. While I know the outlines of her story, I was captivated by the details. I was intrigued by the history of her nation, her culture, and her family. I think I finished the book in about three and a half hours.

As I read, it was easy to forget that the author of the book was a teenager. The prose is intelligent and mature. Yousafzai doesn’t shy aware from difficult topics. But she’s honest and thought-provoking. She’s optimistic but also realistic. I enjoyed seeing her perspective on the current situation in her nation. She doesn’t shy aware from criticizing the West for the role we have played in creating Pakistan’s current state, but she also doesn’t shy away from critiquing people within her own country and other nearby countries.

I highly recommend this book. It was educational and entertaining at the same time. It’s definitely a must-read. (And it’s on my list of books that I’d totally buy a hard copy of if only had more bookshelf space in my bedroom. But before I deal with that problem, I have a shoe storage problem I need to sort, which is another blog post for another day.)

Tl;dr? Read the book. It’s awesome.

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