I was really surprised last week when I looked at the receipt that I was using as a bookmark and saw that I’ve been reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai for over a month and a half. I don’t think there are too many people who don’t recognize who she is, but the quick story is that she was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan when she was 15 years old for speaking out about the importance of education for women and girls.
Malala begins her story from the very begin of her parent’s life in the Swat valley in Pakistan. Along the way she talks about Pakistan’s history and shaky relationships with India and some of it’s other neighboring countries. She tells of how the Taliban took over the valley where they lived, blew up schools and tried to install sharia law. Her father spoke out and Malala was quick to follow in his footsteps and joining him talking to the press, government officials and meetings about the importance of keeping their schools open and educating all their children.
This book flows along quite nicely and is a smooth easy read. Of course, as an American, some of her thoughts about the U.S. and our government did make me cringe a bit. I had to stop and ask myself if she was right in her thoughts not to trust Americans or maybe because of the inability to trust her own government, every other government came under suspicion? This paranoia on her part becomes especially heightened after the Navy SEALs flew into Pakistan undetected and killed Osama Bin Laden and again after she was shot and they were trying to decide which country would be best to provide her the medical she needed. I’m not saying England wasn’t the best choice, I’m saying there was some U.S. bashing that went along with the decision. She’s also highly competitive as shown from the stories she tells about her siblings, school work/awards and friends, which can make you wonder about her motivation.
All in all, it was a good read and I’m glad I finally got to read her story and well, she did win a Nobel Peace Prize. I’m a little upset that I paid full cover price for it ($16.00), but I was at a new local independent bookstore and wanted to show them my support. Under any other circumstance, I think borrowing this book from the library or buying a used copy from Amazon would have sufficed. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 3 out of 4 BEETLES.