Book Review: I Am Malala

I don't remember when I first heard about Malala. I don't remember hearing about her being shot by the Taliban or her pursuing education for all. I have a feeling the first time I had heard about Malala was her speech to the UN or when she was doing rounds of interviews with places like The Daily Show. Regardless I've had her book, I Am Malala, on my to-read list for a long time and am so glad that I started my 2017 reading endeavor with her amazing tale.

I realized early on in the novel my complete and shockingly scary lack of knowledge on Pakistan and their history. Much of the first quarter of I Am Malala is setting up not only Malala's life but also that of Pakistan as a country. Although it at first felt slightly out of place from what I was expecting, historical references help shape what turns out to be the groundwork for all the turmoil in Pakistan. It was amazing to learn about the revolving door at the head of their government and how that impacted the lives of the citizens of Pakistan. Even as a young girl yu hear stories of how the changes in Pakistan directly impacted Malala and her family. 

What I loved most about I Am Malala was that I felt like I could still hear her youthfulness within the novel. There's this innocence that you would think after all she had gone through would be long gone. It can be easy to forget that at the end of the day Malala is just a young girl who has an immense passion for education. For me personally, someone who dreaded school, it made me take a step back for the first time and truly appreciate how fortunate I am for all the education I received without ever once thinking about how fortunate I was to receive it. 

I Am Malala is a novel that I'd recommend to anyone. It's beautifully written, and the story is more human then anything I've read in a long time. The story was less about her being shot by the Taliban and more about her pursuit for education for all. I loved this book and am sad it took me this long to read it.


There's a reference to a poem in I Am Malala that was written by a Pastor who lived in Germany in World War II that really spoke to me. Here it is: 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
— Pastor Martin Niemöller