I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

This story is about a young girl named Malala who decided to fight for women's right to education when this fundamental right was taken away by the Taliban. Her mother was illiterate, but her father was a great speaker and he was very involved in many environmental, social and political causes around the region. He was a teacher and along with his friends and business partners, he decided to open schools for both boys and girls in a time when most of the women were illiterate and were not inclined to pursue an education. He encouraged his daughter to learn and be an independent woman rather than a humble wife who cooks, cleans, has children and never leaves the house. The arrival of the Taliban brought a dramatic change to the region. They set up a radio broadcast and started telling people to burn their books, their CD's and DVD's, to keep the girls away from schools and to return to the old ways of Islam. Pakistan was very affected by a big earthquake, by huge floods and other natural disasters so people thought that they were punished by God and listened to the Taliban. Malala kept going to school and she started giving interviews in order to promote education and women's rights. She was just a child, but she spoke from the heart and people listened to her speeches and she received many awards. She wrote a blog for the BBC website in which she described life under the Taliban rule. Her father encouraged her, and they kept their spirits up in spite of the numerous threats they received and the people that were killed every day by the Taliban. The reign of terror lasted many years and people did nothing to defend themselves and to get rid of the Taliban until the government started up a war and drove them from the region. In 2012, Malala was coming home from school when their school bus was stopped, and a young man started shooting the girls. He shot Malala in the head and he injured other two girls who happened to be in his way. Malala was taken to the local hospital, but she was getting worse and worse, so she was taken to a military hospital and then out of the country. She was transported to a hospital in England where she spent many months having surgery and recovering from her wounds. She received international support and she was visited by many important people even if she was only fifteen years old. Her dedication attracted attention all over the world and thousands of people wrote her letters and sent her gifts. Rising from the ashes, Malala gave many speeches to the UN and other international organizations promoting women's right to education. She is an internationally acclaimed young woman and she is still very involved in women's cause for freedom of speech and education. So far, she is the youngest Nobel Peace prize winner. Though many of us are in countries where freedom of speech is a still a dream, Malala tries to show us that all is possible with faith and strong determination. Sometimes, dying for the right course can be the most humane thing we could do. It’s at this point in our lives where we need to stop seeing the difference between men and women.

Evance Henrico

Rating: 5 Recommend



The book shows the amazing journey of a young girl known as Malala Yousafzai and the social and political hurdles she had to overcome in order to spread her beliefs on the importance allowing girls of all ages to obtain education. The journey begins at a town called Swat in Pakistan in a humble home. Her mother was illiterate as she never received proper education, while her father was very well spoken and involved in the community. He even opened 3 schools to ensure both boys and girls would be able to receive education. Despite being in a strongly traditional Muslim community, her Father openly and constantly encouraged her to pursue her education and become whatever she desired regardless of what members of the community had to say about open behaviours. This support helped fuel her desire for knowledge and freedom of expression. The peaceful years came to an end when the Taliban arrived in Pakistan. After a series of illegal radio broadcast claiming natural disasters to be punishments from God as the people were being ungodly and anti-Islamic, some girls were now forbidden from going to school. A war even broke out between the Taliban and the Pakistani government due to their radicalism which was fought just outside Swat. Through these years of conflict, Malala stayed strong and her voice grew. She begun having interviews for documentaries and talking to local news outlets expressing her determination to obtain her education and how she was not afraid of the widespread threats on schoolgirls. Eventually the Taliban took notice and openly targeted her. This act shook her usually brave Father who openly spoke against the Taliban, but Malala did not feel sad as she knew what she was doing was right. In October 2012 the threat became reality as 2 Taliban members stopped her bus on the way home in search for her. They shot her in the head, but this was not the end of her journey. She woke up 1 week later in a hospital in Birmingham with no recollection of the attack however, the entire world knew what happened. Her family later joined her, and they now live in Birmingham as Pakistan was no longer safe for them. While in hospital she received numerous gifts and letters of support, her voice was now heard by the entire world. After multiple surgeries and physiotherapy, she left the hospital and went to her new home. Malala went on to win the Nobel peace prize, present a speech to the UN assembly and begin the Malala fund which enables education for many children in under privileged communities in the world. The book had two underlining lessons in leadership to me. Courage and belief. When gathering support over the years, she did not fear to speak out her beliefs to anyone she came across. These two behaviours compelled everyone to hear her voice and listen.

Trevor Ntutu

Rating: 5 Recommend



I Am Malala is a true story about a girl called Malala Yousafzai that stood against the Taliban. The Taliban was a group of people that did not encourage girls going to school. Malala was a girl who loved school and she was not going to stop going to school. Malala is a strong and brave girl and she even once pretended to be younger than she was so that she would be allowed to go to school. Malala also started speaking out against the Taliban. Using a different name she told the rest of the world what was happening. Unfortunately her bravery led to her being harmed . Malala’s Dad was threatened a lot because he still let girls study at his school. All this led to a major event that shocked the whole world and started lots of resistance against the Taliban. I enjoyed reading I Am Malala because it is an example of how one person can make a change just by speaking out.

Betty Kunyada

Rating: 4 Interesting



This book is about a girl called Malala Yousafzai. It is based in Pakistan. Malala was from a family that was not too poor because they could afford to take their children to school.The family lived happily and Malala went to a school which was owned by her father. The Taliban arrived in Swat Valley (which is Malala’s home town) and changed most things negatively. The Taliban are a terrorist group which occupied Pakistan. Malala defied the Taliban and demanded that girls should go to school. The Taliban soon found out about her activism. One evening, Malala was on the school bus on her way home when a Taliban stopped their bus and asked which one of them was Malala. The girls that were on the bus with her all turned their eyes to Malala and that indicated to the Taliban who she was. He then fired three bullets at Malala. One hit Malala on top of her left eye and the other two hit her friends that were next to her. This book has taught me that you should always stand up for what you believe and you should not follow the crowd. Malala believed that girls should have the right to education and she stood up for what she believed even though there were consequences, she did not back down.

Angel Mailu

Rating: 5 Recommend




I Am Malala is a very inspiring story. It is a journey of a fearless young girl who realised the importance of education at such a young age, and raised a voice for herself and each and every person out there. Fighting for what she believes. she grows up with the hope to live up and have a war, fighting happiness and freedom of living life with a great virtue of life , "dignity" .A big hand was her father who never let down his daughter's hope for her education and her freedom. Standing up is appreciable but fighting out and getting a remarkable victory is far above than the greatest inspiration. Malala Yusufzai is spirited, courageous and eloquent. She speaks for civilization's finest human rights and freedoms. But she is a global heroine because she is a unique symbol of the resistance. Her leadership skills and qualities match with those of brilliant leaders. I highly recommend this book for it comes with not only an interesting story but with a lot of morals too. I learned that even if your voice is small if you rise it you can make a difference.

Faraja Laiser

Rating: 4 Interesting




I Am Malala is the true story of a fourteen-year old girl’s campaign for women’s right to education. In 2011 Malala was shot by the Taliban in a bus on her way home from school. Two men boarded the school bus—“Who is Malala” they asked and fired gunshots; two lodged in Malala’s head. The series of events that followed, described in Malala’s voice, are remarkable—the politics, the media frenzy and her recovery. The shooting triggered a complex series of negotiations involving prominent political figures from Pakistan and England. It’s a powerful book. Malala’s story is remarkable in light of women’s role in her culture and the groups fighting to oppress women—in this case the Taliban. It was the Taliban that claimed responsibility for shooting Malala calling her crusade for education rights an “obscenity.” In the first half of the book Malala describes Pakistan’s history including the history of her ancestors and the northern region of Pakistan, Swat where she lives. Malala also shares stories of her family, giving the reader a glimpse into the culture of Pakistan from a young woman’s perspective. Many of the stories involve Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai. She describes his involvement in local politics, in the community and his vocal support of education for boys and girls. There’s no doubt Malala’s passion and courage to stand-up for women’s rights stems from her father’s actions and character. Ziauddin Yousafzai defied Taliban orders by running a private school that encouraged girls to attend. Malala describes the challenges and frustrations her father faced when starting the school. The motto over the school’s door read “We are committed to build for you the call of the new era”. Her father believed the school’s students could fight the enemy with pens, not swords. Some reviewers claimed the book was poorly written, disjointed. It’s a valid point. The first half of the book does jump around, sometimes repeating facts. But I see this as a sign of authenticity; it’s written in a 14-year old’s voice, from her perspective. The first half of the book provides context for the second half. I could appreciate more about what happened to Malala after her shooting because of the background she included. Malala’s story emphasizes education’s value. Looking deeper it challenges readers to examine the role of education, its purpose and function within a society. Withholding education from certain groups within a society hinders progress, threatens peace and perpetuates poverty. These principles also apply to Western cultures where education is the starting point for eliminating poverty, reducing crime and violence in impoverished neighbourhoods. There are parallels; it’s thought-provoking. I Am Malala is a compelling read. Malala as an individual is a remarkable woman who is a hero for women’s right to a quality education. With her father, Malala created the Malala Fund that supports education for women including the Global Partnership for Education. The book is a good starting point for learning about the complexities of women’s rights in some countries and education access. I Am Malala delivers a message to each reader about the value of education. Education empowers. 

Nakae Ngayani

Rating: 5 Recommend