Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

Malala's story, one encompassing Middle Eastern politics and the first hand experience of terrorism, is utterly gripping, from the first page to the last.

The story of Malala Yousafzai is surely one of the most incredible of modern times. In October of 2012, a Taliban gunman shot her in the face while she was traveling to school. Her parents had bravely supported her outspoken views on education for girls. The Swat Valley in Pakistan at this time was a dangerous place to be so vocal, but Malala’s parents felt that the Taliban would never target a child. They did.

Almost a year to the date since that shocking event, Malala Yousafzai has written her story. I Am Malala presents a bracing mix of Pakistani history, the politics of terrorism and a young girl’s struggle to fulfill her aspirations: education and a career in politics.

Credit for this gripping book must also go to Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who supported his daughter in a culture that hinders rather than celebrates female achievement, and to Middle East Journalist Christina Lamb, for helping render Malala’s story accessible for a wider audience and providing a journalistic rigour to an important subject.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai. Published by W & N Non Fiction. ISBN: 9780297870920  RRP: $32.99