I Am Malala: A Book Review

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Imagine fetching gas cylinders to cook, oil lamps to see & read from, and eating dinner on the floor.

Imagine having chicken for dinner. If you're a girl, you can only have the neck or wing. If you're a boy, you're allowed the breast and thigh. You have no say. You have no choice.

Would you like eggs for breakfast? If you're a girl, you can't have them. Eggs are prepared and given to the boys.

You don't have sanitation pick-up! You bring your garbage/rubbish down the street and throw it into a pile. If you're poor, you rummage through the pile and sort glass, paper etc. to be sold for rupees (money). Sores cover your skin and your hair is matted.

If you're raped and become pregnant, you go to jail. You can only be exonerated if FOUR males come forward and state it was a crime.

You can't open a bank account without a man's permission. If you want to go somewhere, a male must be with you (brother, husband, parent). You can't even open your front door, if someone knocks. A male must answer it.

To flirt with a boy, brings shame upon your family. One girl did, and her family poisoned her.

If you're a girl, you can be given to another tribe to resolve a feud.

This is what goes on in Pakistan!

Life for a woman is even harder in Afghanistan!

"I Am Malala" is about Malala Yousafzai. People know, she was the girl that was shot by a Taliban member, but that's it. The book explains the meaning of her name, WHO she really is, who her family is, where she lives and what she saw on a daily basis while living in Swat, Pakistan. This books gives a detailed account of her birth, childhood, pre-teen and adolescent years.

Malala was blessed with two amazing and loving parents! She was born into poverty. Her mother was illiterate, but very wise and nurturing. Her father? An extraordinary man! Her father is an educator, spokesman and visionary. In his early years, he dreamed about building a school that both girls and boys could attend. He successfully built a school, after MUCH opposition, death threats, lack of money and resistance. He even provided an education to those who couldn't pay. He spoke out about environmental and quality of life concerns that plagued where they lived (water quality, dumps, mistreatment of women, taxes etc). He stood up to militant groups, questioned their motives and voiced his opinion. He's a man of his word (that is most admirable). Malala and her father, share a very close bond. The majority of the book focuses on them. It focuses on their struggles, their concerns, their fears, their hope and their accomplishments. It's a beautiful story.

I read about Malala Yousafzai, when she was shot by a member of the Taliban. It was all over the news. Her story, strength and recovery was miraculous to me. This book covered so many things I didn't know. I wasn't aware she was shot 3 times point blank. I wasn't aware other girls near her were shot and required (one did) hospitalization. When the decision was made for her to transfer to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, only her father was allowed to go (however he stayed behind, because her mother & brothers needed official paperwork and he feared for their safety). Her parents ended up arriving weeks later. Malala was placed in a medically induced coma and awoke to strange doctors, nurses, and country, yet trusted & worked with her medical team. She's had surgeries on her brain (brain swelling), eye (sight), facial nerve (face drooping) and hearing (cochlea). It's amazing. God protected this child. Americans that offered to help Malala were John Hopkins Hospital, Senator John Kerry, and Gabrielle Giffords. There were offers from Germany, Singapore, UAE and Britain. When Malala finally came to herself in the hospital, she wanted to know where her parents were and who was going to pay for all of this (hospital). The £200,000 ($334,540 USD) hospital bill was paid by the President of Pakistan (Asif Zardari) / Government of Pakistan. While in the hospital, they gave her some books. One of which was The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. This is what Malala said:
"I loved reading about Dorothy and how even though she was trying to get back home she stopped and helped those in need like the Cowardly Lion and the rusty Tin Man. She had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where she was going, and I thought if you want to achieve a goal, there will be hurdles in your way, but you must continue." (I Am Malala)

This book really got to me. I could only read a couple of chapters at a time. It's REAL. It's sad. I knew about some of these things, but it was still hard to comprehend that all of this was happening in this day, age and time. It bothers me that some countries are so advanced and some have barely nothing at all. It makes me ill. Everything is about money in this world and that is what is so sad. The book also goes into great detail about the different groups that don't get along (Sunnis, Shiites, Taliban etc) with one another. Malala mentions they are ALL Muslim, yet they continue to hurt and kill one another. The region is still conflicted. I'm glad she and her family are in a safe place. Malala is continuing with her studies and I don't think, this will be the last we hear of her. I read a book some years ago called "Princess" by Jean Sasson, in which a woman discussed the atrocities she went through in Afghanistan. It's sad the way women are treated in some countries. As women, it's important to understand what women of any nationality or socioeconomic background goes through and to help them anyway you can.

Be THANKFUL and GRATEFUL for what you DO have! YOU are BLESSED!
Reading this book will clearly show, how much more you have in comparison to others. 
After reading this book, you will never complain again.
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff)
I Am Malala is Supersweet

picture credit: I took pictures of the pictures that were in the book "I Am Malala".
All photos are property of Malala Yousafzai and publisher.

This book was purchased with my money.

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Linda B said...

Ah man, I really need to add this book to my list...it's good, I know! I've heard so much about it and about her. She's incredible, isn't she? It's incredible how much we can be somewhat aware of the struggles others face (like the women in Afghanistan) and yet not fully grasp what it is they go through.
That's why we need books like these!

The Dragonfruit Diaries

Rakhshanda Rizvi said...

She is just incredible! I would love to read this book! It's really sad the way women are treated in some countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and even in some parts of India as well! I agree with you that as women, it's important to understand what women of any nationality or socioeconomic background goes through and to help them anyway you can. Great review my friend <3 Kisses and hugs <3

oomph. said...

what a beautiful girl and a beautiful story. thank you for sharing this book with us...

Emma Henderson said...

It sounds like a must read. It makes me sad that people think feminism is no longer needed when so many women have no rights at all in so much of the developing world.

Mica T said...

It makes me so angry when we read about how few rights some people have in the world. I really am lucky to live in Australia, and I know that! I hope my baby never gets complacent about what we have.

Thanks for sharing more of Malala's story Kim, there was lots I didn't know. I think the book would be too sad for me to read right now, but I am so impressed by her life and how she is turning something evil into something good.

Away From Blue

Lilli said...

Hi Kim, Id love to read this book too, her story is awesome and impressed me so much. She is so younger and has such an incredible strenght, faith and optimism, despite everything, I admire her for all. Im really sad there is still that situation there. I have a very dear friend from Pakistan and she told me how things work there when you born woman..something we couldnt never get. I admire her too.
You did an excellent review Kim, I need to purchase the book, love what she said about Wizard of Oz. Kisses dear! xo

Anne said...

Sounds like an amazing book Kim....we really do take so much for granted. Have a good week:)

Annie Sand said...

We really are blessed, imagine having this as an everyday.. I need to read this book too! I saw Malala on tv, in a talkshow some time ago and she sure is a spectacular woman.

Ailyn Koay said...

because of her the world is aware of the unfair treatment of young girls in countries like these.
we all need someone like Malala to inspire the world to do good.

Chiara T. said...

It's a very interesting book, as your entire post of the day
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Jackie Harrison said...

She is someone to admire for her braveness and courage.


She's such an amazing soul. I have heard about this book and a friend of mine told me it was great. Thanks for the review Kim. We all should always count our blessings, and not complain or take anything for granted. Adding to my list now. Have a lovely week. :-)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

I meant to read this book and it sounds like a true inspiration!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Emmylou said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time. Thank you for such a great review, Kim. Stories like Malala's is a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in a society where equality exists, and that we should never take our freedom for granted.

Selina Kyle said...

I really want to read this book so bad. My grand father was born in Pakistan, but had to flee away from the country during the partition in 1947. He always wanted to go back and see his house... the place where he grew up..
As for me, I wan to know more about the life of the people living in the country that was once part of mine. Malala is such a brave little girl, she gives me strength.


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TheTinyHeart said...

Malala is such an inspiration to me! I was hoping that she would win the Nobel Peace Prize this past year, but alas, she didn't. I've had this book on my list of books to read since it came out...have to get around to it!

The Tiny Heart
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Jane said...

she is truly an amazing young woman!

MaysaAndSunshine said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing story, Kim. A great read, obviously. I find myself to be fortunate to be born in my motherland of Thailand. Comparing to many Southeast Asian countries around it, I feel blessed we didn't experience too many major political conflicts or civil war growing to where people had to migrate to another country (but political unrest occurs more as of late). This girl is so lucky to have a father that she has.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Yes...this girls is a hero!! Love her story and strength...I have a post coming up soon about her. Am happy you enjoyed this book. Women's rights are so under balanced in many places even the US and UK...but even more so in countries like this...we take for granted what rights we do have...such a shame. Irritates me a lot really. We wouldn't be able to live a day in a place like that, we would realize how many rights we do have. I've been really inspired by this young girl!! Every women should read this!! Happy Tuesday doll, I hope you are doing well :)

Alicia Mackin said...

I know I want to read this book, it is on my list. It is amazing that all this still goes on. Really kind of mind blowing. Thanks for posting, great post.

Allie of ALLIE NYC

Corinne Figliuzzi said...

so incredible for such a young woman! it's crazy to think that things like education, which are taken for granted in the states, is basically banned in other countries for women. and good on her father for being so forward thinking. must run out and read this!
xx Corinne
Cat Eyes & Thigh Highs

crafty-zone said...

Malala is very strong girl and I'm so happy that book was published, because every of us should know her story and should know that in our world are countries, where woman has no rights.


Kelly @ [Big Apple, Little Bites] said...

What a remarkable young woman. Thank you for the review. I definitely will have to read this!

Kashaya said...

I need to read that book!

nancy @ adore to adorn said...

I have not yet read the book but have become familiar with her story. I fear reading her book. Not because it's actually scary or bad but because of how much I may cry! I'm not usually a cry-baby when it comes to reading but as I have gotten older, tears come to my eyes at things that wretch my heart. I may have to just overcome my fear and read her incredible story though.


miss b said...

I remember reading about Malala in the newspapers and seeing her on television and this is a book I have been meaning to buy. I had no idea about her father being such a visionary. You are right, we really do take so much for granted and your review has reminded me to read this wonderful book.

Nevalyn N said...

Very interesting... amazing book!
Greetings from ttbdivas.blogspot.com

Fashion Sky Fall said...

Lovely <3

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds amazing.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

I've been meaning to read this book as I've heard about Malala's story. She is so incredibly brave and an inspiration for sure. It's really easy to take our freedom and rights for granted sometimes. Thanks for the review Kim!

Rowena @ rolala loves

A•Mused said...

Some books can be hard to read, but definately worth our time - this sounds like one of them!
A lovely review. This is a book I will be keeping my eye out for!

I wrote an article about women in Libya a couple years back. It was about "honor" killings (more like shame murders) that only women are subjugated to. It's terrible. (If you'd like you can read it here:http://www.amusedblog.com/2011/06/beyonce-libya-and-viagra.html)

It does seem like the world only cares about money, doesn't it? After my car accident, it seems that money is the ONLY thing that people care about. Money money money. It's the saddest thing.

A•Mused Blog

Carole Poirot said...

What a wonderful review, Kim. I can tell the book and Malala's story has touched you by the way you've written your post. And how could it not? The injustice, suffering and inequality women still have to endure all over the world is infuriating, frustrating and beyond my comprehension.

As for the money thing, you are so right! It goes into all areas of our lives, money rules and morals, empathy and decency seem to be forgotten. Everybody (ok, a lot of people) seems to be out to just get as much as possible for themselves and "screw everybody else". For some reason we even celebrate that kind of behaviour…a sad world really.

Thanks for a beautiful post. xo

Svetlana said...

I would really like to read that book too!
Ialso heard from Malala when she was shot and was really pissed off. I mean how the hell can some man really shot a poor little girl?
I got really angry and I am until now.

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Tina Bradley said...

Wow--this sounds like such a powerful read, Kim. Just reading your review makes me take pause and give gratitude for the simplest of things. Wow... T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

Joie Fatale said...

I really do need to read this book. It's been on my list for a while.

Sam Cole said...

Thanks Kim for sharing with us this book. This are one of the reasons I am extremely thankful that I am not born and raise from their culture where they value girls/women to lowest form. This is a good read not only for women but for men as well.


Corinne said...

I don't think I could read this book, I'm getting all teary just reading your review of it and her story. She sounds amazing! and her father even more so.

I just hope that all these other girls (and boys) that are living in such circumstances have great role models to look after them and at least the fathers/males in their lives with make their decisions out of love and not a need for power.. until they are able to make their own choices.

Fab post - I'm not usually a fan of book reviews but this was worth posting!

Corinne x

Pamela RG said...

Malala's story is truly amazing and a triumph of the Human spirit that the Taliban cannot kill or banish from this Earth. It's terrible how the Taliban treat their own people. Good thing there are brave people who are against them and are brave enough to fight on for a better life for their people. We are truly lucky and blessed. Malala is blessed too. All the best to her.

Darcy said...

I love this story. It is so crazy what life is like in other parts of the world. Will have to remember this book!

t said...

I should check out this book! Maybe next as I've just started reading Cooked by Michael Pollan.


Cee said...

This book is absolutely on my must read list. I bought it for my mom for Christmas knowing that she would find the story inspiring, too. Malala is a very powerful young woman - she has already changed the world in her own way, and I have no doubt she will do it again once she finishes her studies.

Tanya W. said...

I've always been a person who appreciated what she has! Bcos I knew some part of our world is like Malala book and of some places even worse than this. Thanks for takes time to think and to share this incredible book that the young(s) who don't know yet how lucky they are:).



Dawn GT said...

Wow! I would like to read this book!



Sam said...

She is such an inspiration, a hero for her people and women everywhere. The difficult experiences she has been through has catapulted her into being better and pushed he rinto doing everything she has thus far. The mention of poverty is very much similar to situations here in Safrica, it is terribly sad and I wish there was more we could all do. This is a must read Kim!

Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog - Girlie Blog Seattle said...

I saw her story on 20/20 a while ago and was so, so moved. What a brave, brave little girl! I am def. interested in this book - thanks for the intro.

Anshul Bhargava said...

She is indeed a powerful girl!! Bless her heart for going against the odds!! I wish the society starts respecting women. It just sucks how backward some nations are.


Nails My Dreams said...

Oh my! My heart's crying out for all of those women. I can't even imagine living like that. I am Malala sounds like such an inspirational book. I hope a lot of people will help her in her cause.

Nats ~Coral Tinted Perceptions said...

Thanks for sharing this book review, I am always looking for new books to read and I definitely want to read this! She sounds incredible x

Dee Kay said...

Oh wow Kim, what a wonderful story. Very inspiring, she is beyond brave and strong. Reminds us to cound our blessings:) and be more thankful. Its sad that things like this still go on at this very moment somewhere in the world.
You did a great job on reviewing the story, I felt like I've read the book yet you left out just enough for me to be curious enough to want to read it :)
Ms Dee Kay

Adeola Naomi Aderemi said...

I really need to buy and read this book!
We all tend to complain about our lives and forget that we have so many reasons to thank God and live a fulfilled life.
I am so touched by your review Kim and will definitely get the book!

Lubka Christova said...

I read and heard so much about this girl's new book. She is very strong and inspirational :)

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BerryBloomXO said...

I love reading and this seems like a good read!


India said...

Love this book!

India said...

Love this book!

mysecretfashionpoison said...

This book must be read, great story, so interesting! Great review Kim!

Viky --- MySecretFashionPoison

Manhattan Image and Style said...

What a great review honey! I have added it to my reading list! ;)

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Demi Mist said...

Amazing! I'm glad she survived and narrated her story. I wish we lived in a better world. Very sad!
I hadn't heard of the book before, but I would love to read it.

Always Maylee said...

Great review of a great story. Thanks for sharing!

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Tr3nDyGiRL Fashion Blog said...

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jo said...

Hi Kim, I'm grateful every day! She is an amazing woman but I don't think I can read this book because it's too sad and I'm a visual person. I can't imagine all the stuff she had to endure. This is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.

xo Jo


Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

This book is on my reading list- thanks for sharing your thoughts!

always, koru kate

Stephanie G said...

i've heard so much about this book, i'm inspired to pick it up!

steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

Barbara Bordeaux said...

Need to pick up this book and read it asap n_n

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Lisa - respect the shoes said...

Fantastic review and a true story at that. I'll add this to my read list, thanks!

Blond Duck said...

That breaks my heart. The women here are so lucky and they don't know it.

LyddieGal said...

Her story is amazing. It is almost scary to think that is present day life for so many women in this world. I do hope we will be able to change that and allow women to live as equals.

Ambi Page said...

I am just crying and crying .... She is a very strong young lady.

flysongbird said...

you should check out Jafar Panahi's films. They depict the life of women in Iran very well. Especially Circle and Offside are relevant.

Rebeca Muñoz López said...

It is terrible that these acts of inhumanity exist today, Malala is an inspiring girl.


Shabby, Chic, & Cheap said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a while but figured it may be hard emotionally, esp pregnant. While I am happy that her and her family are safe, it breaks my heart that other women are going through the same struggles. Great review Kim, thank you for sharing.

Coco said...

Dear Kim, thank you for spreading this information. I didn't know her whole story and if I have the guts I'm going to read that book. A big hug
Coco et La vie en rose
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Subha Bose said...

I will get this one soon. Thanks for sharing :)


Heel in Mint said...

I have watched her interviews and I'm extremely impressed with her level of maturity, kindness and intelligence. she sounds so much matured for her age. It's hard to go against traditions and culture to fight for rights. She is inspiring and very brave. Thanks for sharing your review Kim. This will surely go on my "must read" list :)

Heel in Mint

Jo said...

Thank you for sharing about Malala's story and about the book. I often get enraged and indignant whenever I read about the discrimination against the poor and of women especially when the grounds for them are simply non-existent. She's a really courageous young lady and I'm so glad that she was born into a good family. Once again, thanks for sharing this poignant story.

Shea Coleman said...

Wow Kim it's amazing how we can look at others lives and changed our perspective on our own lives.

I am grateful for all that I have and even more after reading this review. I can only imagine what it may feel like to have someone making your decisions and not being able to go as I please without a male.

We are so lucky. This review was very enlightening. Thank you for this.

Lorena said...

I had heard of her but did not know much, your post is very eye opening - and yes, I too think its unacceptable for these things to happen today. We are sharing the same planet, yet we are living in totally different worlds.

Liesa said...

Would love to read this book! It somehow feels as if she's talking about a whole different world. xx

Manisha Mahalingam said...

I have been wanting to read this book. Malala is such an inspiration to so many girls in states that is against women upliftment. I am happy she won the Nobel Prize. She is worthy.

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