Words cannot begin to describe this book. I knew I was going to love it before I started reading it and I am so glad I bought it.
Malala Yousafzai was fifteen years old when she was shot by the Taliban on the bus home from school. I am sure many of us have heard of this remarkable young woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Her story has reached across the world and her courage and inspiration has encouraged many to help her in her goal for all children around the world to have access to education regardless of gender.
This novel is not just about the day she was shot, it starts before that time and it is a book that teaches you something, which is a feature I love in books.
I knew basically nothing about Pakistan before reading this book, even studying politics in University (which is what I was doing in 2012 when Malala was shot), we hardly ever learned about Pakistan except when it came to talking about nuclear weapons. The only thing I knew about Pakistan was that it was next to India.
What I really liked about Malala's book is that it gave you the opportunity to learn about Pakistan. While the world was focused on Iraq and Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, there was a serious issue arising in Pakistan. The Taliban which had been chased out of Afghanistan, was now causing havoc on the rural areas of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the area Malala calls home.
However, as we know, the powerful people in the world only focus on the problem when it affects them and so there was a significant lack of media coverage about Pakistan, or at least I do not remember seeing any before the Malala incident.
There is a map provided in the book, as well as a timeline of important events in Pakistan and a glossary of Urdu and Pashto words. I am not sure about the paperback version but the hard copy also has pictures of Malala, her family, her fathers school and the bus where she was shot.
It was very interesting to learn about Pakistan and how Malala grew up. She was always encouraged to learn, despite the Taliban's restrictions on girls education. Her father ran a school and was always encouraging Malala to get an education.
This is a novel that definitely resonates with you and gives you a good picture of what it is like to live in a place where one has to worry about whether or not they will survive going to school.
It makes you think.
Despite the negative things that had happened in her life, Malala continues to pursue a positive attitude. One of my favourite interviews is when she is on Jon Stewart and she says "If you his a Talib with your shoe, then there will be no difference between you and the Talib". Which is a pretty powerful statement.
Here is a link to the Malala Fund website, where you can learn more about her goal and even donate if you wish.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this book! Please share! If you have any book recommendations of novels like this then please share those as well.
Labels: Book Review, Inspiration, Pakistan