This is an autobiography by Malala Yosafzia, who lived in the Swat valley, Pakistan, during the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the Taliban took over the country. Malala grew up wanting an education, but that was semi-impossible when the Taliban took over and said that educating girls was against the teachings of Islam. Luckily for Malala her father ran a school and told her and her friends to hide the books under the shawls so not to annoy the Taliban. As Malala got older she started to speak up for girls education and, like her father, she would make public speeches and take interviews about her situation and education for women. Unfortunately, the Taliban were outraged and one day, during her exams week, a Taliban soldier stormed her school bus and shouted “Who Is Malala!” then shot three bullets, one entering Malala’s eye and out through her shoulder, and she was then taken to the local hospital unconscious on her friends lap, later after two more hospitals she was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, U.K.
Malala is the main character as she is describing her experiences in Pakistan. She describes her home life along with the state of Pakistan during the war against terror. Her school is important to her and she cares about her education along with others, in one chapter she describes the street children and how she wants to help them seek a home and education. Her father also plays an important part in her life as he took her to the interviews and speeches. In the first part of the book all is about her father’s life and how he came to run a school and care so passionately about the education of women. Malala writes like he his her idol as he was from a poor village but rose up the ranks and became a well known and respected man, her grand-father, an Imam, was a great speaker and would think highly of him as well. Her mother, who Malala often says with regret, is illiterate. Malala writes about her not being able to read and write but eventually she begins to take classes. She talks about fighting with her brothers Atal and Khushal about pointless things like all siblings. Her friend Moniba is a character that she is always fighting with but make up quickly and become friends all the time. She has respect for her doctors that saved her life (Dr Fiona Renyolds and Dr Javid Kayani).
Malala is such a brave person who stood up for a cause even if it meant giving up her own life. I think that is such a great quality and I really admire her cause and charity (Malala fund) that supports girls’ education throughout the world. She is the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize and is studding at Oxford University.
The themes in this book are set in five parts: before the Taliban; the valley of death; three girls, three bullets; between life and death and finally a second life. Personally I really enjoy this type of writing as it makes it easier to read and understand where you are in the book. It also has very descriptive and powerful words in the book. It describes about the fear she felt during the Taliban rule and how education gave the girls something to concentrate on rather then the terrifying Taliban that were taking over their home. Malala also writes about the Pashtun traditions and about the political state of Pakistan starting right from the independence from India. Malala is assisted by Christina Lamb when writing this book and I think they are both very good writers. Malala recounts her experiences in a way that made me want to carry on reading and never made me bored.
My favourite topic in the book was reading about Malala getting used to England and finding out about what her charity does. It was interesting as she writes about the many, many girls and women who aren’t as fortunate to have free education which is very important. I like this part as it describes her getting used to a new life and recovering from the shooting, she writes this very well and describes he daily life in a great way.The start of the book was interesting but not quite as good as the other parts in the book as it does go on for a while.
In conclusion, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books with facts and powerful meanings or are interested in Malala. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think you will too.