Recently, I finished reading I Am Malala, a 204-page autobiography novel by Malala Yousafzai. Malala Yousafzai began her campaign for girls’ education when she was only ten years old. She has won many prizes including the International Children’s Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award. I Am Malala is all about how she won these awards, and her life story of growing up in Pakistan fighting for girls’ education.
I decided to read I Am Malala, because I received the book as a birthday gift. Also, many people have read it and it got quite popular so I knew it would be a good choice. Finally, I was recommended to read it. All of these things got me quite excited to flip it open and start reading.
I Am Malala, is about a girl named Malala living her ordinary life in Pakistan. She lives with her two brothers, Atal and Khushal, and her mom and dad. She goes outside to play Cricket with her brothers and neighborhood friends. Everything is normal until a man named Maulana Fazlullah broadcasts on radio telling people that woman should only go outside with a man, woman should not go to school, and that television is bad. Life starts to get very bad when he leads a group called the Taliban who goes to war with the army over these rights. Malala cannot take this and decides to spread the word about woman’s education. The Taliban hear about Malala doing this and she gets shot by them. She recovers in Birmingham, England where she tells her story today, and how she did not give up to spread the word.
I was surprised when Malala talked about her family owning a TV, computer, and other electronic devices. This is because Malala’s family seemed like they were in depth because of the money Malala’s dad put into the schools he ran. Also, most people would think that Pakistan is not as fortunate as the United States. This helps me to understand that Pakistan has some similarities to the U.S.
There are many, many themes shown throughout I Am Malala. I’d say that one of the themes of this book is to stand up for what you believe in no matter the cost. Malala strongly believes in a right to woman’s education and makes lots of speeches about it. Because of this, she got multiple threats from the Taliban, but that didn’t stop her. She continued to stand up for what was right.
The character development throughout the book changed a lot. In the beginning of I Am Malala, Malala prayed to God about silly things such as being taller, but at the end of the book Malala’s perspective changed. Instead, Malala was happy about being alive and cherished her life. Her perspective changed so much because of her near death experience.
I was interested in this passage, when Malala is talking about how we should be thankful for our lives. Malala Yousafzai writes:
“We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one.”
What I love about this passage, is that it highlights the author’s craft of importing lots of messages and themes into her real life story. In this particular example, Malala speaks about being thankful for your life, since she understand from her near death experience. There are many more themes, or lessons in the novel including standing up for what you believe in, human rights, importance in voices, and more. I Am Malala is a 10 out of 10.