She filled our newspapers and covered our TV screens for several weeks during the year of 2012 and whilst we were told a lot about her, the story wasn’t always clear on the events that led to that day.
In this book, Malala gives a detailed account of her life growing up in Swat, Pakistan, (somewhere I could not point out on a map before reading this book). It is fascinating to hear of what it was like growing up here from Malala’s perspective, as we have our own perceptions of the East all the way over here in the West.
The book starts right at the beginning of Malala’s life, telling the story of how her parents met, and what it was like growing up in Swat. This was an aspect I found really interesting, (excusing my ignorance) that her childhood was much more open then I believed. She talks of watching popular US programs, listening to Beyonce, wearing make up and generally being a young girl growing up in 2012. It was this normality that highlighted the contrast of the following years so greatly.
Malala describes the destruction and brutality of the Taliban and the pain and fear they managed to spread throughout the country. It was harrowing to read about the public beheadings and whippings that occurred and are still happening today.
Malala was simply a girl who wanted an education, a right which is given to all children here in the UK, however it is something that she had to almost give her life for in Swat.It is frightening to see that we live in a world where people cannot accept that others may think differently than themselves. The way in which the Taliban treated their nation in the name of ‘so called’ Islam is beyond my furthest imagination.
What becomes clear throughout this book, is that Malala was definitely placed on this Earth for a reason. You do not have to be a particularly religious person to hold this belief. She has a definite and true path in life, and that is to bring education to every child around the world, understanding the importance of knowledge and how it can improve lives.
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, whilst some scenes are graphic, I think this is what is needed. We are sheltered in the UK from some of the harsh realities and truths that other parts of the world are faced with every day.
I would also say it is a great book for children, not necessarily to read the words, but to learn from the lessons this book has to offer, the importance of education, the importance of understanding and the triumph of good over evil.
Who is Malala …. I am Malala!