I Am Malala

If you don’t know who Malala Yousafzai is by now, then it’s high time your whole family be inspired by her. I love nothing more than finishing up a full novel autobiography, and then picking up the illustrated children’s version of the same person’s life. Call me whatever kind of mom you want, but honestly I’m sometimes happy when my toddler peaces out halfway through the story so that I can enjoy the pictures for myself.

I Am Malala was one of my very favorite books that I picked up in 2019, and Malala’s Magic Pencil is currently one of my son’s favorites. I highly recommend them both for all kinds of great family discussions.

Malala was still just a very young girl when she started speaking out against the Taliban and advocating for girls’ rights to education with her father in Pakistan. For this, she was shot in the face. But she survived and recovered remarkably, essentially making her one of the most powerful weapons against the Taliban. And today she’s only 22 years old.

I love this true story so much because it absolutely breaks down all the false images and stereotypes about Afghanistan that I had. It also explains why some of my stereotypes are actually true. She tells a very informative, yet engaging story of a beautiful countryside to which tourists used to flock, but has since been corrupted by miseducation and false prophets. As an American, it was also shocking to see names like Osama Ben Laden thrown around as if he were an insignificant player in the scheme of things, yet hear her describe other men who had turned her country upside-down that I’d never heard of. She delves into how certain ideas were spread and changed the way the people acted, effectively amplifying radical ideas and morphing an entire culture and the world’s perception of said culture in record time.

Every chapter I would interrupt my husband to describe something, or ask a question always starting with, “Did you know…!?” Those are the kinds of books that I feel like are most worth reading – the ones that make you excited to ask questions and learn more. This one certainly does that. So go get it and read it now!

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