I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai, Little Brown and Company, 2013, 270 pp
This reading group pick turned out to be better than I expected. In case you missed it, MalalaYousafzai, aka The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By the Taliban, made headlines around the world after she was shot and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Her story is uplifting. Since she was a small girl, she loved to read and write, she loved school, and was encouraged by her father, a Pakistani advocate for education of both boys and girls. Hers and her father's outspoken presence in Pakistan drew the attention of the Taliban who eventually sent a young gunman to shoot her down while she was riding home from school in October, 2012. She lived through horrific medical procedures and recovered thanks to international outcry and support.
I learned from a child's POV what it was like growing up in Pakistan from 1997 to 2012. Still to this day she is not welcome in her country. Due to her transfer to Great Britain while she was fighting for her life, due to skillful surgeons and doctors, she recovered. She has continued to work for education, especially for women.
The book was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb. It reads smoothly and I felt it captured Malala's childhood voice nicely. She was only 15 when she was shot. Her recovery took two years including several operations and extended physiotherapy.
Now anytime I feel angry about the lack of rights and opportunities for girls and women around the world, I think of Malala and what she endured. Apparently it is all a matter of enduring.