I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai fulfills the
category “Book I Saw on
Someone Else’s Bookshelf” for the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge.
be honest. I’m in a Facebook
group for the PopSugar Challenge. A bunch of us posted pics of our
bookshelves to help with this prompt. Most are still stuck in our homes and
unable to check out other people’s shelves in person. Plus, I work at a
library. I could’ve grabbed a random title from the New and Popular section.
Anyway, the title legit was on another reader’s shelf. Thank you to my awesome
Let me say, I’m so glad I finally read this. I have a sixteen-year-old
daughter and felt the message very hard. I also live in the United States in a
liberal-minded state with a good job. My white privilege glowed around me as I
read the compelling story. I was in awe of Malala’s journey, her perseverance,
her stellar character. Here is a woman we can all look up to.
In case you haven’t read it, Malala is a young woman from the Swat Valley in
Pakistan. In her own words, she describes the love for her country and her
valley specifically. She talks about her family traditions and how her house is
a little different. She discusses the importance of religion in her family and
community. She also describes living with and the war with the Taliban in a
perspective everyone needs to hear. Her family had to live with the terror of
war, suppression, and religious persecution for years. All the while, Malala
and her father fought for education, specifically for girls and women. At
sixteen, she stood up for what she felt was a right—education and the Taliban
shot her. They claimed their reason was her siding with the US, but we all know
it was about the suppression of women.
I loved the book for many reasons. One aspect that
helped me was Malala’s
description of her religion. I’m not a religious person and don’t know very
many of the Muslim faith. The book gave me a good education about Islam, not in
dogma or ceremony, but in its people. I learned so much about their religion—how
it touched their lives and what happened when one group twisted the words of
the Koran to their own purposes. It sounded like some aspects of Evangelical
Christianity in the US. The more I read, the more I understood, the more
questions I had. Learning about other cultures and religions can only help us
understand and love each other better.
The book scared me too. I kept placing my daughters in
Would I have let them continue to speak publicly if someone threatened their
lives? Her family was so brave to stand up. If only more people who are
suppressed could be that brave… Wait, no, if only people of wealth and
privilege could be more helpful… I was so glad (not a spoiler) that when she
was shot, the world responded and helped get her the medical attention she
needed. Now she can continue to be a living symbol of freedom. If only the
world could do this for every child in a war-torn country… We have work to do,
I give I am
Malala by Malala Yousafzai Five More Peace Prizes and hope that she can
continue to be a light in our world.