I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – A Book Review

Pakistan is in turmoil for a while, thanks to Taliban, Fundamentalists, ISI, US drone strikes and plain bad luck. Malala was already an international figure before her unfortunate endeavour with the gunman. Her victim hood gave her an even bigger platform to raise her voice for education and girl’s rights.

I finished this book in Dec, 2013. Malala reminds me of all the girls (and One girl in particular) in this world fighting odds in the family, society and the world. As the Chinese saying goes, women hold up half the sky..!


Plot: The book is autobiographical in nature, she is already the Anne Frank of 21st century. She talks about her Swat valley, Islam and its positive attributes, and the life before Taliban came to the valley. Then in the second part she talks about life under the constant threat of Taliban after they successfully come into the valley, she also talks about her friends, pop culture and family in a typical teenager way. The shooting, treatment and life in UK takes the bulk of the latter half.

Style:It was a good thing that, it was written with the help of noted journalist Christina Lamb. The naivety in her language is very much evident and gives it an authenticity as it keeps up the image of a small girl talking directly to you. Certain Islamic aspects are given background information as well, since the majority audience is going to be Western and people not very familiar with Pashto and Islamic culture. Very simple language, which school children whose native tongue is not English wont have trouble following. It is a must read for them.

Verdict: An important piece of work in the history of Pakistan and much of the developing Third world that outlines the importance of education. Though, her religious leanings may not interest atheists and social intellectuals. Still very much relevant.

Quotable quote:

“Khairey ba waley darta na kram
Toora topaka woranawey wadan korona”

Guns of darkness! Why would I not curse you?
You turned love-filled homes into broken debris.

– Santhosh