Book review: I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

I always liked this girl and reading her bio made me more curious about her life and about the history of Pakistan.


When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. 

My opinion

My problem with this book is that the following day I didn’t like it that much 😀 And I just discovered that I bought the wrong version, as this one is aimed for the young readers and not the biography for adults 😀

I should have bought the left version which is the original bio as the one in the right, that I read, was reviewed and adapted for young readers.
Picture belong to their owners

« I am Malala » is an autobiography of Malala and the story of her fight for education that she started in Pakistan. She narrates her story from her point of view, it feels like we are having an intimate conversation with her about her life, routine and love for education.

The book narrates her life from the beginning and does an interesting parallelism with the rise of extremist in Pakistan and how access to education retrograded throughout the years. The fact that the situation is told from the memory and eye of a child not understanding everything around it gives a depth and a candid atmosphere to the narration.

What I didn’t like about this book is that it gave me the impression throughout the book that she got where she is now by sheer luck, which is not the case. I also did not appreciate how she did not talk more in depth of her dad’s fight for education as he is an activist and did a lot. The book also does not shed a light on how she got hold of the journalist and how she corresponded with them…

I would have preferred to have apart focused on her dad and what he did for Pakistan as well, as without his support she would not have been the Malala we know. Nonetheless, I really loved the family and friends picture that she put there and the many details on Pakistan and its interesting history. It was interesting to see how spiritual and religious she is. I really liked her authenticity and truth and how she was not faking anything.

The chapters and the timeline is fluid and you have a healthy dose of history, her life and powerful messages. It is tailored for children of her age and there is another version of her bio for adults 😀 I love how she makes a strong focus throughout the book on her grades and being the best at school, I can totally related as I was like her during my school years xD

The fact that children in western countries(and in rich countries) hate going to school and always complain about it when Malala is fighting for the right to learn, and education really puts things into perspective.

This biography really is a good testimonial of the powerful story of Malala and how human and naïve she was throughout this fight for education. I recommend it for adults and young readers as it can spark interesting conversations 😀