I Am Malala

Current stop: Pakistan

Peace in every home, every street, every village, every country – this is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish.

We’ve all heard of Malala, so I don’t need to delve into why or how this book came to my attention. It certainly has been a book I’ve been meaning to read for a few years now, so when I started this challenge it was an easy decision to add it to my list.

One flaw with a story that you already know is that you are waiting, bracing yourself for the fateful moment. I had to settle down and wait, and remember that what lead up to the attempted assassination of Malala is what is really of importance–the denial of education to children around the world.

Having finished the book, I get the criticism. It’s written with a “holier-than-thou” attitude that can be grating. There were lots of instances where Malala went into great detail to explain how she was the top of her class and the most gifted student. Some humility would have benefited her story.

I did notice some reviews by Pakistani readers on goodreads who really did not like the book, arguing that it portrays Pakistan as a violent, horrible country. I disagree with this interpretation; I finished the book reminded that the Taliban is violent and horrible, but I did not think for even a moment that this suggests a generalization of all Pakistanis.

That being said, it is interesting how many Pakistani readers take issue with this book. Many of them argue that Malala has not painted a fair picture of events or the lives of Pakistanis. Obviously I cannot speak on this. All I can truly say is that for me, this book spoke to the importance and right to accessible, quality education for everyone. This is a human right.

Next stop: India.

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