Earlier this week when I began planning this blog entry in my head, I noticed that Humans of New York (HONY) was in Pakistan and I thought to myself, now this is a perfect feature to this month's Book Club discussion. Then I finished reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.
I have to be honest, the beginning of I Am Malala was difficult for me to get through. I rarely read non-fiction, and I was having trouble identifying with the author as a reader. I kept reading and was grateful that July's Book Club featured Malala Yousafzai. So that meant some rethinking as far as how this post's format was going to be different. Malala's message needed to be the feature. That being said, here's a link (www.humansofnewyork.com) to Humans of New York and you can explore this amazing website for yourself.
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars
I gave this book 4/5 stars strictly on the technical aspect of my opinion. There were parts of the book that I didn't think were necessary (such as mentioning when she got into fights with her best friend or brother), but with the understanding that she's a 16 year old girl and those things are important at that age, I understood why it was included in the memoir. That being said, it is actually a testament to Malala's mature voice because it is easy to forget how young she actually is.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with the same kind of terror that Malala and her family experienced every day. Despite the challenges of a living in a community that is accustomed to violence, a government that is riddled with embezzling politicians, a society that insists on controlling the actions of women, and the taliban that resorts to brainwashing and suicide bombing if anyone doesn't follow their brand of religion, Malala's father raises a strong and morally balanced family. Beyond that, their family is eager to improve the condition of their people, encouraging education and justice; teaching tolerance and forgiveness.
It's difficult to contemplate how wasted education can be in areas of the United States where kids are not taught the value of an education- not only the value in getting a good job, but the value in bettering society through knowledge.
That is what I took away from this book. It was about Malala and the miracle of her survival despite being shot in the head by the Taliban, but more importantly, it was about standing up for what you believe to be right. Everyone has the opportunity to be a hero every day. It if you believe someone else will speak up against injustices, no one will.
Book Club Discussion
Below I have put together some questions for discussion. Feel free to answer whichever you want and respond to other readers' comments. If you have any other questions for discussion, feel free to post those too! Click on the topics on the right to find the forum for JULY 2015 - I Am Malala.
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