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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban [Hardcover]

Malala Yousafzai , Christina Lamb
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Oct 2013

I come from a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. Shot in the head at point blank range while riding the bus home from school, 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 ever nominee 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, and of Malala's parents' fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. It will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (8 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297870912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297870913
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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One of the more moving details in I am Malala, the memoir Malala has written with journalist Christina Lamb, is that her mother was due to start learning to read and write on the day Malala was shot - 9 October 2012. (Kamila Shamsie THE GUARDIAN 2013-10-08)

Malala Yousafzai's story begins with her parents being commiserated with after producing a baby girl. In their part of northern Pakistan, she says, rifle shots ring out in celebration of a baby boy's arrival. But there is no such fanfare for females: their destiny is to cook and clean, to be neither seen nor heard...So how did Malala, who barely warranted a mention in her family's genealogy, become destined for the history books as a powerful symbol for girls' universal right to an education? Her memoir I AM MALALA tells us how. (Baroness Wasi DAILY TELEGRAPH 2013-10-08)

This memoir brings out her best qualities. You can only admire her courage and determination. Her thirst for education and reform appear genuine. She also has an air of innocence, and there is an indestructible confidence. She speaks with such poise that you forget that Malala is 16. (Ziauddin Sardar THE TIMES 2013-10-14)

Her story is astonishing. (Owen Bennett-Jones THE SPECTATOR 2013-10-26)

The medical team that saved Malala; her own stoicism and resilience; the support of her family, now, again in exile, this time in Birmingham; Malala's level-headed resolve to continue to champion education and children's rights - these are all powerful reminders of the best in human nature. Much of the money Malala has been awarded has gone to the Malala fund (www.malalafund.org). "Please join my mission," she asks. It's vital that those of us who can, do. (Yvonne Roberts THE OBSERVER 2013-10-13)

Moving and illuminating (Catherine Bennett THE OBSERVER 2013-10-13)

Malala's evocation of place, beautifully and lovingly described, and her paean to her father with his own passion for education, are fascinating. But so is her toughness. She describes seeing a young girl selling oranges, clearly unable to read or write: "I took a photo of her and vowed I would do everything in my power to help educate girls just like her. This was the war I was going to fight." This remarkable book is part memoir, part manifesto. I feel enriched from having read it. I also feel humbled. Our obsession with school performance is suddenly marginalised by a story in which education, quite literally, proves a matter of life and death. (Geoff Barton TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT 2013-10-18)

Malala's voice has the purity, but also the rigidity, of the principled. Whether she is being a competitive teenager and keeping track of who she beat in exams (and by how much) or writing about the blog for the BBC that catapulted her on to the international stage - "We were learning how to struggle. And we were learning how powerful we are when we speak" - or talking about Pakistan's politicians ("useless"), Malala is passionate and intense. Her faith and her duty to the cause of girls' education is unquestionable, her adoration for her father - her role model and comrade in arms - is moving and her pain at the violence carried out in the name of Islam is palpable. (Fatima Bhutto THE GUARDIAN 2013-10-30)

Part memoir, part mission statement, I Am Malala recounts the early life of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who spoke out against the Taliban and was shot for her defiance. Her recovery, bravery and stoicism - and that of her father, Ziauddin - make for shocking and moving reading. (EMERALD STREET 2013-11-06)

The world is entranced by the story of the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she wished to go to school. Flown over to Birmingham for emergency surgery, she has emerged as an elegant and brave spokesgirl for a better future, to the extent that she almost won the Nobel peace prize and has become a sought-after speaker. This book should inspire girls the world over. (CATHOLIC HERALD 2013-11-01)

Malala's story is gripping, tragic and yet ultimately full of hope. Faced with religious fundamentalism, suicide bombers and death threats her courage, stoicism and wisdom shine through at every turn. The bond she shares with her father - an equally courageous man whose views on equality are at odds with many of his countrymen - is also very movingly described. (WOMAN'S WAY 2013-11-04)

The media didn't really take on board the fact, which emerges from her book I AM MALALA, co-written with Christina Lamb, that every single day for her was a protest. She would hide her pens and books under her clothes on the way to school and ignore the Taliban's threats. She is a role model, not just a victim. (Agatha Johnson STANDPOINT 2013-11-01)

Not only powerful, but also very instructive about the recent history of Pakistan and the pressures of everyday life there. One finishes the book full of admiration both for Malala, and for her father, who has clearly inspired her. (SUNDAY TIMES 2013-12-01)

Rejoice! It was the year that a Pakistani teenager who stood up to the Taliban became a celebrity, and one with a real story to tell. What a breath of fresh air in a genre crowded out by middle-aged TV personalities. Malala Yousafzai invigorated the "all about me" genre with I AM MALALA, with Christina Lamb, a tale of immense courage and conviction which begins as she is shot for campaigning for the rights of girls to an education. (THE INDEPENDENT 2013-11-30)

I AM MALALA is a rich and riveting account of a short, brave and admirable life. (Kevin Power SUNDAY BUSINESS POST (Ireland) 2013-11-24)

Inspirational and powerful (GRAZIA 2013-12-03)

The story of the girl shot by the Taliban for speaking up for women's education is one of idealism and stubborn courage, and a reminder that women's rights and many children's rights to education are continually threatened. (METRO 2013-12-19)

She has the heart and courage of a lioness and is a true inspiration (Lorraine Kelly THE SUN 2013-12-14)

I felt both humbled and inspired by I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb, the remarkable story of the young educational campaigner from Pakistan's Swat valley, who miraculously survived after being shot by the dark forces of fundamentalism. Deftly written with the help of an award-winning foreign correspondent, this is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the tortured politics of the Taliban in the North-West Frontier. (Jimmy Burns THE TABLET 2013-12-07)

It's hard to believe that this intelligent, charismatic and very poised young woman is still just 16 years old. There is so much hope and expectation resting on those inspirational small shoulders. (Lorraine Kelly GLASGOW HERALD 2013-11-30)

One finishes the book full of admiration both for Malala, and for her father, who has clearly inspired her. (Andrew Holgate SUNDAY TIMES 2013-12-01)

In her inspirational and powerful autobiography, Malala tells her own extraordinary story. (GRAZIA 2013-12-09)

The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban has astonished the world with her courage and determination to fight for education and equal rights for women (FINANCIAL TIMES 2013-12-14)

The inspirational story of the girl who single-handedly showed that the pen is mightier than the sword should be required reading for people of all ages. (ARMY & YOU 2013-12-01)

The book is equally Malala's story of love for her family and respect for her father who comes across as an inspirational figure. It is a book of courage and endurance in the face of tremendous odds. I am Malala should be read by everyone who sees education as an agency of liberation for both boys and girls and an indispensable weapon in the struggle against ignorance and oppression. (Alan Gibbons ARMADILLO)

Read the story of the remarkable young woman who refused to be silenced after she was shot in the head by the Taliban on a school bus in 2012. At 16, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. (BABY & ME 2014-01-01)

Did you see Malala on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart? If not, Google it and then buy this book. It's hard to find the words to describe what this girl has done, not only for young women everywhere, but also for the world in which it feels like the bad guys always win. I'm all choked up just writing this. (GLASGOW HERALD 2013-12-14)

Honest, insightful and piercingly wise, this is the celebrity memoir to give your teenaged daughter this Christmas. (Katy Guest INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 2013-12-22)

Malala has shown extraordinary courage in campaigning for the millions of girls who are still denied an education. Uplifting and inspirational. (June Purvis TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT 2013-12-19)

This courageous and extraordinary young woman has become something of a world symbol. Her stand for education of women in her own native Pakistan was a courageous one, but it should not lead Western readers to think that such things only happened over there. She and her family now live abroad, but as her speeches and appearances show, she continues her campaign for the right of young people everywhere to fully realise their potential. (IRISH CATHOLIC 2013-12-13)

Book Description

The highly anticipated memoir of Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl from Pakistan's Swat region who stood up to the Taliban.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Courage, Friendship and Faith 13 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book should be a 'must-read' for everyone! Not only is it a story of courage and inspiration as the first reviewer wrote, it also describes the richness of friendship in a family and among friends of the Yousafzai family. The book is well-written and interesting and I couldn't put it down! The background to events in the Swat Valley is valuable as are the descriptions of ordinary life in Mingora, if you can call it 'ordinary' with the threat of Talibanisation.

Another valuable point of the book is its insights into Islam as it is practised by a devout but not fundamentalist family and their emphasis on prayer. I have always found that prayer unites people of any creed and 'I am Malala' confirmed this opinion, (I write from a Christian perspective). I hope that faith and community uphold the family now in their new home and that they will continue to be ambassadors for Islam as a religion of peace - needed in our multi-cultural society today.

Thank you, Malala, for a wonderful courage and a witness that the pen and the word are far mightier than the sword.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Inspiration 11 Oct 2013
By EF67
Format:Kindle Edition
This is not only the incredible story of an amazing young woman but that of her whole family and what life was/is like under the Taliban. It is truly an inspirational account of their courage in standing up for their beliefs in the face of incredible strain and adversity.

Heart-wrenching, thought-provoking and moving, this is a book everyone should read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts things into perspective 7 Nov 2013
By LivY
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good book from her own perspective. At times she may come across as a little too righteous but then again she is only 16(!) and has used her profile, risking her life, to bring attention to the ongoing issue of female education - what many of us take so much for granted.

What I found particularly interesting however was the background history and culture covered in this book. It helped to give context not only to the issue but also shed more of an 'insider' light into the region and some of the internal and external issues that many, including myself were previously unaware of.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible girl 16 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An incredible brave, intelligent and strong willed girl, hard to believe she is only 16, talks about her past in her home town of Swat Valley. An interesting read about how life is like in that part of Pakistan, life under Taliban rule, the endless corruption in all areas of their government and an incredible story about her father. Malala wouldn't be the girl she is today (minus the shooting) without the help of her father and she conveys this a lot in her book. She talks about the freedom of thought and expression he allowed Malala to have even though his first born was a daughter (a girl being born in a Pakistani family is sometimes looked at as 'unlucky' by others whereas when a son is born in to a family there is a big fanfare, congratulations and gifts). It was interesting to read, towards the latter of the book, about the shooting, the conditions of the hospital and the two Doctors from Birmingham who were 2 of many that helped save Malala's life.

It was a great read and certainly made me appreciate how easy we have it here when it comes to School's/College's and how we take that for granted. Its only when something is taken from you that you realise how much it means to you and this is what one of the things Malala talks about in her book. I finished this book within a couple of days. How life was in Pakistan under Taliban rule really gripped me that I couldn't put the book down.

I am glad that she has appeared on numerous talk shows in America and spreading the message of education for all boys and girls as their basic rights in countries, such as Pakistan. I fully recommend this book to young adults/teenagers and maybe they'll realise that they have something incredible in this country where they might not have had this privilege in a third world country to achieve their full potential.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good... But... 17 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I struggled to know what star rating to put for this book for a few reasons.

I enjoyed reading the book and felt I learned a lot that I didn't know previously. It certainly educated me in an engaging and interesting way.

My problem with the book is that approximately 75% of it is about her father - what he says, what he does and what he thinks. The bits that I really enjoyed reading about was her and her thoughts - which undeniably are interesting and thought provoking. She has the ability with her own voice to raise questions and get people thinking about difficult subjects. I find it just a little disappointing that a young lady who has done so much for the rights of females / girls would defer so much to her fathers word and see it as the only true voice in some matters.

Having said this, if she were to write a book herself, about herself and opinions, I would buy it and enjoy reading it. She is a very bright and engaging person and I really hope she find happiness and security for the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in detail 2 Mar 2014
This book is a joy to read. It is rich in details about Malala's life in the Swat valley in Pakistan. The detailed account gives the reader a real flavour of what it is like to live from day to day in the Pashtun areas of rural Pakistan. The details also give us a rich picture of the variety of attitudes to religion found in villages and towns in rural Pakistan. While most of the characters in the book profess to be Muslim, the way they view their religion varies greatly.

As the Taliban gain power in Mingora, where Malala lives, we get a birds-eye view of what it is like to have your world turned upside-down by fundamentalist religion. Later, after the army has supposedly cleared the village of Taliban, we can feel along with Malala what it is like to live in a permanent state of insecurity knowing that whatever the army says, the situation is not truly safe.

Above all this is a story of courage as Malala speaks out against the Taliban, her country's army and government and the self-interested rich countries who get involved in the events of the area. While sometimes you can feel that the book was co-authored with a journalist, there are moments when the wonderful voice of a somewhat naive (in the best way) adolescent comes through.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed Malala's story
I thoroughly enjoyed Malala's story. Her courage and that of her family is phenomenal. What a bright and shining star she is and I wish her a safe and successful future.
Published 4 days ago by Karen Conroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Reasonably-priced on Kindle, this is a wonderful story. Malala describes life growing up in rural Pakistan under the Taliban, and then the shooting which made her world-famous. Read more
Published 19 days ago by I. Scott-thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars I Am Malala
This was a gift and thus I have no idea what the recipient thought of the book which I bought for her as present!!!!!!!
Published 23 days ago by gill jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars longing to read
bought with a sense of urgency I am saving this to savour properly because Malals story just has to be one of the greatest of this decade (will possibly be of the century) looking... Read more
Published 24 days ago by lizell
3.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable girl but tiresome written
I really do admire Malala and her courage and her whole story and work.
But I got a bit worn out by the narration in this story. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Christina
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book
The best book I have ever read before. I would strongly suggest everyone to read this book once in a life.
Published 1 month ago by Ram Ko Phone Gurung
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
As a father of three daughters who have free and open access to education, this really made me appreciate what my children have. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nigel
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
What an amazing story. Great read and fantastic how this young girl has captured so many people in this world.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Kaur
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring read
Good book. I got drawn in to its detail, especially the descriptions of Swat Valley.
Her story is inspiring and still opens your eyes to how even at her worst, she was but a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeff
4.0 out of 5 stars i am Malala
this is such an interesting book. It throws light on what it is like to be out of step with the Taleban. Read more
Published 1 month ago by fiona
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