I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzat

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzat

An interesting tale of courage and strength told through the eyes of a young teenage girl.

The preceding reads like a soundbite for the latest young adult action movie (like the Hunger Games), but it’s not. It’s the true story of Malala’s life as she fights for her education as well as her rights as a woman in Pakistan during the Taliban’s occupation.

I read the young adult version of her book and am glad to have done so. Originally purchased in order to share with my 12 year old daughter, I found the writing to be well done in a conversational tone. I felt like I was sitting with Malala as she unfolded the events of her young life to me.

With regard to the original (adult) version of the book, I read some comparisons that confirmed my decision to buy the YA version.

  • The adult version (AV) is written mostly in the third person (versus first), so you don’t get to hear her voice and tone.

  • AV begins with 5 chapters on the history of the various religious sects in Pakistan. One reviewer felt this was overkill and could have been accomplished in a single chapter. YA did not contain this info at all.

  • AV discusses her father’s history in depth, outlining his depth of passion for education. YA referenced his passion and dedication many times without any detailed biographical information. I didn’t miss this information when I found out it wasn’t present.

  • YA described more of her mother’s character and influence on the family and community, whereas AV didn’t mention her much at all.

  • AV describes the attack in detailed chronological order from the the third person. YA tells that experience from her perspective; being shot, waking up in the hospital, and the agonizingly slow process of learning what had happened to her and her family. I enjoyed the YA method as it felt like I was in her place.

While a tragic attack on her life put Malala in the world spotlight, this is an amazing story of her courage to turn it into something positive and larger than herself. Well worth reading!