I Am Malala

I’m already in the phase of the year where I think ahead to what I want to teach next year.  I’m not happy with my Sophomore curriculum, so I’m looking for some updated works that can fill some gaps.  I’m interested in some non-fiction particularly involving young people.  I Am Malala fits this bill, plus it stresses the importance of education and involves somewhat current events.

MalalaI wasn’t sure what to expect with this book.  I had heard that it was a good book but nothing of what the details of her life were outside of her infamous shooting. Since its autobiography, and Malala is only 16, I figured there had to be more to the book than just her shooting. It started out a little slow, but with some interesting history of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the ethnic Pashtuns that are divided by those countries borders.  I was worried we were headed for a meandering life story, but once the background was laid, Malala, and her ghost writer, picked up the pace and caught us up to speed.

Surprisingly, she discusses a lot of world events that we Americans can relate to. I appreciated her point of view of events in the Afghanistan war that spilled in to Pakistan. While she isn’t anti-American, she does look at events through a critical lens offering up a perspective that shows how convoluted the Pakistani government and U.S. Military’s actions were in that part of the world. I do recommend this book, if only for that perspective. Her insights into education and religion are the icing on the cake.

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