Biography Group Read, 4th Quarter: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb, General Discussion
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Our book for the 4th quarter (October-December) is I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
>4 lindapanzo: It's not long at all. I borrowed a copy from the library to check out the photos and see if I would read it this month. I've decided to wait until late Nov or early Dec to read it and count towards my AlphaKIT.
>5 LittleTaiko: This books sounds like it is perfect for book club.
>6 aliciamay: I hope it works out for you. If not, there is plenty of time to re-request it.
To self, 'I do not need to hurry to the library tomorrow. I can wait until Monday. I do not need to hurry to the library tomorrow. Monday is really soon enough. No, I really don't need to pick it up tomorrow ...' (It's way the other side of the city, and I go every Monday, anyway. I currently have 24 books out, three of which I am actively reading, and by Monday will have finished.) And with any luck another one of my reserved books may show up.
She doesn't act or talk like the 17 year olds I know.
If you would like to hear her speak, I recommend you watch her appearance on the Daily Show. Stewart wanted to adopt her.
Even if you aren't going to read the book, I suggest you at least read the prologue.
Yes, she had help, but her voice predominates except in the section about what happened while she was in a coma. And that part, although interesting and necessary for continuity, isn't as riveting as the rest of it.
Yes, she does keep refering to the history and geography of her people. Living in Birmingham now, she is aware of how different western cities are from her valley, and she works hard to get her readers to understand her culture.
She is a very impressive young woman.
At one point Malala mentions 'ghost schools' - schools where money had been given by aid agencies and pocketed by corrupt local officials so that only a small shack was built that was never run as a school. I can't help but wonder if this describes some of what happened to Greg Mortenson's schools as I remember some of them being described as storage sheds and never used as a school. I have not read Jon Krakauer's book Three Cups of Deceit, but I wonder if Mortenson was the deceived as much as the deceiver. I think I'll have to put that one on my wish list.
As a parent, I wonder if I would have had the courage to allow my daughter to do the things she did - the blog, interviews - all the things that set her firmly in the Taliban's sights. She was following the footsteps of her father and her father was rightly very proud of her intelligence and courage. The book is making me consider the line between a parent's duty to protect and to support and encourage.
Not to compare with Malala of course, but yes, sometimes we have to support our children doing the right thing, even when we see the disadvantages that could come of it.
Children, boys and girls, are being attacked frequently just for going to school in various places. The recent attacks in Nigeria, for example. So what do parents do when there are groups who would rather see the children dead than educated?
At least the risk is in the cause of trying to create a better future for the children.
And I know children take part in adult-risk situations all the time. I can remember the photos of the desegregation of the American South in the 1960's with kids surrounded by hate filled adults.
But I am one who sees Gavroche rallying the men on the barricade, and I long to stuff a sock in his mouth and see him get a chance to grow up before taking on the task of saving the world.
I think it's a different answer for every parent and there isn't a wrong answer to the question "Is this battle worth my child's life?"
I loved I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. What a powerful story of a girl that was raised in a culture that diminishes the potential of women. Her father was born a man of humble means but when he had a daughter for his first born he cherished her and shared his love of education with her. Her love of her homeland comes through as well as the adoration she has for her father. What child would not love a father that treats her as gem? What hard choices they made as family to risk death for championing education for not only girls but for poor children as well. Is this the best written autobiography? No, but her point comes across and her story MUST be told.
I am so happy she won the Nobel Peace Prize with Kailash Satyarthi. I was happy to hear that she did not seek asylum in the UK but lives there for her safety. It is important to her to return to the Swat Valley one day. Google the images. I hope she is able to realize this dream.
Now to everyone's comments.
>13 streamsong: Malala is very well spoken. I love her youthful enthusiasm and as she gets more polished I will miss that.
>14 mamzel: Yes, the introduction is very good. As I said, her story must be told.
>15 MarthaJeanne: She mentions in the book when she turned 15 that she was considered an adult.
>16 mamzel: & >17 LittleTaiko: Yes
>19 MarthaJeanne: & >20 Helenliz: I agree
>21 streamsong: First, I wonder about the deception she talks about too because in Pakistan they are now accusing her and the Malala Fund of the same corruption. It is in the Taliban and certain political factions interest to discredit her and her family. Now I wonder about the other incident you state. I have not read the book but only read articles about it.
>26 cbl_tn: I also was impressed that Malala was very forthcoming with her faults and flaws. Her competitiveness is fierce and she has everyday squabbles with her friends. All of these girls are/were so very brave to defy the Taliban.