By Kiana Stevens
I am Malala (2013) – Malala Yousafzai
This summer the first book I attempt to devour, before returning to my September reading list, was I am Malala. Published in 2013, when the author was only 16 years old, this novel is an autobiography of the Girls’ Education Advocate and youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate; Malala Yousafzai.
In 265 pages Malala answers the question ‘Who is Malala? She tells her story, of a how she spoke out against a Taliban assassin on a secret school bus in Swat. She shocks us with the message that a person can ultimately be shot in the head for speaking out for something we often taken for granted, education.
As I tore through page after page on a gorgeous beach in Portugal, relaxing after the stress of second year university, I could not help but feel empowered and incredibly grateful for the circumstances that have allowed me my education. The very education that I was shamefully attempting to recover from in a week abroad.
In this novel, a girl the same age as myself, reveals her desperate efforts to educate herself: hiding books under her shawl; passing by the severed heads of police officers on her way to school; and eventually receiving a bullet for something I have always struggled to wake up for.
A girl of passion and indignant determination, Malala represents the powerful voice of all disadvantaged girls. No matter what, she maintained her fight for education for herself and for every girl across the world. To this day, Malala continues her work throughout the world and recently spent her twenty first birthday promoting her fantastic non-profit organization ‘Malala Fund’ in Brazil.
This book is empowering; it promotes awareness of an often tragically dismissed issue and is impossible to put down. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an eye-opening realisation of life beyond their back garden.