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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: I am Malala

A few weeks ago I forgot my E-reader at home and had to find a real, live, book to read on my break at work...yes, sadly I have become one of “those” people who regularly use (and really and truly adore) an electronic reading device. I went searching and came across a title that several people had recommended I read: “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (published in 2013.)

What an amazing book! The story takes the reader to some of the small towns and villages of Pakistan; describing the history of the area and it's inhabitants while focusing on the time just before and after the 9-11 attacks in the United States. I was shocked to discover how little I really know about the people living in the Middle East during this time period. It was eye-opening for me to read about the things that they did not have access to, the money for, or even the right to ask for. The main character “Malala” is a young girl whose family longs for stability, peace, and a political climate that encourages education -especially that of females. The story describes their fear, their courage, and their tenacity as they strive to hold on to things that are slowly and methodically being stolen from them by or with complacency of those who should be protecting them.

This book served not only to highlight my ignorance of this part of the world and it's affairs; but made me grateful to live in a country where the concept of personal freedom may not be perfect- but it is a heck of a lot better than millions of others experience! I would recommend this title to anyone who is experiencing good mental health and a desire to become more globally aware. The library has copies available and I suspect you can find this title at practically any store that sells is an excellent read, but it's not for those who can't stand a little sadness in their stories.

Diana McCarthy, Community Librarian, Falkland Branch

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