I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

80%

56 Critic Reviews

For the most part, I Am Malala succeeds in its lucid explanation of a history unfamiliar to most people in the West, and as a testament to bravery and perseverance.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

As seen on Netflix with David Letterman
"I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday."

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
 

About Malala Yousafzai

See more books from this Author
Malala Yousafzai came to public attention at the age of eleven by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. Using the pen name Gul Makai, she often spoke about her family's fight for girls' education in her community. In October 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was the winner of Pakistan's National Youth Peace Prize in 2011 and was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize in the same year. She is the youngest person ever nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She was one of four runners-up for Time magazine's Person of the Year and has received numerous other awards. Malala continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization investing in community-led programs and supporting education advocates around the world. Christina Lamb is one of the world's leading foreign correspondents. She has reported on Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1987. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, she is the author of five books and has won a number of awards, including Britain's Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times, as well as the Prix Bayeux-Calvados, Europe's most prestigious award for war correspondents. She currently works for the Sunday Times and lives in London and Portugal with her husband and son.
 
Published October 8, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company. 289 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 03 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for I Am Malala
All: 56 | Positive: 50 | Negative: 6

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Adya@Youngbookreporters on Jan 28 2016

I find it a co-incidence that the lesson Malala found in the ‘Wizard Of Oz’ book is the lesson that I found in this book: if you really want to do something, you can – even with hurdles along your way.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by DayDreamer on Dec 29 2015

Overall, I am Malala was extremely interesting and has definitely made me look at the education system in the UK with respect and gratitude.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by ChloeTheReader on Nov 30 2015

Overall, this is a book I’d highly recommend. Malala’s story is a truly emotional but inspiring one that I think everybody should know about.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Flexiblefangirl on Nov 27 2015

This is a book that everyone needs to read. I think that everyone should know about Malala, and all she’s been through. This is definitely my favourite non-fiction book, and Malala is one of my favourite people.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by bunkbedbobby on Oct 14 2015

She is so calm and she reminds me a bit of Anne Frank because this is almost like a diary and she is also in a type of war. I implore you to read this life changing book.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by chapter one on Jul 05 2015

This captivating memoir written by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb evokes a variety of emotions in us, as readers.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by faithgirl400 on Dec 05 2014

I like this book because it is a real life story...At the start of the book, Malala was a timid, ordinary girl. By the end of the book she was a lot tougher and braver than she was at the start. It is a great book for me to read because it shows how much someone could change throughout a story.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ayesha on Oct 08 2014

I would give it five stars out of five because it was just amazing, fascinating and extremely interesting.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by CaraErica on Sep 09 2014

She is not 'Malala – the girl shot by the Taliban': she is 'Malala – campaigner and activist for education, equality and peace'. Her story demands to be heard.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Pansybee on Aug 22 2014

This is an inspirational autobiography that I would recommend to anyone, once read, it makes you want to make a difference.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by peace_love_books on Mar 31 2014

Malala's story is one which I feel has been told excellently in her own words, and her powerful message of the importance of education for all deserves to be read again and again.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Pinkbookworm on Dec 29 2013

The way the book progresses is so powerful, it tends to hold on even after you've closed that perfect last page. Every child in the world must read this, or must have Malala's story read to them.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Fatima Bhutto on Oct 30 2013

Her faith and her duty to the cause of girls' education is unquestionable, her adoration for her father – her role model and comrade in arms – is moving and her pain at the violence carried out in the name of Islam palpable.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Yvonne Roberts on Oct 12 2013

The medical team that saved Malala; her own stoicism and resilience; the support of her family, now, again in exile, this time in Birmingham; Malala's level-headed resolve to continue to champion education and children's rights – these are all powerful reminders of the best in human nature.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Eugene Kang on Dec 02 2013

Malala Yousafzai is a media sensation, with all the positive and negative associated with that label, but her message is important enough to last beyond the hype, and it rings loud and clear in her book.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Kristin Wilson on Oct 23 2013

She tells the history of Pakistan and how the Taliban became involved. And she shares the story of the shooting and how she barely survived. Throughout I am Malala her desire to change education for women and her passion for learning are evident.

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Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Taube on Jun 20 2014

She should be proud of her efforts and accomplishments. Let’s hope her book will inspire others to fight for freedom and democracy, too.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol on Nov 15 2013

As I read this fascinating book, I marveled at how much history this young woman has seen and now shared with us. A moving story in its own right, I AM MALALA also provides a framework for the bits and pieces we hear on the news.

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Renzetti on Oct 12 2013

For the most part, I Am Malala succeeds in its lucid explanation of a history unfamiliar to most people in the West, and as a testament to bravery and perseverance.

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Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Eggertson on Nov 22 2013

Malala is a bright, articulate hero whose story continues to inspire millions, as did her speech at the United Nations once she had recovered from her injuries. The book, however, is not as great as its author. Part of the difficulty is, of course, that a biography of a 16-year-old is necessarily limited in scope.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Oct 21 2013

Malala's bravely eager voice can seem a little thin here, in I Am Malala, likely thanks to her co-writer, but her powerful message remains undiluted

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Arana on Oct 11 2013

this is a book that should be read not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls.

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The National

Above average
Reviewed by Lavanya Malhotra on Nov 16 2013

Reading her story, I’m finding it astonishingly inspiring..You can hear her soft but strongly confident voice recount tales...

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Daily Kos

Good
Reviewed by Tara on Feb 19 2014

I said above that I read books like this to understand how evil gains a foothold and takes over. I also read them to understand what it takes to stand against evil.

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Book Buzz

Good
Reviewed by Jill Lawless on Oct 24 2013

...the book reveals a girl who likes “Ugly Betty” and the cooking show “Masterchef,” worries about her clothes and her hair, but also has an iron determination that comes from experience beyond her 16 years.

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South China Morning Post

Above average
Reviewed by Fatima Bhutto on Dec 01 2013

This book is as much Ziauddin's story as it is his daughter's, and is a touching tribute to his quest to be educated and to build a model school.

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Chicago Sun Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jill Lawless on Oct 08 2013

The book..recounts Malala’s life before and after the moment on Oct. 9, 2012, when a gunman boarded a school bus full of girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and asked “Who is Malala?” Then he shot her in the head...The shooting is described briefly but vividly in the book, which is briskly written but full of arresting detail.

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BookDragon

Good
on Jan 27 2014

That a 16-year-old’s life can fill a 300-plus page book with so much history, family saga, tragedy, joy, and inspiration, is a remarkable feat. To become such a renowned public figure so young will surely prove to be both a blessing and a challenge.

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The Spectator

Good
Reviewed by Owen Bennett-Jones on Oct 26 2013

For the first few chapters of I Am Malala, which deals with Pakistani history, it is difficult to know just how much of the text came from Malala and how much from her co-author, the veteran journalist of South Asia, Christina Lamb. But then, as the story progresses, Malala’s voice definitely cuts through, clear and defiant.

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Asian Review of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Bianca Chui on Mar 26 2014

...her extreme youth and limited life experience do not provide sufficient foundation and material for a biography as inspiring as her story...is nevertheless a reflection of Malala’s passion, determination and spirit...

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Santa Fe New Mexican

Good
Reviewed by Elena Wirth on Aug 07 2014

Malala is not only a peacemaker — her story serves as a wonderful window into Pakistani life and the events happening there.

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TODAY'S ZAMAN

Good
Reviewed by DAUD KHATTAK on Feb 26 2014

...though "I am Malala" tells the tale of that triumph, it is also a story for each and every girl who chooses to break societal taboos, challenge the clergy, declare war against illiteracy, and believe in the power of the pen.

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The Northern Echo

Good
Reviewed by Katie Wright on Oct 21 2013

Malala’s story is gripping, tragic and, at times, horrifying, and yet ultimately it is full of hope.

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Business Standard

Good
Reviewed by Simran Jagdev on Oct 02 2014

Even the most detached reader will find it difficult not to get drawn in by this endearing narrative, simply told, in 200-odd pages.

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Dissident Voice

Good
Reviewed by Kim Petersen on Nov 19 2013

The book is an interesting read that illuminates life in Pakistan, growing up in a Pashtun community, school life, family life, the influence of religion, intolerance, and economic hardship. Most of all, I Am Malala conveys...the courage of one young woman...

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Wise Women...Now

Good
Reviewed by Lois Rubin Gross on Nov 04 2013

Read this book because, God or Allah willing, this child is a future leader of the world and one that all our children should strive to emulate.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by EVKrieg on Jun 24 2016

I think these are powerful words and I think the whole world should take a look at what Malala has to say. If everyone fought for equality in the same peaceful manner she does, who knows what the world could look like.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on Feb 20 2015

While this memoir can drag on in some chapters, it is still an eye opener for people who don’t have too much background knowledge on Pakistan. This is an enjoyable memoir that provides a strong message to the reader as well as brings light to life in Pakistan.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Andromeda V. on Feb 13 2015

Eye-opening events can help change the world and make it a better place for everyone. Because of Malala and her incredible story, we are getting closer and closer to making many dreams a reality.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by PinkPanther123 on Apr 16 2014

I recommend this book to everyone who wishes to gain a glimpse into reality. Malala is a girl of confidence, a protector, a leader, a reformer, a fighter!

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Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Laura Eggertson on Nov 22 2013

It’s a difficult balance to strike and at times makes Malala’s opinions seem quite scripted. Nevertheless, I Am Malala educates readers about more than just Malala’s own life. It provides an important window into what many intelligent, principled Muslim families in Pakistan want for their children and for their future...

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Before It's News

Good
Reviewed by Julie on Oct 16 2013

I would highly recommend I Am Malala for adults and teens. Not only will it offer some historical information, but it also provides a glimpse into a very different culture from the perspective of a teenager. And it will show teens that they can have a voice and make a difference even at their young age.

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Book Chatter

Above average
Reviewed by Ti on Oct 16 2014

Since this is not a book I would have normally picked up on my own, I was hoping to get a little more insight into that part of the country but even though I did not find it, I still enjoyed reading about this remarkable young woman.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Good
Reviewed by Athira on Sep 24 2014

...this is a record of a little girl's triumphing over the Taliban, and that, in my opinion, is a great read anytime. On the other hand, books like these make me sad though, because for every well-known girl like Malala getting shot and saved, there must be countless other girls dying without a grave or newsprint to honor them.

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Bermuda Onion's Weblog

Below average
on Feb 11 2014

I went into the book with a lot of anticipation and high expectations that it just wasn’t able to live up to. I liked the book and I’m glad I read it, but I just didn’t love it the way I wanted to.

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The Introverted Reader

Good
Reviewed by Introverted Jen on Apr 08 2014

The Malala in these pages is everything I expected her to be. She makes it clear that she's not perfect but her conviction rings throughout the book.

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The Booksellers New Zealand blog

Good
Reviewed by Kimaya McIntosh on Dec 24 2013

...I Am Malala is a well-written, insightful memoir. It is full of powerful, and often harrowing, stories.

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Books and Things

Excellent
Reviewed by Melissa on Nov 11 2013

I think the book brings a culture most would not otherwise experience. It also explains why education is so important to her. I think this book achieves those goals well. It is a book that should not be missed.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Good
Reviewed by BookBagLady on Oct 20 2013

I AM MALALA is rich in history and tells how Pakistan came to be, how the Taliban took over and the story of what happened to Malala after she was shot. Very well written and kept me glued to my seat.

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Rick Librarian

Good
Reviewed by ricklibrarian on Jan 06 2014

While over 300 pages, Malala's story is quick reading and serves as a good introduction to the issues of women's rights in Third World countries, as well as a specific account of conditions in Pakistan...

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Live Your Dream

Good
Reviewed by Sayed Khadri on Oct 20 2014

I would recommend this book to anyone who want’s know about the courageous girl who stood against Taliban for her rights...I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world

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5 Minutes for Mom

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth on Nov 18 2013

Malala is an endearing personality...I Am Malala is an inspiring book, and reminds us all that everyone deserves an education.

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Mrs. Mommy's Booknerd's Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Mommy Booknerd on Oct 28 2013

As she recounts the experiences they’ve had, I continually found myself in awe of both their individual and collective strength and determination. I was incredibly inspired by their ability to not only survive but thrive in truly unthinkable conditions.

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Leeds Student

Above average
Reviewed by David Robinson on Nov 19 2013

Christina Lamb seems to provide much more factual accounts of events which went on politically around Pakistan. These parts are crucial to understand the context of Malala’s upbringing in Swat, but I did find myself disengaged from them at times, aching for the focus of the book to return to Malala’s experiences.

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https://wednesdaybookreview.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Arlene Somerton Smith on Oct 15 2014

This book is all the more powerful because it is a young, hopeful voice that outlines the horrific, soul-crushing events. Her story informs, enlightens and challenges readers.

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Buried in Books

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Dec 30 2013

You know I don't usually review non-fiction, but I think this is a book that any of us should read. If a 15 year old girl can be heard then what can we do if we combine our voices?

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