This is a story about a girl born in Pakistan who stood up for women’s rights against the Taliban. On October 9, 2012 her courage became around the world because she was shot while riding the school bus home. Against all odds she survived a head shot and the world prayed and held its breath, and now we hear her story in her own words.
Malala comes from a non-traditional family, first of all her parents marriage is a love match, not an arraigned marriage. Secondly, her mother had strong women as her role models, and although they never stepped out of their traditional role as women, she still had her opinions. Mala’s father again bucked tradition by not only talking to but listening to Malala’s Mother’s advice. Finally, and I think most importantly her father father loves/proud of daughter instead of ashamed that she wasn’t a son. Malal’s father felt that education was just as imprortant for girls as for boys and he encouraged it in his own school. Although he was a Muslim,Malala’s father did not prescribe the the stereotypical woman oppressing Muslim male image. He believed in woman’s rights and would often say “Malala is free as a bird.” Malala’s father was proud of her public speeches advocating for women’s education and condemning the oppression of the Taliban. He never thought that Malala would be a target, their mistake was in thinking the Taliban would view him as the threat. When Malala would discuss the potential danger her education and public speeches posed he would say to Malala “I will protect your freedom, Malala. Carry on with your dreams.” I think he really did think she was safe, and that if anyone would be shot it would be him.
What I really liked about this book was that it provided a history of the Swat Valley of Pakistan and surrounding regions. This explains how the Taliban took over and emphasis how lack of education, especially in women, contributed to the take over. Malala lovers her her country and despite the terror and suffering she suffered in it, she still wants to return and make it a better place. She has a love and a drive to make it someplace safer, someplace better. Her dream is to become a politician and make actual changes and improvements for her people. I hope that Malala does become a politician and betters the lives of her people. This book made me want to support her dreams, and follow her story. I’m hoping that years from now I will be reading about the differences she has made, and I hope she goes down as another Nelson Mandela type for the Pakistani people.