Friday, February 6, 2015

Teen review: Autobiography

I am Malala is an inspiring and deeply emotional nonfiction autobiography written by Malala Yousafzai. She is more commonly known as “the girl who was shot by the Taliban.” 

Her book delves deep into the history of Pakistan, what her life was like before being targeted, what lead up to the shooting, and what she hopes she will accomplish. She tells us about her life in Swat Valley, and what a beautiful place it once was. She goes into detail about the horrible things the Taliban do once they have control over the valley. She explains what the government is like in Swat and how terrorist groups were formed. She also talks about how political actions from America and Britain were received and how for a long time they had no connection to the outside world due to Taliban law.

Before reading this I had absolutely no idea just how terrible the situation in Pakistan was. I had no clue there even was a situation in Pakistan to be worried about! In 327 pages I learned more about the history of terrorization, educational rights, and the religion of Islam than I did in history class. I feel like every teen should read this at least once so as to be more aware of the problems people face outside our country. It does deal with some heavy topics, and parts in the beginning are slow, so I would recommend this to 9th graders and up. This book sheds light on extremely important human rights issues and it gives a very detailed account of what has happened and what the reader can do to help. For these reasons I’m giving it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Like I said before, I hope everyone reads this--its message is both powerful and important.

Reviewed by Isabella C., grade 9

Editor's note: Thank you, Isabella, for that thorough, insightful and positive review. We're happy to see some nonfiction readers on the blog! Please note that Burbank Public Library carries this as a regular book, an e-book, and a sound recording (audio book).

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