“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced”

― Malala Yousafzai, “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World”

In all honesty, I chose to read the young reader’s edition of “I Am Malala” because it was shorter, and my schedule had been hectic lately. Nonetheless, the shorter version in no way diminishes the text. I can confidently say that I am certain the original edition is just as great as the young reader’s edition. I absolutely love this memoir. It reads like a story, but in the back of your mind you know that these events actually transpired, which escalates every event in the book.

Malala is an inspiring person, one who has rightly earned every ounce of my respect. At the age of eleven she was doing more than I, at twenty, am doing to make the world a better place. A place where everyone has access to equal opportunity and peace is widespread. I doubt there are many who have not heard of Malala before, but for those of you who have not, she is a 17-year-old co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for speaking out for the right of every woman and child to receive an education. Throughout the years of 2008 until this day, she has gone from anonymously writing journal entries for BBC that advocate education to outwardly speaking against those who inhibit the education of anyone. In 2012 she was shot in the left side of her head by the Taliban for her efforts.

Her memoir tells of her life in Swat Pakistan before the shooting and after, when she was taken to a hospital in Birmingham to save her life. Her story is distressing and uplifting, a reminder that the many simple aspects of life that we take for granted are not available to all people. As I read the book, I not only saw what was on the page and the images they conjured in my head, but Malala’s words also made me look inside of myself. Her words made me acknowledge that there is plenty I am ungrateful for and want to change.

I also love how she made the distinction between Islam and the Taliban’s goals. She conveyed that ignorance is the seed of terrorism in any religion. In the book, she says that her father discovered that Fazlullah, the leader of the Taliban group in Swat who would often preach on the radio, was a high school drop out with no religious credentials. In mentioning this, Malala was showing that no religion should be judged based on the few who gave it a bad name. Those few do not even understand the religion that they claim to follow.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this book. There are so many great portions in the book that I wanted to quote, but that would make this review much longer. That does not mean you cannot read these quotes on you own. No matter what edition you pick up, the original or the young reader’s edition, know that it is worth the read. I recommend Malala’s book to everyone. And now, even though I’ve read the shorter edition, I know I’ll still get the original as well.

If you wish to buy this particular edition, I purchased the hardcover from Barnes & Noble for $10.13.

Yousra Medhkour is Layali’s Reviews blogger. She is a senior at the University of Toledo. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of English, with a concentration in creative writing, and a minor in Studio Art. She spends her free time reading countless books, a hobby that nurtured her love for words. With this passion of hers, Yousra aspires to become a published author.

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