Skip to content

Review: I Am Malala

February 11, 2014

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai was born in the Swat Valley of Pakistan to a conservative mother and a progressive father.  The moment she was born her father knew she was special and she became the apple of his eye.   Her father ran a school and strongly believed in education for all.  His passion for education was passed down to Malala so she loved school and learning.

When the Taliban gained control of the Swat Valley, they stripped women of many rights and encouraged them to drop out of school.  Malala did not acquiesce – not only did she continue to go to school, but she spoke out against the Taliban’s mandates.  In October 2012, members of the Taliban boarded her school bus and shot her in the head, point blank.  She was lucky to survive and continues to be an advocate for women’s education.

I am a great admirer of Malala Yousafzai so I was very excited to read her memoir, I Am Malala.  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.

The beginning of the book covered the history and culture of the Swat Valley.  Much of it was interesting but it wasn’t what I wanted from the book.  I have to admit that I didn’t understand all of it – maybe because I experienced the book on audio.  There was also quite a bit about Malala’s father and his struggle in running a school and it was interesting too, but I wanted to know more about Malala’s life and how the Taliban affected it.

In the end, I think I admire Malala even more for having read I Am Malala.  She is a passionate young woman and I suspect she’ll have a great impact on the world one day.  I think her book is worth reading but don’t go into with soaring expectations like I did.

The audio version of I Am Malala is narrated by Archie Panjabi and I thought she did an okay job.  Malala reads the introduction and I actually thought she did a better job than Panjabi did so I wondered why she didn’t narrate the whole book.  The audio is on 9 CDS and lasts approximately 10 hours.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
25 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2014 7:38 am

    Sounds worth reading!

  2. February 11, 2014 8:18 am

    I might try this in print…

  3. February 11, 2014 10:21 am

    Sorry this did not live upto your expectations. I do know the tremendous odds Malala had to face throughout – I think women in Asia face them most of the time and in her culture it was worse than most.

  4. February 11, 2014 10:24 am

    I’m sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations, my mom read it and enjoyed it. What a courageous young lady and such an inspiration!

  5. February 11, 2014 10:31 am

    I wonder if your experience would have been different if you had read it rather than listened to it. But this sounds interesting, nonetheless.

  6. Patty permalink
    February 11, 2014 10:40 am

    It is really hard to adjust when expectations are high…and things fall a bit flat but…it was still a worthwhile experience…right?

  7. February 11, 2014 10:46 am

    She is an amazing girl. I’m sorry the book didn’t quite live up to your expectations, but it still sounds like it was worth reading.

  8. talesofwhimsy permalink
    February 11, 2014 11:33 am

    Sounds good.
    Don’t ya hate when you realllly want the author to narrate and for whatever they choose not to?
    Great review.

  9. February 11, 2014 12:39 pm

    Sorry this one fell a little short of expectations. I’ve had my eye on it since it came out, but I’m not in any rush. Will probably grab this one from the library when the holds list goes down a bit.

  10. February 11, 2014 12:56 pm

    I am hoping to read this at some point this year. I think I will stick with print and avoid a ‘just okay’ audio.

  11. February 11, 2014 1:01 pm

    At my job, we have Diversity week and this is the Diversity Book Club choice. I look forward to trying it.

  12. Athira permalink
    February 11, 2014 1:19 pm

    I think I’ll skip this one. I do want to know her story but I wouldn’t want less her-story and more-other items though.

  13. February 11, 2014 1:22 pm

    I got about a third of the way into this audiobook and put it aside for the time being. I like Panjabi’s narration and the story is powerful, just have to be in the right mood I guess. Sorry to hear it fell short of expectations.

    My daughter is learning about Malala in school and I’m encouraging her to read the book.

  14. February 11, 2014 6:58 pm

    I suspect the story is well worth telling, but sorry it didn’t wow you.

  15. February 12, 2014 6:56 am

    Thanks for your review Kathy. I’m sorry this did meet your expectations.

  16. lab1990 permalink
    February 12, 2014 9:06 am

    Sorry the book wasn’t as wonderful as you were hoping, but her story is definitely interesting and worth knowing about.

    Lauren from

  17. February 12, 2014 12:38 pm

    For some reason this book has not appealed to me, even though I’ve found her story very compelling….I just don’t want to read a whole book about her. I think I need a little more time and space between all the news coverage and the day when I delve deeper into her story.

  18. February 12, 2014 1:45 pm

    This made our book club list for the year so I will be reading it at some point.

  19. February 12, 2014 7:17 pm

    She’s an amazing girl. Thanks for the heads up to try it in print.

  20. swright9 permalink
    February 12, 2014 8:43 pm

    Oh I like Panjabi as an actress but I’m sure Malala wouldve been a compelling reader for it. I wouldnt have too high of expectations for it but I wouldnt mind reading it from the library. cheers.

  21. bookingmama permalink
    February 13, 2014 9:01 am

    Well there’s no doubt the story is amazing. I still have this one to listen to. I love Archie Panjabi!!!

  22. February 13, 2014 11:58 am

    This is on my to read list. I have to read something a little less depressing for now after that Lost Flamingoes of Bombay book. Looking for something lighter.

  23. February 13, 2014 5:11 pm

    This one is on my to read list and I am sure it is going to be interesting. I’ve seen interviews with her and I am just so impressed! Thank you for the good review!

  24. February 15, 2014 7:25 pm

    I’ve had this on my radar, sorry it wasn’t as good as you’d have liked it to be.

  25. Elizabeth permalink
    February 16, 2014 7:21 pm

    I will probably read this at some point, but I’m with you- I want Malala’s story, not necessarily her dad’s, though he is also clearly an intriguing person. Thanks for the heads up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: