Friday, July 10, 2015

Audiobook: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Archie Panjabi

Time: 9 hours 53 minutes

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 has become 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.

My Thoughts: There are not enough words to describe how wonderful Malala is. Since I first heard of her a few years ago, I can't help but be in awe on how brave this young girl is. When this book came out, I was eager to read it. I decided to go with the audio version to help me with the names of the people and places. Not allowing the hype about Malala to interfere with my feelings towards this book, I found it to be interesting.

With the help from Christina Lamb, Malala recounted what she remember before and after her shooting. She described what life was like before the Taliban arrived in her hometown Swat. There was music, laughing, and games. Once the Taliban arrived, all of that disappeared and terror rose. It was horrible to hear of the "laws" that the Taliban imposed on the people of Swat, the reasons why people were hurt and/or killed, and the destruction of schools. Of course, this did not stop Malala nor her father to continue fighting for education. It was very sad to hear about Malala's shooting but her recovery at the hospital and her growing spirit made me admire her even more.

What stood out to me the most about this book was Malala's admiration for her father and vise versa. It was very evident how much Malala loved her father for she constantly praised him and gave him a lot of credit for all of his hard work to get people educated. Here in America, we constantly hear that women are not valued in the Middle East, so it was very nice to hear how much Malala's father adored her. He encouraged her, fought for her, and praised her. It was heartwarming to learn about their strong relationship.

I'm not sure how much of this book was in Malala's words. There were a few instances that it felt that Christina Lamb was the one talking instead. Were these biased accounts from a foreigner outside of Swat? I did question some of the things that were said.

This production was read by Archie Panjabi. She did a decent job narrating Malala's story. She had the accent, which allowed her to pronounce the foreign words and names correctly.  If I would have read the print book, I know that I would have butchered the names and perhaps would have gotten frustrated with them because there were many. The downside about this narrator was that there was hardly any variation of her tone of voice. Yes, there were a few instance that I could sense happiness and alarm to certain situations, but the majority of the time it was monotone. Sorry to say but I found myself a little bored a few times. However, Archie Panjabi was still able to capture Malala's voice, which made me like Panjabi a bit. 

As a whole, this was an interesting book. I got to learn more about Malala and I came to admire her even more. The narration was okay but I did like how it helped me with the foreign words and names. This is the type of book that many people should read. I rate it:


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