“I am Malala. This is my story.”

The greatest heroes in the world, and in life, are those that never give up. They stick it out, make the best of each situation and make it work. They sacrifice things in their life, in order to help others grow, and give up what they want because someone else needs it more. They work hard and overcome adversity. They fail for a moment, but they get back up to show others they don’t have to stay down. They teach others that having a voice is a sure sign of courage, and they refuse to stay silent to make other people feel comfortable. They are fearless and will do whatever it takes to bring out the greatness in their cause and in other people.

My own heroes are the dreamers, the men and women who wanted to, and tried to, make the world a better place than when they found it. Whether in small ways or the greatest. Some succeed, some fail, and most have a mix of both. But it’s the effort that’s heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire, and am inspired by, those who fight a good fight. One of these people, is Malala Yousafzai. And in her book, I Am Malala, she tells her story.

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When the Taliban took control of the Swat valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday 9th October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.

Malala Yousafzai’s extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. At eighteen she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

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Malala Yousafzai’s story is one of the most powerful, inspiring and intense of our time. This Pakistani schoolgirl has astonished the world with both her determination and courage to fight for education and equal rights for women.

Reading this book I was reminded of how much I take for granted: the freedom of speech; the freedom of whether or not I choose to follow a religion; the ability to have an education, regardless of gender, race or political views.

The Taliban started bombing schools and decreed that girls could not get an education. Malala’s father was a school headteacher and supported his daughter as she spoke out, but soon threats were being made against her family, and on that devastating day in October, a gunman climbed aboard the school bus where Malala was riding with her friends and shot her in the head.

Amazingly, Malala made a miraculous recovery and survived. She and her family are currently living in England, but in her book, Malala talks us about how much she misses her home country, her friends and the life the made there. Her kindness was such that she does not wish revenge on her attacker, only to teach them about education. She says:

“I don’t want revenge on the Taliban, I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban.” – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala

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Malala’s story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I admire her courage, her tenacity, and her hope that her country will one day find peace. It is not childish to hold on to hope, it’s actually very, very hard.

The book is beautifully written, and I found that it was very informative with her stories about the history of Pakistan and the Pashtuns. I would recommend this book with my full heart, regardless of it’s to anyone with interest in women’s rights, current affairs or historical memoirs – I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to read an inspirational story.

What I love most about I Am Malala, is that her fight for her cause is the reason she was shot in the head – but she does not use the tragic and unfortunate event to tell her story for her. She fought for what she believed in before, and it caused her a terrible fate. But she survived, and got up, and continued fighting. She doesn’t use this as her sob-story – she continues to fight, refusing to give up.

“I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’ This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.” – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai is a true hero, and an inspiration to all of us. Her fight, her passion, her courage, her bravery, her ambition, her compassion and her determination will go down in history in the fight for women’s rights and education. She teaches us, more than anything, to be stronger than fear, and to never be afraid to use our voice. This young Muslim woman is a hero to the nations, and will remain in our fight for women, and in our hearts, forever.

She truly has changed the world with her story.

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