I knew very little about Pakistan outside of news clips before reading this book, and I knew even less about Malala. She's a passionate young woman who loves her family, her country and Islam, and she's dedicated her life to seeing that every child receives an education. Coming from a country where over five million children never receive an education and where girls are encouraged to leave their educations unfinished, and where the Taliban target schools for bombings and shootings, she came to appreciate the importance of education early in her life. She was able to go to the school her father ran, but even that was not always easy after the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, but she didn't back down and neither did her father.
The writing flows here, whether she's talking about her classmates, her life at home, Pushtan customs or about growing up in the Swat Valley. Her detailing of the various events in Pakistan history, from its founding after being broken off from India to its current state of affairs, is concise and enlightening without getting bogged down. It's clear that her early years of writing and orating has made her confident in speaking her mind and she chronicles the events of her life openly and frankly.
Most of the book takes place before the shooting that changed her life, with the last third or so talking about the shooting and the events afterward, including how it came about that she was removed from Pakistan and her recovery to date. She is an incredibly lucky young woman to have survived, and many people were responsible for that, and she continues to campaign for education for all children.
She truly is an inspiration.