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Book Club Kits: I am Malala

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

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.

Discussion Questions

  • Malala is known for her passion for education and women’s rights. How does her passion for education shape her life? Do you have a particular cause that you care about deeply? Discuss.

  • Malala became an activist when she was very young. Discuss how you felt while reading about her experience. Where did Malala find her courage and inspiration?

  • Malala and her father have a very unique and close relationship. Think of someone in your life who has been a mentor. How did they inspire you?

  • Discuss Malala’s relationship with her mother. What influence does she have on Malala?  In what ways does Malala’s relationship with her mother compare/contrast with her relationship with her father?

  • Have you dealt with a traumatic or life changing experience? How did you react in the aftermath of that incident?

  • Malala witnesses her immediate surroundings change dramatically within a short time period. Describe the changes to both Pakistan and Swat throughout I am Malala. How does Malala experience and respond to these changes? How is Malala’s character influenced and shaped by her surroundings?

  • Throughout the book, Malala describes her desire to return home to Swat valley. Discuss how Malala’s relationship with Swat is complicated even further by her role as an activist. Do you think Malala will return to Pakistan and Swat? Discuss.

  • Malala demonstrates an overwhelming sense of courage in the face of adversity. Discuss how Malala reacts to the challenges she faces, as well as the challenges to Swat and Pakistan. How do her peers react? What gives them strength?

  • Malala’s family now lives in Birmingham, England. Have you ever been uprooted in your life? What happened and how did you adapt? How did that experience shape your world?