Malala Yousafzai, the educational campaigner from Swat Valley, Pakistan, came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. Using the pen name Gul Makai, she often spoke about her family's fight for girls' education in her community. In October 2012 Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was honoured with the National Peace Prize in Pakistan in 2011 and nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize in the same year. She is the youngest ever person to win the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, taking that honour in 2014. She was shortlisted for Time Magazine Person of the Year and has received numerous other awards. Malala continues to champion universal access to education through The Malala Fund, a non-profit organization investing in community-led education programs and supporting education advocates around the world.
One of the more moving details in I am Malala, the memoir Malala has written with journalist Christina Lamb, is that her mother was due to start learning to read and write on the day Malala was shot - 9 October 2012. -- Kamila Shamsie GUARDIAN Malala Yousafzai's story begins with her parents being commiserated with after producing a baby girl. In their part of northern Pakistan, she says, rifle shots ring out in celebration of a baby boy's arrival. But there is no such fanfare for females: their destiny is to cook and clean, to be neither seen nor heard... So how did Malala, who barely warranted a mention in her family's genealogy, become destined for the history books as a powerful symbol for girls' universal right to an education? Her memoir I AM MALALA tells us how -- Baroness Warsi DAILY TELEGRAPH This memoir brings out her best qualities. You can only admire her courage and determination. Her thirst for education and reform appear genuine. She also has an air of innocence, and there is an indestructible confidence. She speaks with such poise that you forget Malala is 16 -- Ziauddin Sardar THE TIMES Malala's evocation of place, beautifully and lovingly described, and her paean to her father with his own passion for education, are fascinating. But so is her toughness. She describes seeing a young girl selling oranges, clearly unable to read or write: "I took a photo of her and vowed I would do everything in my power to help educate girls like her. This was the war I was going to fight." This remarkable book is part memoir, part manifesto. I feel enriched from having read it. I also feel humbled. Our obsession with school performance is suddenly marginalised by a story in which education, quite literally, proves a matter of life and death -- Geoff Barton THE EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT