Recent Reads: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala

What the book's about: I Am Malala is Malala Yousafzai's account of her life in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, her desire to see ALL people, especially girls, have access to education, and her fight for her own life after being shot by the Taliban because of her willingness to advocate for women's rights to education. 

Why I read this book: I'm getting ready to facilitate a discussion on terrorism at my church. Because we, as Americans, associate the Taliban with terrorism, I read Malala's book as part of my preparation for this discussion. 

My favorite quotes from the book: 

- "I am a refugee, too, forced to live far away from my own country. As my father says, we might be the world's best-treated refugees, in a nice house with everything we need, but we still yearn for our homeland." 

- "My parents never once suggested I should withdraw from school, ever. Though we loved school, we hadn't realized how important education was until the Taliban tried to stop us. Going to school, reading, and doing our homework wasn't just a way of passing time, it was our future." 

- "The Taliban could take our pens & books, but they couldn't stop our minds from thinking." 

- "Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human." 

Who I'd recommend this book for: Anyone who wants to learn more about the Taliban or life in Pakistan will enjoy this book, as will those who were captivated by Malala's story in the days and weeks following the Taliban's attack on her. Additionally, because of Malala's age, high school teens will find I Am Malala particularly captivating. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and the forthcoming A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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