I Am malala by Malala Yousafzai (with Christina Lamb)

 

Summary: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, is by Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Swat Valley, who is standing up for girls rights and education against the Taliban. I am Malala is an autobiography that describes the hardships of living under the Taliban, and the ways Malala herself stood up against their bans on the things that women could do, such as being educated. This book is her journey through her life that started peacefully without the Taliban, and then as the Taliban gains power how life changed and instead of doing as the Taliban wanted and keeping safe, she spoke up against the inequalities and stood up for women’s rights. It shows her dedication to a safer and educated world for not only girls, but boys as well. Not just children but adults. Even after being moved to England, she continues to fight for education.
I thought this book was amazing because Malala was 12 year old girl that impacted the world so greatly and in such a positive way. It shows how a girl who doesn’t let go of her hopes and dreams can achieve so much, even though they are from a humble background. The book was very informative and encouraging. Malala talks about all the things that are going on as she struggles against the Taliban with her father and a few other outspoken individuals.
I agree with Malala’s opinions, that every child and adult should be given an education because it is their right. No matter the gender of a person, people have a right to being informed, and it is crucial world that people are educated. A common theme is that people should be informed and educated. That people should have the rights that they deserve, rights that all people should have because they are human.
I believe this book is encouraging and that it really shows a human face to this great international hero that Malala has become. It also shows the hardships that people face, living under the Taliban and breaks the many stereotypes that people have gained of Muslim people. I really liked this book, because Malala spoke out through this book to show people what was really going on in the Middle East. Many people have a very withdr51dVLcrS0gL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_awn perspective on what is going on in the Middle East. They don’t really understand what it is like to live there, but I am Malala can change this spectator view and show what is really going on. Living in America, or really anywhere not in the Middle East, it is hard to be able to “walk” in these people’s shoes. We don’t know what it’s like, but through Malala, we can understand. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. I believe that everyone should read this book, not just because of the ideas that Malala Yousafzai talks about, but also because it is an incredibly encouraging and life changing story.

 

I picked up this book because I was curious to learn about Malala Yousafzai. It was wonderful to see someone my age, though at the time younger, to go through these hardships that she faced and still keep fighting for something that is so dear to her heart, and because of her struggles and her continuous efforts has changed the world for the better in so many ways. Malala Yousafzai’s tale is an encouraging tale, and I would recommend it to everyone. Malala’s story is sure to grab anyone’s attention, and it can really change a person’s perspective as well as help them make a difference in their own community.

Reviewed by Rabia kamal

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas H. Johnson

One of the most talented poets in history makes her mark in this collection of all Emily Dickinson’s discovered prose. Her poems create beautiful stories and imagery  that delve into deeper topics like death, love, and finding one’s happiness. Emily Dickinson is an inspiration to me and a great many others. She can take the most simplistic aspect of day-to-day household events and transform them into a work of glorious art. Thats what drew me to her poems: how she can shine brilliant light upon her surroundings and present the complicated beauty of it.  A masterpiece such as this, I think, should be passed on to a bored friend sitting next to you, a family member wanting to pass the time, or maybe yourself reading this.  Her poems will captivate you with their multi dimensional virtuosity for hours to come if you wish to explore the world as she saw it.

-Jalen X. Greene

 

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Black Boy CoverBlack Boy, by Richard Wright, is an enchanting non-fiction novel which follows the course of the author’s life from his childhood to his mid-thirties. Early on in his life and during his teenage years, Wright burns down his house in a freak accident, is abandoned by his father and is forced to move from place to place in order to make a sustainable living. As he approaches his twenties, Wright joins a Communist party in Chicago and eventually realizes the corrupt, mangled ideas which are entwined in his society. The primary reason I picked up this book was because of its tendency to appeal and connect to the reader in a personal way. The vivid imagery kept me hooked to this book and pushed me to read every single part. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who is fascinated by American society in the early 1900s.

Reviewed by Saravan P.

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz tells the story of a 25 year old Italian citizen that is taken by the Nazis because of his Jewish race. He must then learn to live a life working in the Jewish concentration camp “Auschwitz.” Here, they are forced to work to near death. Primo Levi weaves the theme of freedom and respect through each page. Levi was treated unfairly, with violence and hatred only because of his race, and was forced to work for his own freedom. This book is very unique in my eyes. It was extremely enlightening, as well as inspiring to read the story of this man who went through it all first-hand, and told his story. The author writes the story through his own experiences, so I agree with both of their opinions and views of the Holocaust and the concentration camps. As anyone who would have to survive through that, Levi felt that him being forced into the camp was unfair because although he was Jewish, he still was an Italian citizen. With that aside, he felt no one, Jewish race or not, should have to endure such torture with both the labor aspect, and leaving your family as well. This book is very one-sided, in the sense that it tells the story though the victim’s point of view. One thought that readers may question is the relationships between the camp members, and why they are so civil to each other. You might wonder, wouldn’t they be bitter without family, friends, or any comfort? Well each person arrived in that camp void of any comfort, so the only place they can find comfort is in each other if they build relationships. The only bad part is, soon after you may build a relationship, they can be forced to leave to the gas chambers, or sent to a different camp.  Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. It really gave you a wide outlook on how bad Auschwitz was, and because the author endured it first-hand, the feelings and emotions come across even more personally. You will enjoy this book very much if you are looking for an inspiring book that will really make you open your eyes to see things differently.

Reviewed by Bella S.   9th grade

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The autobiography of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings takes one to a time when the African Americans had to work extremely hard to gain attention of a white man. In this novel, Maya tells about her harsh childhood of being an African American woman and what challenges she had to overcome throughout her life to gain an identity. Living with her grandmother and uncle at first in Arkansas, Maya moves back and forth from her grandma to her mother in California. As life takes her to many places with many obstacles, Maya’s travels make her stronger and wiser. As Maya experiences the several racial conflicts that occur in her society, she learns how she and other Africans have to struggle to gain power and respect in front of the whites.

This biography is written with such great descriptions that the reader is immediately taken into the story and into the life of Maya Angelou. The author really takes their time to explain exactly what is going on so that the reader can truly understand what is going on and what message she is trying to portray. As I read through the novel, I could tell that Maya Angelou really writes so that one can comprehend what pain and hard work life brought upon her. She does a great job explaining the racism and difference that the Africans felt during that time period. As well written as it was, sometimes the story became a little too personal and made reading the book a bit awkward.

Reviewed by Vinita S.