I Am Malala Book Summary - I Am Malala Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

I Am Malala summary

The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

23 mins

Brief summary

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is a memoir of a young activist's life in Pakistan, where she fights for girls' education under Taliban rule and becomes a target of assassination. The book teaches the importance of education and the power of speaking out for what is right.

Table of Contents

    I Am Malala
    Summary of 10 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 10

    People who change the world can come from even the most humble of origins.

    Today, Malala Yousafzai is a world-renowned public figure. But where did this marvelous girl’s journey begin?

    Malala’s incredible story begins in very humble circumstances.

    She was born on July 12, 1997, in the village of Mingora, in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

    Situated in the northwest of the country, the Swat Valley is one of the world’s most idyllic and beautiful regions. Even the entrance to the valley is marked by the sign, “Welcome to Paradise,” and it’s a place of such serenity that Buddha himself is said to have visited. Some even believe that his ashes are buried under a shrine in the valley.

    Beneath the valley’s idyllic surface, however, lies a far darker reality: the people who live there today are largely impoverished.

    Malala grew up in a dilapidated two-room shack. In one of the rooms, she slept with her mother and father, while the other room was left for guests. The family had no running water and no bathroom, and their daily meals were cooked outside on a wood fire.

    Malala is part of the Pashtun ethnic group, a large majority of whom live on the northwestern border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which includes the Swat Valley.

    Pashtuns are very proud of their heritage and live by a code of values called Pashtunwali. Among other things, this code obliges one to be hospitable to guests.

    But the culture is also very patriarchal. For instance, boys are prized in Pashtun culture, and for the majority of Pashtuns, it’s a sad day when a daughter is born.

    Malala’s father, on the other hand, felt differently. At Malala’s birth, he was ecstatic and even requested that friends throw sweets and coins in her cradle – a tradition reserved for baby boys.

    So who was this man? And what made him so different?

    Want to see all full key ideas from I Am Malala?

    Key ideas in I Am Malala

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is I Am Malala about?

    I Am Malala chronicles the fascinating life of the young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai. From humble beginnings in a rural village in Pakistan to speaking in front of the United Nations, Malala’s moving autobiography chronicles the unbelievable transformation of a girl who stood up to the Taliban and became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I Am Malala Review

    I Am Malala (2013) is a powerful memoir about the life and struggles of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who fought for girls' education and survived an assassination attempt. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers insightful accounts of life in Pakistan's Swat Valley and the challenges faced by girls in accessing education.
    • The book showcases Malala's courage and resilience in the face of adversity, inspiring readers to stand up for what they believe in.
    • With its thought-provoking narrative and global impact, it sheds light on important social issues and encourages dialogue and change.

    Best quote from I Am Malala

    My father always said, Malala will be as free as a bird.

    —Malala Yousafzai
    example alt text

    Who should read I Am Malala?

    • Anyone interested in the fascinating story of Malala Yousafzai
    • Anyone interested in education and human rights
    • Anyone interested in the history of Pakistan and the nuances of Islam

    About the Author

    Malala Yousafzai is a children’s education activist from Pakistan. She spoke to nearly 400 delegates at the United Nations at the age of 16 and has won multiple international human rights awards.

    Categories with I Am Malala

    Book summaries like I Am Malala

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    I Am Malala FAQs 

    What is the main message of I Am Malala?

    The main message of I Am Malala is the importance of education and the fight for girls' rights.

    How long does it take to read I Am Malala?

    The reading time for I Am Malala varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is I Am Malala a good book? Is it worth reading?

    I Am Malala is a powerful and inspiring book that sheds light on the struggle for education and women's rights. It is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of I Am Malala?

    The author of I Am Malala is Malala Yousafzai.

    What to read after I Am Malala?

    If you're wondering what to read next after I Am Malala, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    • Modern Friendship by Anna Goldfarb
    • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
    • Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith
    • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
    • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama