The book takes place in Pakistan, specifically Swat Valley, where it goes from a peaceful valley into a blazing war zone. Bombs seem to be routinely dropped on schools and houses, storefronts are marked from bullets, and the town square seems to be littered with dead bodies. Swat Valley is an arid desert and place filled with fear and uncertainty, but Yousafzai still seems to miss it. It is shocking to see how, even at the end of the book, she still seems to have a soft spot for her hometown, despite the atrocities she and the city has experienced. Towards the end of the book, she tells the readers that she migrates to England, but most of the story is set in Pakistan.
Yousafzai is a very brave, young girl, who is strong and never seems to break down, no matter the situation. Despite the fact that she was shot, she didn’t keep silent to the injustice that was experienced by her people. We were truly inspired by her to not give up on our dreams and have the courage to try at the least. Her story is empowering and lets you know that, if you really believe in something, you should never allow anything to stop you from achieving it, not even a bullet.
Even though we picked the young readers edition, Yousafzai doesn’t sugar coat the story and maintains the gory details and violence that she experienced in Pakistan. That being said, the entire book is extremely stimulating and will definitely keep you turning the pages. Even though bad things do happen during the course of the book, we couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. There are death threats and mass murders, but if you can handle that, the book will be worth the read. Like all readers, we do like when good things happen to great people, and the fact that the book has a happy ending for Yousafzai teaches young adults that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
The book is this generation’s masterpiece and will surely be cherished for the long haul.