I Am Malala (Yousafzai) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also, consider these LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for I Am Malala:

1. Would you have had the bravery that Malala exhibited and continues to exhibit?

2. Talk about the role of Malala's parents, especially her father, Ziauddin. If you were her parents, would you have encouraged her to write and speak out?

3. How does Malala describe the affect of the growing Taliban presence in her region? Talk about the rules they imposed on the citizens in the Swat valley. What was life like?

4. Mala has said that despite the Taliban's restrictions against girls/women, she remains a proud believer. Would you—could you—maintain your faith given those same restrictions? *

5. Talk about the reaction of the international community after Malala's shooting. Has the outrage made a difference...has it had any effect?

6. What can be done about female education in the Middle East and places like Pakistan? What are the prospects? Can one girl, despite her worldwide fame, make a difference? Why does the Taliban want to prevent girls from acquiring an education—how do they see the female role? *

7. This is as good a time as any to talk about the Taliban's power in the Muslim world. Why does it continue to grow and attract followers...or is it gaining new followers? What attraction does it have for Muslim men? Can it ever be defeated?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

* We received an email sharing the following perspective, which draws a clear distinction between the Muslim faith and Taliban practices. The email relates to Questions 4 and 6, respectively:

There is no "overt" Muslim prejudice against women. Although there are some customs in Islam specifically intended for women, these customs are for a reason. Everything has a reason. The Taliban, however, take things to a far new level. They overtly shed women of certain rights they deserve. There is a distinction between Islamic rules and customs and Taliban discrimination.   

Muslims do not prevent women from acquiring an education. It is the Taliban that does so. Educating women is encouraged in Islam. One of the biggest Muslim scholars was in fact a woman.... Like Malala, I am sad the Taliban carry out their activities in the name of Islam. And I am glad her story is being heard...   —Sarah, a student.

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