Pakistani girl shot by Taliban seals book deal

7:51 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
In this handout image supplied by Queen Elizabeth Hospital on January 04, 2013 Malala Yousafzai leaves the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The Pakistani schoolgirl activist who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen has been discharged today from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as an inpatient. (Photo by Queen Elizabeth Hospital Via Getty Images)
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By Alia E. Dastagir
USA TODAY

Malala Yousufzai will not go quietly.

The 15-year-old Pakistani activist was shot in the head at point-blank range by the Taliban for advocating girls' education. After a miraculous recovery, she returned to school in Britain last week, and today it was announced she will publish her life story in the memoir, I Am Malala.

The Guardian reported the deal was inked for around $3 million, though a spokesman for the publisher, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, would not confirm reports about the value of the deal.

"I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can't get education," Yousafzai said in a news release. "I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right."

Malala Yousufzai returned to school just six months after the Taliban attempted to assassinate her as she walked home from school in Mingora, in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. The bullet entered just above her left eye, grazing her brain as it traveled along her jawline.

After Pakistani doctors removed the bullet, Malala was flown to Britain for further surgeries to repair the damage. Doctors replaced part of her skull with a metal plate and implanted an electronic device to help her hear. She was discharged from a Birmingham hospital last month.

At age 11, Malala began to write a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under the Taliban in the Swat Valley. After Pakistan's military ousted the militants in 2009, she began publicly speaking out about the need for girls' education. She appeared frequently in the media and was given one of the country's highest civilian honors for her bravery.

Her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women's rights in Pakistan, and in a sign of her reach the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2012.

Since the shooting, July 12 has been designated by the United Nations as Malala Day. The Malala Fund, set up on behalf of her and her family, is dedicated to the education and empowerment of girls in Pakistan and around the world.

"This book will be a document to bravery, courage and vision," said Arzu Tahsin, deputy publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. "Malala is so young to have experienced so much and I have no doubt that her story will be an inspiration to readers from all generations who believe in the right to education and the freedom to pursue it."

Contributing: Associated Press

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