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Malala's Magic Pencil
Cover of Malala's Magic Pencil
Malala's Magic Pencil
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Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai's first picture book, inspired by her own childhood.


* "This is a wonderful read for younger students that will also provide insight and encourage discussion about the wider world. ... The simplicity of Yousafzai's writing and the powerful message she sends, make this book inspirational for all."
—- School Library Journal (starred review)


Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.


As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai's first picture book, inspired by her own childhood.


* "This is a wonderful read for younger students that will also provide insight and encourage discussion about the wider world. ... The simplicity of Yousafzai's writing and the powerful message she sends, make this book inspirational for all."
—- School Library Journal (starred review)


Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.


As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

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About the Author-
  • Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. In her short lifetime, she has already experienced devastating changes in her country, which has been transformed from a once peaceful land to a hotbed of terrorism. Malala, who now lives in Birmingham, England, says she has been given a second life, which she intends to devote to the good of the people and her belief that all girls everywhere deserve an education. The fund she started can be found at Malala.org.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 31, 2017
    Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, grew up in Pakistan dreaming of possessing a magic pencil like the one on her favorite TV show. At first, she believes that such a pencil could solve any problem—from keeping her brothers out of her room to erasing war, poverty, hunger, and gender disparity. But as Malala grows, so does her sense of purpose and agency; she realizes that change comes not from magic, but from the force of her own words and ideas. When “powerful and dangerous men” (the unnamed Taliban—an afterword provides details) forbid girls from attending school, she speaks up; when “they tried to silence me,” an allusion to her near-fatal shooting,
    “they failed.” Kerascoët’s bright, reportorial watercolors match the text’s directness and sincerity, adding gold embellishments to give Malala’s hopes and optimism a radiant physicality. The Malala in these pages is both approachable and extraordinary: even at her most vulnerable, turned away from readers and looking out the window of a darkened hospital room, her determination seems unstoppable. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Karolina Sutton, Curtis Brown U.K. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2017

    Gr 3 Up-Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigner for the rights of all children to attend school, has written her first picture book. It is an autobiographical account of her life designed for younger readers. She gently introduces her childhood in Pakistan and recounts a favorite TV show where a young boy has a magic pencil that he uses to help people. The magic pencil becomes a reoccurring motif throughout the work on how to make the world a better place. Of the infamous Taliban violence, she simply says, "My voice became so powerful that the dangerous men tried to silence me. But they failed." The beautifully written book goes on to describe Yousafzai's quest for justice and the importance of finding one's voice. The enchanting story is accompanied by the beautiful illustrations of duo Sebastien Cosset and Maries Pommepuy, also known as "Kerascoet." Sparse pen and ink outlines the bright, soft watercolors that effortlessly depict Yousafzai's daily life and then are enhanced by delicate gold overlay drawings that highlight her magical wishes for a better world and the power that a single voice can command. This is a wonderful read for younger students that will also provide insight and encourage discussion about the wider world. Included are biographical notes and photos of Yousafzai and her family. VERDICT The simplicity of Yousafzai's writing and the powerful message she sends, make this book inspirational for all. Highly recommended.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    The latest of many picture books about the young heroine from Pakistan, this one is narrated by Malala herself, with a frame that is accessible to young readers. Malala introduces her story using a television show she used to watch about a boy with a magic pencil that he used to get himself and his friends out of trouble. Readers can easily follow Malala through her own discovery of troubles in her beloved home village, such as other children not attending school and soldiers taking over the village. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations give a strong sense of setting, while gold ink designs overlay Malala's hopes onto her often dreary reality. The story makes clear Malala's motivations for taking up the pen to tell the world about the hardships in her village and only alludes to the attempt on her life, with a black page ("the dangerous men tried to silence me. / But they failed") and a hospital bracelet on her wrist the only hints of the harm that came to her. Crowds with signs join her call before she is shown giving her famous speech before the United Nations. Toward the end of the book, adult readers may need to help children understand Malala's "work," but the message of holding fast to courage and working together is powerful and clear. An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Vanity Fair Everyone who laid eyes on Malala Yousafzai knew the Pakastani schoolgirl was someone special. When her mountain town of Mingora, in the Swat Valley, fell under Taliban rule, her courage made her a powerful symbol.
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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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