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Malala's magic pencil
2017
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A first picture book by history's youngest Nobel Prize laureate describes how as a child in Pakistan she wished for a magic pencil to make others happy and to make her home cleaner and safer before she learned how to make positive changes without magic. Simultaneous eBook. 75,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

The author presents her story and life philosophy, describing how she wished for a magic pencil that she would use to fix the world's problems, and how she realized that even if she never found the pencil, she could still have a positive impact. - (Baker & Taylor)

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

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.

"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 - (Grand Central Pub)

Author Biography

Malala Yousafzai, the educational campaigner from Swat Valley, Pakistan, became the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, at age seventeen. Malala champions universal access to quality education through the Malala Fund (malala.org). - (Grand Central Pub)

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Booklist Reviews

Malala Yousafzai, activist and youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, takes her well-known story and brings it to a younger audience. She starts with a memory from her Pakistani childhood: watching a TV show in which a boy makes anything real by drawing it with his magic pencil. Malala drew things that would make others happy, including schools her father might open. Unlike some fathers, Malala's encourages her to learn, and learn she does. But then "powerful and dangerous men" forbade girls from attending school. Malala deftly handles the most difficult parts of her story. She notes simply that the men used weapons to attempt to silence her powerful voice. "But they failed." The book then describes how Malala went on to become a household name. Artistically, the illustrations feel a bit lighthearted and casual, though there are plenty of moving scenes, and the decorative touches are nicely enhancing. Malala's messages of inclusivity, girls' rights, and strength through knowledge come across loud and clear. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

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 "Kerascoët." 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.

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