November 25, 2017

Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoët

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:16 pm by suebe2

Malala’s Magic Pencil
by Malala Yousafzai
illustrated by Kerascoët
Little Brown and Company

Do you know a girl who needs inspiration?  This is the perfect picture book!

“Do you believe in magic?” That’s the question Malala asks readers.  She and her brothers used to watch a children’s program about a boy with a magic pencil. He drew food to feed himself when he was hungry.  He used the pencil to get people out of trouble.  Malala dreamed of having a magic pencil of her own.

Even as a young girl, Malala loved school.  She studied hard but couldn’t help noticing as the other girls dropped out. Powerful, dangerous men had said that girls should not be educated so they no longer felt safe in the classroom.

Malala didn’t have a magic pencil but she was a good writer and thought that she could help. She wrote about what it was like to be scared to walk to school. She wrote about her friends who had moved away to safer places. Her writing appeared online and in the paper.  She even did a tv interview.  She was scared but she believed she had to speak out for those who didn’t have the ability.

She drew attention and the powerful men wanted to silence her. Fortunately they failed.

Because many other people have joined Malala in speaking out, their voices have come together.  They make her voice is much stronger and she believes that this magic can change the world.

This is truly an amazing, inspirational book.  It is also perfect for a picture book audience.  Malala doesn’t go into what happened to her, only saying that the men wanted to stop her.  The backmatter includes photos of her and her family, all of whom now live in England.

The illustrations for this book were created by Kerascoët.  This is the pen name of the French illustrators and animation artists Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset. Their style compliments this story and helps bring Malala to life for young readers.

Share this story with the young readers on your list this holiday season.  Bring it into the classroom and use it to launch a discussion of the problems your students see in their communities and what they might do to change the world.

–SueBE

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