Thursday, December 21, 2017

"One Pen Can Change the World:" Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

When I was little I used to watch a TV show about a boy who had a magic pencil.If he was hungry, he drew a bowl of curry. He drew a little hero, always protecting people who needed help.

How I wanted a magic pencil, too!

Kids often wish for a magic pencil or magic wand or super powers, that they could be a star in the sports or movies, make school vacation last forever, or as Malala did, to keep her brothers out of her room, but like Malala Yousafzai, they soon find out that there's more to it than wishing.

For what Malala wished for most was just to go to school. The simple freedom for a girl to be allowed to begin middle school was being denied in her regions of Pakistan, and her parents' support and her private girls'school didn't keep her safe, and her reputation as a young blogger led to her being shot by a would-be assassin.

But Malala survived and bravely went on to be the world's advocate for freedom of access to education, becoming the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In a way, she got her wish. Her words became her magic pencil to influence world opinion about education for girls and for all children.

"One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world, " she wrote.

Malala Yousafzair's book, Malala's Magic Pencil (Little, Brown and Company, 2017), engagingly  illustrated by the co-artists Keroscoot, describes in her own words how Malala became the world's advocate for girls and women's rights and why education is of prime importance in this world. The New York Times Review says this book is ...a triumph, for it is a story with hard truths, yet it is accessible for young children, an excellent book to begin conversations about world injustice with children."

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