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Malala's Magic Pencil

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  4,076 ratings  ·  769 reviews
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
ebook, 40 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  4,076 ratings  ·  769 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #12 of 2017.

"I knew then that if I had the magic pencil, I would use it to draw a better world."

Tara: 4.5 stars. Very sweet and moving.

Harry (12): 5 stars. Sad, with everything people went through and what they still go through today.

Hank (11): 5 stars. Just amazing!

Lyra (10): 5
Shaka Laka Boom Boom

A story of strength. Malala is famous for her story of the love of learning and school in a country girls weren’t allowed to learn. This story glosses over the politics and the horrors that she most likely faced. It is still powerful, but it’s a very safe story. You don’t sense the real danger she was in. I enjoy the connection that is made between Malala’s pencil and writing to the world and the magic pencil from the TV show she loved ‘Shaka laka Boom Boom’. What a great nam
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Book.

Magic Pencil is a very special tool that was showcased in a tv serial during 2000-2004 in India. There was a boy who used to draw in his sketch book and it would come to life.

Reading her book was the reminder of those childhood days.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This picture book details Malala’s childhood in Pakistan. It describes the poverty, the reasons some children might not go to school – needing to help make money for food or perhaps parental beliefs that only boys go to school as girls should stay home and cook and clean. The “men with guns” come into their city and make it unlawful for girls to go to school. Despite this, Malala continues her education and writes and speaks out about her belief that everyone deserves education. The Taliban try ...more
This story begins with Malala's life in Pakistan, how she can go to school but notices other children can't. The story reflects on Malala's dreams and hopes for change, and relates Malala's Life so far in a way that shows what's been happening but is not disturbing for young readers, although the pivotal part of the story where Malala is shot is so subtle my daughter who is 12 completely missed it and asked me why that part was left out. There's a nice page written by Malala at the back and an i ...more
Malala's Magic Pencil is the true story of Malala Yousafzai (both her life and also her personal dreams, her wishes and aspirations) simply, sweetly, age appropriately shown but still penned in her own words (and with age appropriate I mean to say that Malala's Magic Pencil is specifically geared to younger children, to the aptly named picture book crowd). And while this book, while Malala's Magic Pencil therefore does not (and in my humble opinion very much thankfully and fortunately) in any ov ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In love with the art style here 🥰🥰🥰

And really glad this book exists, young readers should know Malala's story. It's powerful, inspiring and still so relevant!
Krista Regester
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading I am Malala, and how she told the tale of the magic pencil. This story truly proves how kind and unselfish she is, even as a young child. I love how she took that idea and turned it into a beautifully illustrated story.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I really enjoyed this book and let me tell you why: first, (American) children need to see different cultures in storybooks. Second, the illustrations--namely the bronze/gold leafing--is absolutely stunning. The book was brought to life by these little illustrative details. And finally,I just loved how Malala's story (if you don't know it, or if you haven't read her autobiography, I recommend it!) was put into this creative story of a magic pencil. The book even had me imagining what I would do ...more
Maria Carmo
Loved this book, which has such a poignant story and such beautiful illustrations! A must read that will touch one's hearts and minds...

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon 20 December 2017.
Absolutely aspirational. Finally, after reading several poor-quality picturebooks telling the story of Malala, along comes a picturebook written by Malala herself and illustrated by Kerascoet. I loved both elements equally and think the illustrator did a wonderful job of making powerful points about the problems in Pakistan, implicitly. The narrative is so well written and accessible and the illustrations have an almost cartoon-like appeal which carry no humour but a sense of reality that makes ...more
Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn
"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."

This was a beautifully told and illustrated picture book about Malala and her life before she became a famous advocate for girl's education. I would recommend for many parents to read this to their children!
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an important message with stunning illustrations to accompany it!
Alice (Married To Books)
Malala’s Magic Pencil is an emotionally and beautifully written story inspired by true events and dreams that Malala herself had as a young girl living in Pakistan. Dreaming about having the use of a magic pencil to make situations better and learning about the world’s struggles too. Highly recommended!
Children's books about real life situations sometimes have a fine line to walk between telling facts to children that they're really not ready for, and hiding those facts to the point that a straight-up inaccurate picture is drawn. Picture books take that to another level, cause you're talking to very young kids. This book does a really good job of telling a distressing story without letting it be TOO distressing (the taliban keeping girls out of school and physically threatening people is scary ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really cute book. Malala uses nice imagery to capture her story to the youngsters. It is uplifting and simple, something great for the youngsters.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is not so much a book about Malala's life as it is a book about her dreams. She and her brothers used to watch a TV show about a boy with a magic pencil, who would get himself out of trouble by drawing things that would save him. It reminded me of Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon. She uses the idea of the magic pencil to talk about what she would do if she had one--how she would help her family and how she would help others, not just in Pakistan, but all over the world. As sh ...more
Laura Giessler
It would be wonderful for more children to learn about Malala and her advocacy for education, especially education for girls. This book succeeded in bringing far-away countries a little nearer. I wish that she had named the Taliban ("powerful and dangerous men"), but parents and teachers can fill in with more information. I understand why she minimized the details in telling about her attack; but at the same time, without more information, readers can't get a sense of how intensely these "danger ...more
Katie Armstrong
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by a truly inspirational young person, this book discusses the importance of education and how it should not be taken for granted. Even though it is written simply, the illustrations in the book enable for more emotion to be radiated when reading this book, so much so it left me with my hairs on end. Fantastic for children to see how lucky they are that they are able to go to school with no issues and how other children do not have the privilege to go to school.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As the Youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace prize, Malala Yousafzai seems to have already inspired many, her courage to fight against the Taliban for girls right to education seems to be a topic difficult to transcribe appropriately for children. However she has successfully done this as she describes the events leading up to her attack and the magic of her words.
The way she has worded the horrific events which she has endured is incredibly meaningful but yet still appropriate for a younger aud
Stephanie Anze
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Malala Yousafzai is a well known international figure. A vocal advocate for education especifically that of girls, Malala is a fighter. Malala survived an assassination attempt against her by the Taliban. She celebrated her sixteenth birthday by giving a speech at the UN and received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work when she was 17 years old (the youngest recipient to date). I read 'I Am Malala' some time ago and was mesmerized by her spirit. This is an abridged version of her story. Somewhat ...more
Kimberly Dawn
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It has thrilled me tonight to read this autobiography of Malala, the Pakistani girl, now education activist, in an inspiring picture book for children. An incredible story this is of the youngest recipient ever of the Nobel peace prize. I am just swooning over the beautiful illustrations and its powerful message of the value of education and girls’ rights to obtain an education. Proof positive of the impact for good that one brave soul can make upon the world, this brave young girl who was barel ...more
Julie Suzanne
Powerful in its simplicity. In this version of Malala's true story, she leaves out the part where the Taliban shot her in the head and just has a black page accompanying the words, "My voice became so powerful that the dangerous men tried to silence me. But they failed." A magical pencil of her fantasies that she would use to right the wrongs around her (in the meantime giving the reader the context of her situation in a brilliant way) grows throughout the story from selfish immediate desires (l ...more
KayCee K
Over the summer I read Malala biography and loved it! I heard her story but finally got my hands on her book, it brought tears to my eyes and joy. So, when I learned that she has a picture book I knew I had to read it. But the best part is that I got to share her story with my younger brother. While reading it he would ask a lot of questions. During the story, I had to explain to him that not all kids get the chance to learn like he does, or why women in the book don't get to go to school like h ...more
Alice Ludlow
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks2, fears, family, anger, change, women
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La Coccinelle
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely little book. Between the uplifting, hopeful message and the delightful illustrations, it's an enjoyable and educating read.

I haven't read Malala's full-length memoir, but this picture book is a nice introduction to her story. It doesn't get too scary or graphic for kids (for example, what happened to her at the hands of the Taliban isn't explicitly stated), but it's still able to get the main points across, showing children how much of a struggle getting a basic education is in
While lots of kids enjoy going to school, I think many of them don’t realize how fortunate they are to live in a country where their right to get an education is vigorously defended. Malala Yousafzai’s story is so inspiring and I think kids will enjoy it because she is young and relatable. This is a terrific story to help develop a growth mindset and also a great mentor text to help young writers make changes in the world around them with their own pens and pencils.
Lois MacDonald
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was touching, heart-breaking and incredibly inspirational. The story was beautifully portrayed through the words and the illustrations alongside it. The book told a true story of a brave young girl who has now become a voice for all young women across the globe and has become a worldwide inspiration. The book delicately deals with sensitive elements of the story and this makes the story elegant and truthful.
Busy Mummy
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have wanted to read this for a long time. Touching, inspirational and powerful! I love how Malala’s story is told reaching and inspiring younger readers. Fantastic illustrations throughout and much to offer for discussion with any child and class.
Book #1000!!!
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Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially education of women in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has since grown into an international movement.

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