There are so many wonderful books for children that fit into my “Wanderlust” project of reading books that are from or take place in each country around the world. When I made an early January trip to the library, I found a very nice story for this project.
Malala’s Magic Pencil is the first picture book written by activist and Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai. It is autobiographical and a sweet story about how she became an activist, using her pen and her voice to advocate for women’s education and a better more peaceful world. When Malala was little, she watched a tv show about a young boy who had a magic pencil. He helped people by drawing—whatever he drew, came true. So if someone was hungry, he would draw a bowl of curry and feed them. Malala thought it would be wonderful to have a magic pencil, and she thought about ways she could help others if she had one. That thinking lead her to realize that, if she was to really be able to help others, she would need a good education.
This is a wonderful introduction to Malala and her influence worldwide. I would have used this book in my classroom to start discussions about many important issues in today’s world, and to introduce my students to one of my heroes!