Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai; illustrated by Kerascoët

Congratulations on Malala’s Magic Pencil. I think it is a beautiful picture book that will inspire so many children and adults. What inspired you to tell the story of your magic pencil?

Malala Yousafzai: Thank you, and thank you for helping me to share my book with your readers.

I have memoirs for young readers and for adults, but I have met many young children who want to know about what happened in my life and it is important for me to be able to share my story with them as well. Focusing on my wish for a magic pencil when I was a child felt like the perfect way to tell my story in a new way, in a picture book.

I was also inspired to tell this story because I want children to believe in themselves and their ideas. They should never doubt themselves if they are fighting injustice. They should never doubt that they can make a difference. I didn’t know if my voice would bring any change when I started speaking out for girls’ education in Swat, but I felt I could not remain silent. Your voice is powerful and you can raise it in different ways.

What did it feel like the first time you held a finished copy of Malala’s Magic Pencil in your hands? 

Malala Yousafzai: I was very excited to get my first copy of Malala’s Magic Pencil. I had seen it in so many different stages, but to be able to hold a real, finished book was special. I immediately shared it with my mother, who is learning English. She was my first reader.

Please share three adjectives that best describe Kerascoët’s illustrations.

Malala Yousafzai: Only three? Beautiful, nostalgic and powerful.

Please finish these sentence starters:

School libraries are important because they are often one of the first places children learn to love reading, and they are a place where any child can access books.

Reading is the right of every child. It is the foundation of a strong education and can help us understand the world and all of the different people in it.

Borrow Malala's Magic Pencil from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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