Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala’s Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai, Illustrated by Kerascoët

Publisher’s Summary:
Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai’s first picture book, inspired by her own childhood.

Primary Source Pairing:
Malala’s story of her dedication to education rights for girls in Pakistan is powerful. This book highlights Malala’s younger days. It is important that students read the childhood stories of famous adults to recognize that who we can become begins when we are young. For this primary source pairing, invite students to analyze a photograph of Malala Yousafzai as an adult. After reading the illustrated version of her life and work, students can see that the person in the book is real – and still alive. From my experience, some students think that biographies are about people who are no longer alive. I remind students that some books highlight the good things people are doing RIGHT NOW and not in the past.

As an extension to the lesson, show a Puffin Books YouTube video of Malala talking about this book and how she created it.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • Make a connection of the photograph to an illustrated page in the book.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Malala Yousafzai photograph: Wikipedia

Related Primary Source Pairings:
I Am Malala