Malala tells her story in a picture book

'Malala's Magic Pencil' recounts her journey from campaigning schoolgirl to Nobel laureate

Adi Bloom

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Five years ago, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out in favour of girls’ education.

Last week, she started an undergraduate degree at Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford college originally set up so that women could attend the all-male university.

And now her story – from Pakistani schoolgirl to Nobel laureate – is being told in a new picture book, published today.

Malala’s Magic Pencil aims to bring her story to readers who have not yet heard of the Taliban. Written by Malala herself, it tells of how she used to dream about a magic pencil that she could use to solve problems and make her family happy.

At the start, these problems were small: the smell of the rubbish dump near her home, for example.

But, as she grew older, she began to recognise the greater problems in the world. And, eventually, she realised that, even without a magic pencil, she could work towards making her wishes come true.

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“Through this picture book, I want to inspire younger children to believe in themselves, and to recognise that their voices can make a difference,” Malala said.

Malala came to international attention in October 2012, when she was shot in the head by the Taliban because of her work advocating for girls’ education. She had been writing for BBC Urdu about her family’s fight for girls’ education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley.

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In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her continued work championing girls’ education: the youngest winner of the prize to date.

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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