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The Magic Pencil (The Magic Pencil Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 21, 2009
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"Karen's work is unrivaled in young adult literature."
--Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand
"[The Magic Pencil is] particularly interesting and valuable... It is a very clean and well-written book. Certainly one that I recommend..." --Dr. David Rambeau, Executive Producer of For My People/Project BAIT
"The copy that I purchased for my students looks like The Velveteen Rabbit. The students pass it around and whisper about it."
--Regina Hendrix-Brown, poet and educator
" I love every bit of it. The development of your characters is brilliantly crafted. I am overly impressed by the voices-indeed, authentic dialect that rings throughout the storyline. You really nailed it! ... congratulations for a sensitive work well done!"
--Dr. Stephen Chennault, author and educator
"The Magic Pencil is a 'big hit' at the NAGC convention. My session was well-attended. I'm confident that you will see sales and inquiries increase as a result of today's presentation! Congrats!!!"
--Dr. Joy Lawson Davis, author of Bright, Talented & Black : A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners
From the Author
My reasons for writing The Magic Pencil
- To encourage the uninspired, reluctant and discouraged reader to develop the desire to read for pleasure. To develop the desire to read for greater knowledge.
- To increase self-esteem; especially within African American/black youth.
- To remove the stigma applied to African American/black people when they use colloquial language. To recognize all people engage in this behavior. To understand that there are special and new words used when one is a part of a particular group (the language among computer technicians, for example) which may or may not become known among the general population.
- To increase vocabulary by creating a desire to know exactly what a particular word means and how it relates to what is occurring.
- To demonstrate the opportunities available by learning how to effectively navigate unfamiliar territory through education.
- To honor the "community/home" language of the speaker and to realize s/he may be articulate within that language. To, thereby, foster a willingness in the person to adopt other ways of speaking while retaining his or her present mode of speech -- if needed and desired.
- To become respectful and tolerant of the differences in others. To focus on the commonalities between self and others.
- To foster self-respect, self-determination and self-reliance.
- To learn how to constructively debate over preferences and beliefs.
- To learn to be empathetic towards another's problems.
- To work together for the greater good.
- To feel hopeful about the future.
PROMOTE LITERACY! KEEP MINDS LIT!
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Top customer reviews
Ms. Dabney is obviously a talented linguist, switching back and forth freely between Ebonics and standard English. I would have welcomed this book in high school, as I grew up in a low-diversity area. If I have a critique, it's that her main characters arrive on the scene fully developed and don't change much throughout the novel. But with Magical Realism, the rules are meant to be broken!
"I've read your novel, 'The Magic Pencil'. Someday I may actually do a book review on it, even though I don't like to do reviews. I love the book, even as an older adult and want tons of others to read and enjoy it; and give it as gifts to young people. In a delightful way, it teaches tolerance and the importance (and joy) of diversity."
In reading the narrative in Ebonics, I found it very hard to follow this story. What should have, could have been a very easy read, was somewhat complicated. It is my opinion that with Malcolm's intelligence, he should have narrated the book in his normal English "speak" and used his Ebonics between the "parenthesis" so to make the story flow more smoothly.
It was not until the last chapter, or rather the epilogue that I understood the author's reason for writing the book the way she did. It was a shame however, that I had to find out at the very end because I almost did not finish the story due to the narration.
With this aside, Malcolm is a smart kid and has dreams of making a difference when he grows up. Malcolm's life changes when he and the new girl at school, Nia, hit it off. Malcolm knows Nia holds some magical power, but doesn't realize the extent.
What I did like about the book was the message that Nia relayed to Malcolm and her other classmates at the end of the book. At the end of the book is also when I realized that Malcolm is actually telling his brother and others about a dream that he had. I feel had I known this perhaps in some way at the beginning of the book, I would have been able to swallow it better.
Although I am not a fan of switching "speak", I, now, understand the author's message or messages, as there was more than one. I also understand that in life, everyone will not agree with you in everything and this is no different. I am however, curious to see what the author will come up with next.
There are very few books for children of color that aren't riddled with, drugs, sex, money and rappers, so it is for that reason I commend Ms. Dabney for writing this book.
Most recent customer reviews
language correctly is an advantage, and speaking a language the way native
speakers do is a...Read more