Overview

Synopsis:

Malcolm Bakersfield's new classmate, Nia Stellar is "not your average girl." Exciting and fantastic events occur, seemingly to do with her and a scruffy, used pencil. Nia challenges Malc in ...
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The Magic Pencil

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Overview

Synopsis:

Malcolm Bakersfield's new classmate, Nia Stellar is "not your average girl." Exciting and fantastic events occur, seemingly to do with her and a scruffy, used pencil. Nia challenges Malc in many ways and he discovers new abilities and sides to himself. We join him in his quest to find the truth to to the power of the pencil.
And, like him, we just may learn a lot about ourselves.



For educators:

The Magic Pencil, is a vehicle to drive youth toward self-discovery and determination. The Magic Pencil delivers real life lessons in an entertaining and positive way.

Karen E. Dabney has crafted a compelling and entertaining story revolving around an inquisitive boy, a mysterious girl and a "magic" pencil.

In the story the children speak naturally to one another using Standard English, when necessary or desired, while demonstrating their ability to switch back and forth with little effort. The result is a gentle education for those who have preconceived notions regarding the users of African American Vernacular English (AAVE), also known as "Ebonics."


Readers of The Magic Pencil will come to understand that the characters who continually use AAVE are not any less intelligent than those who speak Standard English. This discovery is important in that it lifts the self-esteem of youth who may struggle with the latter's correct usage.

Important lessons are also to be found in The Magic Pencil. The story imparts means and methods youth may employ to successfully navigate through the pitfalls they may encounter in life. Self-determination and self-reliance are fostered. The attainment of knowledge is lauded. Educators will find the book useful as a way to reach students who are resistant toward the mastery of standard English. History is woven throughout the story as well as poetry. There is something for everyone in this wonderful book.

The Magic Pencil is an important and magnetically didactic read!

"Karen's work is unrivaled in young adult literature."
— Jimmy Santiago Baca, author.

"I highly recommend it [the book]. It is a very clean and well-written."
— David Rambeau, educator, journalist and producer and director of Project BAIT * Black Awareness in Television, Detroit, MI
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Editorial Reviews

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis
“Recently, I also came across another book by a new author. ‘The Magic Pencil' by Karen Dabney is another good example of gifted black students interacting in school and life experiences with family and friends. What is so unique about 'The Magic Pencil' is that the main character actually discusses 'code switching' and the daily act of having to (and sometimes being forced to) speak 'standard' English and the colloquial language of some communities.
In this book, Dabney has do
Dr. John Telford
"In The Magic Pencil, Ms. Dabney has found a creative and enticing way to help young people find pleasure in literature. Her use of the observant protagonist, Malcolm, to explain ways the English language is modified - yet still effective - depending on the audience, is uncanny. The lesson learned is validating to those who choose to speak one way or another. The "time and a place" issue is dealt with in a manner any child will understand. The fictive assumption that black children who speak the
Dr. Gloria House
"A great read for youngsters! This delightful book, with its bright, spunky characters, will captivate all of the youngsters in your home and extended family. Young readers will enjoy finding the language they speak in the text, an affirmation that it's acceptable to know and use different forms of English, depending on the situation. Ms. Dabney's thoughtfully written story entertains, inspires, and challenges young readers to reflect deeply on their choices and to make the most of their abiliti
Push Nevahda
The Magic Pencil is a literary hand-basket of edutainment galore. Dabney’s literary treat is culturally refreshing, poetically amusing, and full of the Disney-like magic that will surely delight anyone who is interested in fresh and colorful reading.
The Magic Pencil is a rare book. It is a marvelously didactic read, and can actually teach and instruct readers with good, sound, moral, philosophy.
Dr. Joy Lawson Davis
“Recently, I also came across another book by a new author. ‘The Magic Pencil' by Karen Dabney is another good example of gifted black students interacting in school and life experiences with family and friends. What is so unique about 'The Magic Pencil' is that the main character actually discusses 'code switching' and the daily act of having to (and sometimes being forced to) speak 'standard' English and the colloquial language of some communities.
Dr. John Telford
"In The Magic Pencil, Ms. Dabney has found a creative and enticing way to help young people find pleasure in literature. Her use of the observant protagonist, Malcolm, to explain ways the English language is modified - yet still effective - depending on the audience, is uncanny. The lesson learned is validating to those who choose to speak one way or another. The "time and a place" issue is dealt with in a manner any child will understand.
Dr. Gloria Aneb House
"A great read for youngsters! This delightful book, with its bright, spunky characters, will captivate all of the youngsters in your home and extended family. Young readers will enjoy finding the language they speak in the text, an affirmation that it's acceptable to know and use different forms of English, depending on the situation. Dabney's thoughtfully written story entertains, inspires, and challenges young readers to reflect deeply on their choices and to make the most of their abilities!
Jeremy Williams
The Magic Pencil is a literary hand-basket of edutainment galore. Dabney’s literary treat is culturally refreshing, poetically amusing, and full of the Disney-like magic that will surely delight anyone who is interested in fresh and colorful reading.
The Magic Pencil is a rare book. It is a marvelously didactic read, and can actually teach and instruct readers with good, sound, moral, philosophy.
P. W. Dowdy
Dabney mixes the two dialects with the tenacity of a Joel Chandler Harris and the clarity of purpose of a Mark Twain. As in the works of these two great American folklorists, The Magic Pencil reveals its storytelling beauty through the eyes and the imagination of children daring to discover what life should mean for them.

The Magic Pencil makes its appearance at a time when children need most to include in their lives the adventures one can only find by reading books.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011869440
  • Publisher: Dabs & Company
  • Publication date: 8/21/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,352,008
  • File size: 176 KB

Meet the Author

Karen E.Dabney resides in Detroit, Michigan.

She possesses a BFA from The University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is a member of the Broadside Poets Theatre, Excellent Schools, Detroit Parent Network, Gifted in Michigan, Motown Literary Network, Detroit Unity Authors and Poets Society (DUPAAS), International Reading Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Karen is an alum of Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc., the precursor to the Peace Corps. She is also a visual artist and belongs to the Michigan chapter of the National Conference of Artists. Karen also works with youth in many capacities; thereby keeping her inner-child well-fed. She does speaking engagements,author visits, promotion and public relations. Karen recently completed a curriculum guide to accompany The Magic Pencil. And, she will one day finish Unhappiness Is, a comedic look at every day situations. The writing is done but Karen has been working on its illustrations forever!

Publications as author or artist include: I Love Me Some ME!: Positivity Poetry for Our YoungStars, The Magic Pencil Black Language Glossary, Jenga, poetry by Nuru with Karen E. Dabney, 44th Barack H. Obama The Commemorative Edition, Michigan Chronicle, For My People newspaper, Journal of Non-White Concerns, The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Newsletter, The University of Michigan Dearborn's The Michigan Journal, To the Poet in You, Dreaming by Chicara J. Brassell, and Necessary Roughness by Safi. The book is published through Dabs & Company of which Karen is the CEO.

Karen was accepted to and attended writing workshops with the Voices of Our Nation's Arts Foundation and The Hurston/Wright Foundation.

The Magic Pencil is Karen's first novel for young adults. She also wrote and illustrated her first book, Unhappiness Is, at 14 years of age. The book sheds a comedic light on everyday situations and challenges. An updated version is in progress.

Karen's motto is Promote Literacy! Keep a Mind Lit!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Must Read!

    The Magic Pencil is an enjoyable book for young and old alike.
    It is a good read, especially for children who may have to be coaxed and learn the joy there is to be found in reading.
    There are a lot of life lessons given to help children succeed in life.
    The story is being told from a child's perspective while demonstrating his ability to code-switch.
    I would recommended this book to anyone!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Great book for kids with a vivid imagination! Must read

    Nia, the co-star in this book, makes kids realize the power they already possess within. She uses a pencil as the magical instrument. The book touches on the many dynamics of family and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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