Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World's Oldest University

One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World's Oldest University

One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World's Oldest University

One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World's Oldest University


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 29


A Horn Book selection for "Picture Book Biographies for Women's History Month 2022”

Fatima had one wish . . .

Fatima al-Fihri loved to learn. She wanted to know everything, like how birds flew, why the sky was blue, and how flowers grew. But more than anything, she wanted a school for all, where anyone could study and become whatever they wanted, like teachers, scientists, and doctors.

As she grew older, Fatima carried her one wish inside her, through good times and bad. Fueled by her faith and her determination, she worked hard to make her one wish come true. For over a thousand years, Fatima’s one wish—her school—served students and scholars from around the globe, and it continues to do so today!

With lyrical text by M. O. Yuksel (author of In My Mosque) and stunning illustrations by Mariam Quraishi, this true-life portrait of an extraordinary Muslim woman shows the importance of never giving up on your dreams and how we all have the power to change the world for the better.

"This is a well-crafted picture book biography, especially given that so little is known of al-Fihri’s early years. The focus on her legacy, as well as the back matter with time lines and translations, is a strong pull for readers. Who could not love a book about a girl whose first spoken word was “read”? Add this biography to any collection looking to be well rounded when it comes to women’s history."—School Library Journal, starred review

“An inspiring profile of a tenacious trailblazer that highlights the power of knowledge. Quraishi’s transporting gouache-and-watercolor illustrations furnish a nuanced portrayal of the early medieval Arab world.” —Kirkus

"Advocating for persistence and education, this picture book adroitly demonstrates how al-Fihri’s Muslim faith inspired her community care." —Publishers Weekly

"In a text rich with imagery, Yuksel (In My Mosque) tells the true story of Fatima al-Fihri, whose one wish was to build a school for all. The illustrations develop their own visual language. A welcome story that emphasizes the intellectual foundations of Islamic North Africa and the importance of charitable work that plants seeds for subsequent generations." —Horn Book

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063032910
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2022
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 451,024
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

M. O. Yuksel's debut picture book, In My Mosque, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and was praised as "marvelous” and “a must” in School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly starred reviews. A graduate of Fordham University and Columbia University, M. O. Yuksel loves writing about diverse cultures and inspiring female role models. For more information about her books, please visit her online at

Mariam Quraishi is an illustrator and designer living in New York. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Mariam favors traditional media, namely watercolor and gouache, for her work. In her free time, she can be found painting the beautiful champa trees and motia flowers from her hometown of Karachi. Whether the chai stains you find in her work are intentional or accidental, she’ll never tell! To see her latest creations, please visit 

Customer Reviews

Explore More Items