the magic pencil

The Magic Pencil

by Karen E. Dabney
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Reviewed by: Push Nevahda
May 2010


Karen E. Dabney’s new book is more than just a book about a kid named Malcolm and a magic pencil. 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.

Malcolm is at the center of this tale and is burdened with the arduous task of whether to do the right thing. He is hopeful, optimistic, even in circumstances that warrant a cynic’s pessimistic outlook. He is ultimately caught between the binary realities within the rambunctious context of family, friends, life, and what it all means to him.

Dabney’s characters are richly textured, and she worked extra hard not to surrender her characters to age-ole stereotypes, giving meticulous consideration to cultural detail, as well as a useful lesson (and critique?) on the Shakespearean question of colloquial language – to use it or not to use it. As a matter of fact, Dabney’s grasp of the colloquial language is so masterful that, at times, I felt as though I were reading a Geneva Smitherman book.

Given the quality of books rolling off the press these days, 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. Haki Madhubuti once said that a book must engage the community. In that sense, Dabney’s book is accountable and responsible to the task of what this sort of book ought to achieve. That makes TMP a must-read. Good work, Dabney!

What did you like about the book?
It is cultural and entertaining.

What did you dislike about the book?
At times, the colloquial language was distracting and bothersome to the overall flow of the book. It limited the scope of the read to a degree, even.

What could the author do to improve the book?
Be careful when using colloquial language. Also, the author should pay attention to verbs and tenses, and be consistent with them.


The views expressed in published reviews are solely those of the reviewer. The Urban Book Source cannot be held accountable. The information featured, represents that of the reviewer and not that of The Urban Book Source. The reviewer takes full responsibility for the information presented.

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Posted 1803 days ago
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gabixler :
Posted 2534 days ago
Excellent review! I thoroughly enjoyed Dabney's book and its great to read somebody else's comments!
 




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