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

$18.99 USD

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The next book by the author of In My Mosque, M. O. Yuksel, this true-life picture book biography of Fatima al-Fihri, an extraordinary Muslim woman who founded the world’s oldest university, shows the importance of never giving up on your dreams and how we all have the power to change the world for the better. 

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!

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 Publisher’s Weekly starred reviews. A graduate of Fordham University and Columbia University, M. O. Yuksel loves writing about diverse cultures and inspiring female role models

Mariam Quraishi is an illustrator and designer living in San Francisco. 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! 


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

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