One Wish

Title: One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University
Release Date: 03/01/2022
Published by: HarperCollins
Contributors: M. O. Yuksel (Author), Mariam Quraishi (Illustrator)
Genre: Picture Book
Pages: 40
ISBN13: 9780063032910
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.

Praise for One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University

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 ​​
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

Awards and Honors

Featured in


Teacher’s Guide

One Wish Teacher’s Guide



Download and print to help these students find their way
  • Activity, One Wish

Word Search

Download and print then find words from One Wish
  • Activity, One Wish

Poster Activity

Make a poster of your one wish.
  • Activity, One Wish

Teaching Ideas for One Wish

Visit School Library Journal’s The Classroom Bookshelf for teaching ideas and invitations —
One Woman’s Legacy: Teaching Ideas for One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University
  • Activity, External, One Wish