Synopses & Reviews
A powerful story based on the real life and death of a Pakistani child sold into slavery "You see, for Iqbal I was not invisible. I existed, and he made me free." So begins this moving fictionalized account of the real Iqbal Masih as told through the voice of Fatima, a young Pakistani girl whose life is changed by Iqbal's courage. Iqbal is sold to work in a carpet factory, where dexterous small fingers are duly exploited. Once there, the charismatic boy offers hope to the underfed, overworked, and joyless children. They endure the cramps of squatting on low benches, the blisters from weaving, the Master's abuse even being chained to their looms but Iqbal shows them that despite the abuse, their spirits cannot be sold and exploited. Soon, the factory is not running as smoothly; the children are organizing subtle acts of resistance from scattering dust and lint to ruining carpets. Surviving abuse, betrayal, and imprisonment, Iqbal triumphantly escapes, contacts a human-rights group, and returns to the factory to free his friends. In 1994 he won the Reebok Youth in Action Award and a scholarship to study law in the United States. Tragically, he was murdered at the age of thirteen by the Pakistani carpet mafia.
"D'Adamo's brief book, his first published in the U.S., packs an emotional punch in a novel also inspired by the life and work of Masih. Narrator Fatima is a bonded servant in a carpet factory in Pakistan, where she and a dozen or so other children work from dawn until dusk with little food or water, handweaving carpets that make their "owner," Hussain Khan, wealthy. Into their factory steps young Iqbal. A stunning act of bravery nearly kills him but also plants a seed of rebellion in his fellow workers; another turn of events exposes just how corrupt and deeply ingrained the country's system is. D'Adamo's prose is straightforward, almost reportorial, but the author also carefully chooses hauntingly poetic images that reflect the children's plight: an open window too high for the children to view, and later, when hope begins to bloom, a kite. D'Adamo pays fitting respect to Iqbal's name and bravery with this eye-opening, genuinely touching novel. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When young Iqbal is sold into slavery at a carpet factory, his arrival changes everything for the other overworked and abused chidren there. It is Iqbal who explains to them that despite their master's promises, he plans on keeping them as his slaves indefinetely. But it is also Iqbal who inspires the other children to look to a future free from toil...and is brave enough to show them how to get there. andlt;BRandgt; This moving fictionalized account of the real Iqbal Masih is told through the voice of Fatima, a young Pakistani girl whose life is changed by Iqbal's courage.
About the Author
Francesco D'Adamo is well-known for his adult books in the tradition of Italian noir fiction. He began writing fiction for young adults to much foreign acclaim in 1999. Iqbal is his third novel for young adults and his first to be published in the U.S. D'Adamo lives in Milan, Italy.