128 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.5 in
November 1, 2003
Atheneum Books For Young Readers
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0689854455
ISBN - 13: 9780689854453
Read from the Book
One"Yes, I knew Iqbal. I think about him often. I like to. I feel I owe it to him. You see, for Iqbal I was not invisible. I existed, and he made me free. So here is his story. As I remember it. As I knew him."The house of our master, Hussain Khan, was in the outskirts of Lahore, not far from the dusty, dry countryside where flocks of sheep from the north grazed.It was a big house, half stone, half sheet iron, facing a dirty courtyard containing a well, an old Toyota van, and a canopy of reeds that protected the bales of cotton and wool. Across the courtyard from the house was a long building, the carpet factory, where fourteen of us worked. We had all been bonded to Hussain Khan to pay off debts our families had contracted with local moneylenders. The building had a tin roof and a dirt floor, so it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter.In the corner at the back of the courtyard, half-hidden by thorn bushes and weeds, you could just see a rusty iron door. Behind the door was a short, steep stairway that led down to the Tomb.Work began half an hour before dawn, when the master's wife, dressed in her bathrobe and slippers, crossed the courtyard in the uncertain light of the fading night and brought us a round loaf of chapati bread and some dal, lentil soup. We all ate together, greedily dipping our bread into the large bowl on the ground, while we chatted incessantly of the dreams we had had during the night.My grandmother and my mother used to say that dreams come from
From the Publisher
"You see, for Iqbal I was not invisible. I existed, and he made me free."
For Fatima and the other unseen children of Hussain Khan's carpet factory, Iqbal Masih's arrival is the end of hope and its beginning. It is Iqbal who tells them that their family's debt will never be cancelled, no matter how many inches of progress they make in their rugs, no matter how neat the knots or perfect the pattern. But it is also Iqbal who is brave enough to talk about the future. "Fatima," he promises, "next spring you and I are going to go and fly a kite. Remember that, whatever happens."
This is the story of the real Iqbal: a courageous thirteen-year-old boy who knew that his life was worth more than a rug, that chaining children to looms to work hours without rest was not right, and that there was a way to stop the abuse.
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.