Iqbal Paperback – Jul 1 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Thirteen-year-old Iqbal Masih was murdered in his Pakistani village in April, 1995, a few months after he had received an international prize and traveled to Sweden and the United States, speaking about his six years as a bonded child in Lahore carpet factories. The murderers-perhaps part of the "Carpet Mafia"-have never been caught. In smoothly translated prose, D'Adamo retells the boy's story through the eyes of a fictional coworker. Also sold into servitude to pay her father's debt, Fatima worked in Hussain Khan's carpet factory for three years and had forgotten almost everything about her previous life. She had grown used to the long hours, the scanty rations, the heat, and the cramped quarters of a life spent tying carpet knots and sleeping beside her loom. She and the others in the workshop are stunned when Iqbal appears and tells them that their debts will never be paid. He tries to convince the children that their situations can change and he escapes to the market where he hooks up with members of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front. Fatima doesn't come alive as a character in her own right, but the situation and setting are made clear in this novel. Readers cannot help but be moved by the plight of these youngsters. This thinly disguised biography makes little effort to go beyond the known facts of Iqbal's life. Nonetheless, his achievements were astounding, and this readable book will certainly add breadth to most collections.
Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 4-7. This moving docu-novel, translated from the Italian, adds a new dimension to the recent biographies of Iqbal Masih, the brave young activist who brought global attention to the appalling facts of contemporary child labor. Told from the fictionalized viewpoint of Fatimah, a young Pakistani girl who toils alongside Iqbal in a carpet workshop and is inspired by him to rise up, the personal story is a close-up view of the power of Iqbal's cause and the anguish of his death. The harsh facts will rivet readers. Fatimah tells what it's like to be rented as a child to a cruel master, her small fingers valued for their flexibility in weaving. Foreign clients come to buy the carpets and barely notice her. Iqbal's artistry thrills the master, until Iqbal cuts his carpet, runs away, and shows Fatimah--and the world--the necessity of rebellion. D'Adamo frames the story with an introduction about child workers now and a terse epilogue about Iqbal's murder ("He was about thirteen"). The writing is simple yet eloquent. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I found the book Iqbal unique because first of all it is a true story and second Iqbal does a bunch of wonderfull things in his life. This book is about Iqbal's father boroughing money from Hussain Khan. He wasn.t able to pay him back so Iqbal is forced to work for him. In the end Iqbal escaped the carpet factory that Hussain Khan owned. Unfortunatly Iqbal died at the age of 12. Fortunatly before had died or passed away he had done many great things in his life. Iqbal had saved everyone in the carpet factory Hussain Khan owned. He went on to save everyone in other carpet and brick factory's. When Iqbal had passed away Eshan Khan a man who helped Iqbal claimed that the carpet mofia had killed Iqbal.
What really shocked me in this book Iqbal is that when Iqbal escaped the first time and brang cops to Hussain's carpet factory they never did anything, they just left. I was suprised they never cared at all about child labour.Overall Iqbal is a fasanating book and it is suitable almost everyone to read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Iqbal is a fictionalized account of Iqbal Masih's life. It is written at a fifth grade level but the content is better suited for middle school students. We are reading this book as a kick off to our study of child labor practices around the world. The book is compelling and told from a adolescents point of view. It is advised that this book is read as a class and within context of classroom discussions and facts about child labor. A student reading this book without classroom support may have a difficult time with emotional and societal issues addressed in the novel.
Francesco D'Adamo wrote the story told through a girl, Fatima.
Iqbal's major award that it won was the Christopher Award in 2004. The
Christopher award was established in 1949. These awards are given to
directors of books, writers of books, producers, and television
specials. These awards goals are to encourage people to use their
talents and imagination to make the world more positive. This book is
set in Pakistan, at Hussain Khan's factory near a dry countryside.
Masih, a young Pakistani boy, comes to the carpet factory and brings
hope to all the other slave treated children. He tells the other
children that their family's dept will never be canceled. He meets
Fatima and promises her she will be free soon. He comes to the
factory and is the bravest boy there. He knows he can escape and be
free. He even has the courage to talk about the future. Fatima is a
Pakistani girl who is at the factory because she has to pay her
fathers debts. She meets Iqbal and they become close. He promises her
she will be free, and they will soon go kite flying together. Fatima
is used to the harsh conditions and when Iqbal shows up her hopes are
raised. This book is so intriguing it makes all the readers keep
reading. You not only get to read a great novel, you get to learn
some interesting facts about harsh working factories in Pakistan. The
reader's response to this book is very meaningful. Iqbal has become a
symbol to millions of children in the world, who have had hardship
and violence in their life.
I was afraid to begin reading Iqbal because the topic of child exploitation is so emotionally difficult. But instead of despair, D'Adamo creates a beautiful mood of childish innocence and hope that transcends the passivity of some characters and the greed of others. I found myself wanting more: both of the delicate language and of the story. I would like to read more by this new-to-me author, and the book's bibliography provides some opportunities to learn more about the real Iqbal Masih.
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