THE CARPET BOY’S GIFT by Pegi Deitz Shea


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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This fictionalized tale featuring a real-life hero addresses the contemporary nightmare of child slavery in the second treatment based on the same subject this year (Iqbal, p. 1310). Nadeem toils in a carpet factory, knotting threads on a loom, to pay back a debt incurred by his desperately poor parents. One day, legendary 12-year-old Iqbal Masih marches past the factory urging the child workers to break away from their illegal bondage. Nadeem tries, but his boss shackles him to the loom—probably for years. Only news of Iqbal’s murder inspires Nadeem to try again. He leads the children outside, and an exhilarating illustration shows them in the spacious fresh air. This ending is hopeful, though not fully explained—wouldn’t the boss simply bring them back? Watercolor illustrations focus on figures and faces, emphasizing humanity but giving little sense of the actual factory setup and working conditions. Use alongside other materials to flesh out details. (author’s note, extensive resources) (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2010
ISBN: 0-88448-248-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Tilbury House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003


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