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by Susan Kuklin


School Library Journal:

Gr 7 Up- Kuklin discusses modern child labor in developing countries where youngsters work in carpet factories, brick kilns, and workshops making jewelry and other goods. Poorly paid, uneducated, and often mistreated, these “bonded laborers” are made virtual slaves by their families’ desperate poverty.The author focuses on two figures prominent in the struggle to combat the exploitation of children in Southeast Asia. Eshan Ullah Khan has led the efforts in Pakistan through his Bonded Labor Liberation Front, in cooperation with other organizations throughout the world. But the most colorful figure is Iqbal Masih, who at the age of 10 escaped from a carpet factory to become an articulate spokesperson. His death by shooting in 1995, on a return visit to Pakistan, ended his brief life but underscored the importance of the issue of child labor in the modern world. Numerous black-and-white photographs of children and labor leaders appear throughout the text. An appendix provides addresses of organizations. Kuklin’s gripping story complements and adds human interest to Jane Springer’s Listen to Us: The World’s Working Children (Groundwood, 1997), which draws on UNICEF documents and materials. Together they provide excellent coverage for discussion of this tragic problem.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, TomsRiver, NJ


  • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award


10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Biography, Non-fiction, Teen