For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. With the darkness of night as cover, they flee to the big city of Mumbai in hopes of finding work and a brighter future. Gopal is eager to help support his struggling family until school starts, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer. But Gopal has been deceived. There is no factory, just a small, stuffy sweatshop where he and five other boys are forced to make beaded frames for no money and little food. The boys are forbidden to talk or even to call one another by their real names. In this atmosphere of distrust and isolation, locked in a rundown building in an unknown part of the city, Gopal despairs of ever seeing his family again. But late one night, when Gopal decides to share kahanis, or stories, he realizes that storytelling might be the boys’ key to holding on to their sense of self and their hope for any kind of future. If he can make them feel more like brothers than enemies, their lives will be more bearable in the shop—and they might even find a way to escape.
A homeless girl wanders the land searching for food and shelter, but no one will help her until she meets a Fool, who is kinder than all the others.
The first edition in Spanish of the noted Swedish author’s novel on the life of a street youth of Tegucigalpa, based on the history of an actual Honduran “callejero” that Zak befriended.
One sad day, Grandmother died. “You cannot stay here,” said the man who owned the land. “I have a family ready to move in.” Young Concepcion has no choice but to move to the [barrio] of the nearby city. There she meets children who, in order to survive, must steal the good they eat. But Concepcion has a plan. With back-breaking work she plants a garden amid the rubble, using her grandmother’s legacy: a handful of chili, corn and bean seeds. But her garden is destroyed. Will she have the strength to begin again? Published in collaboration with UNICEF Canada, A Handful of Seeds offers a message of hope on behalf of the thirty million children worldwide who live on the streets of their cities.