The MY HERO Project | Library

Free the Children: A Young Man''s Personal Crusade Against Child Labor

By Craig Kielburger, Kevin Major (Contributor)

Publisher: HarperCollins; (April 1999)
ISBN: 0060175974
MY HERO recommends this book to readers of all age groups.
From the Publisher
In April 1995, twelve-year-old Craig Keilburger opened the daily paper and began to search for the comics page, as usual. But that day, his morning ritual was interrupted when an article about a boy his own age caught his eye.

It was the story of a Pakistani child who, at the age of four, was sold into slavery by his parents. For the next six years, he was shackled to a carpet loom, tying thousands upon thousands of tiny knots, twelve hours a day, six days a week. For this he was paid three cents a day. Amazingly, his will was never broken; he escaped and began efforts to reveal the horrors of child labor. But when this courageous twelve-year-old began to gain international attention, and Pakistani carpet manufacturers began to lose orders, he was shot and killed.

That morning, Craig's life was changed forever. To find out more about child labor, he contacted human rights organizations around the world, and with a small band of his friends from school he formed Free the Children -- his own human rights organization. In the weeks that followed, Free the Children took off, fueled entirely by the efforts and enthusiasm of children Craig's own age.

Soon Craig decided that he had to see firsthand the working conditions of South Asian children. At the time he was not even allowed to take the subway alone, but he convinced his reluctant parents to let him fly halfway around the world. For seven weeks, in the company of a young human rights worker named Alam Rahman, Craig journeyed through the world of slums, sweatshops, and back alleys where so many of the children of South Asia live in servitude, often performing the most menial and dangerous of jobs.

In his travels through Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, Craig witnessed the shocking variety and extent of child labor, and was transformed from a typical, middle-class kid into an activist. In New Delhi and Islamabad he created a sensation -- and learned something of the power of the media -- when he famously crossed paths with Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who was touring Asia with the "Team Canada" trade mission. By the time Craig returned home, he and the young people of Free the Children had gained an international profile.

Free the Children is a passionate and astounding story. It chronicles the continuing journey of one remarkable young activist -- and it is a moving testament to the power that children and young adults have to change the world.

The extraordinary journey of "The Most Powerful Kid in the World"

Craig Keilburger -- and the human rights organization he founded at age twelve -- have made headlines around the globe and have brought unprecedented attention to the worldwide abuse of children's rights.

Free the Children is the dramatic and moving story of Craig's transformation from a regular middle-class kid from the suburbs to an activist fighting on behalf of child laborers on the world stage of international human rights.

User Reviews:
Francois | 5/28/2014 1:20 AM
Happy there is people like him..
Rebecca Anyumba | 2/20/2011 6:10 AM
I am so proud of you Craig what you are doing in my country Kenya is amazing and small girls and boys going to school because of your organization is the best gift ever Kudos and God bless you abundantly.
Yifei Xu, from Beijing | 10/12/2010 5:04 AM
we r doing a project on craig kielbuger.
brooke | 3/8/2010 6:25 AM
when i found out what was going on around the other side of the world it was sad to hear about it then i watched a movie about it and i was crying and know i want to help and be involved with children's rights.
Martin Z. | 10/2/2009 2:40 PM
He did a lot at such a young age with so little to start off with, you know he is only 26 this year and he is the founder of one of the most well-known organizations across the globe!
rosalia ann from malaysia | 7/26/2009 11:27 PM
I am very happy and proud of the hero Craig Kielburger.His mission really touched my heart.He is such a wonderful person,inspiring children that every kid can change the world a day.Success has no boundaries.Keep on unleashing your creativity in your mission.I would just like to give you a standing ovation if I get the opportunity to meet you.It's very inspirational.I hope every teenager involve in this programme and be someone like Craig Kielburger.All the best.God bless you.  

Ferough | 2/18/2009 7:29 AM
I've alway's wondered if a kid can change the world, and here is Craig who has made quite a difference to the world.
jassmin Sweden | 2/1/2009 7:07 PM
im so happy that there are people like Craig Kielburger! after reading about him and his travels, i just get more inspired to help other people!=)
josh burke | 11/27/2007 10:06 PM
good job
courtney o'sullivan | 5/15/2007 11:52 AM
I think that this young man who did this kind of work and this amount of appreation is great due to more people need to here about this kind of events that are happening in our world.
jackie | 5/7/2007 1:57 AM
very inspirational..i love it! CHild labor, should be banned..
jessica, victoria, australia | 4/22/2007 1:04 PM
We are doing a lot on this inspirational and motivational person, it just amazes me how people in the world care so much and achiveve and reach such great heights. Craig is my role-model.
john langley | 4/3/2007 11:36 PM
Hi im from a middle school and I wanted to ask you if you can come to our school because we are learning sooo much about you and what you did.
Maddie | 12/19/2006 8:47 AM
I am extremely happy that there are still people like Craig living in the world and doing something about its problems! I wish everyone were like him!
June | 8/27/2006 4:14 PM
Kielburger  is  best person.
Yu, from Hong Kong | 6/4/2004 7:09 PM
I read this book in Japanese when I was ten. I thought I could do something to help people in South Asia like Craig Kielburger so I joined Girl Guide that year. Now I volunteer for poor people in China. For example, sending old clothes, food, and old books. I feel good after helping poor people and I think other people will feel the same. I feel that I want to help poor people in South Asia like Craig Kielburger some day.
gloria, from Indonesia | 1/28/2004 2:55 PM
I never knew about this information before. I never realized that in some parts of the world, children's prosperity is in jeopardy. The experience of Craig Kielburger really touched my heart. He is very great. He is a generous person. I really honour him and the other people who struggle for children's rights. I am proud of them.
I hope I can be involved like them in the struggle for children's rights.

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