Lost Riders by Elizabeth Laird
  

Lost Riders

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A gripping and heart stopping story, Lost Riders uncovers the shocking story of child slavery today. Rashid is eight when his uncle sells him and his younger brother to a man who promises him a new life in Dubai. But the promises are quickly broken; Rashid is separated from his bother and uncle, he is made to take a new name, and he is forced to work as a camel jockey in races with high stakes and a high price for failure. Rashid thinks of nothing but escape. Will he be able to get free and return home to Pakistan?

Synopsis

Lost Riders by Elizabeth Laird

Taken from their home in Pakistan to work in the Persian Gulf, eight-year-old Rashid and his little brother Shari cling to each other. Then they are separated and forced to become jockeys in the lucrative camel-racing business. Rashid is starved and worked to exhaustion by harsh supervisors - but he quickly becomes his stable's star jockey.

Reviews

It is a tough book but the children feel real, there is light and shade and, at the very end, a homecoming. --Carousel Magazine

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. She trained as an English language teacher, and her first job was in Addis Ababa. She has always retained a strong interest in Ethiopia, and his written several books set there, including CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Fastest Boy in the World. Later, while she was working in London, she was invited by the British Council to teach a summer school in India. The flight from Bombay to Bhopal was bumpy, and she was horribly airsick. The man in the next seat looked after her with great kindness. His name was David McDowall, and he made a deep impression on her. They married a year later. That was forty-two years ago, and they’ve been looking after each other ever since.

David was working in Iraq for the British Council at the time of their marriage, so that’s where they started their married life. They travelled widely, down to the Marshes and up into Kurdistan, where Elizabeth would later set Kiss the Dust. After a stint in London, David started working for the United Nations. They moved to Beirut, along with their first son. A fierce civil war was in progress, which formed the backdrop for her novel Oranges in No Man’s Land. After a year, the situation became too dangerous, and they were evacuated to Vienna, where their second son was born.

Returning to London, they decided to try to earn their living as writers, and took in bed and breakfast for a while to make ends meet. When the children were old enough, Elizabeth began to travel again. She returned many times to Ethiopia, but also visited Palestine, running workshops for writers in Gaza and the West Bank, and visiting several refugee camps. These experiences inspired A Little Piece of Ground. Indignation at the invasion of Iraq sparked Crusade, a historical novel set during a previous disastrous attempt to conquer a Middle Eastern country a thousand years earlier.

The plight of refugees as a result of the Syrian war deeply affected Elizabeth. She was invited by the Norwegian Refugee Council to run writers’ workshops in two Syrian refugee camps just across the border into Jordan. Spending time in Amman, and meeting other refugee families, she put those voices and experiences together into Welcome to Nowhere.

Inspired often by her travels, Elizabeth has also written novels set in the UK, and several historical novels as well. She has won the Children’s Book Award, been shortlisted six times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as well as every other major children’s book award. She lives in Britain now, but still likes to travel as much as she can.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Author

Elizabeth Laird
More books by Elizabeth Laird

Author's Website

www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

Publisher

Pan Macmillan

Publication date

1st May 2009

ISBN

9780330452090

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