The Roses in My Carpets

The Roses in my Carpets
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The Roses in my Carpets Insert 1 The Roses in my Carpets Insert 2
A picture book by Rukhsana Khan
Illustrated by Ronald Himler
Published in the US & Canada by Fitzhenry & Whiteside
32 pg, Hardcover
$17.95 CDN / $15.95 US
ISBN 0-7737-3092-3

Buy The Roses in My Carpets at
32 pg, Softcover
$9.95 CDN / $7.95 US
ISBN 1-55005-069-9

Buy The Roses in My Carpets at
AR Quiz No. 56697 EN Fiction
IL: LG - BL: 4.4 - AR Pts: 2.0
AR Quiz Types: RP

This book has been featured by the Elementary Teacher's Federation Organization of Ontario in their curriculum guide on banishing racism from the classroom.  They developed an excellent teacher guide in their publication and assigned this book for the month of October.

View Teacher's Guide

Watch Rukhsana's Book Talk/Tutorial to learn how best to use this book in the classroom.

To hear an audio through of the author talking about and reading from The Roses in My Carpets click here

A young Afghan boy finds hope amid the hardships of living in a refugee camp.  Click Here to find out about the Libraries in Afghanistan Project.

See Rukhsana tell this story here: The Roses in My Carpets video

Awards & Recognition

  • Honourary Januscz Korczak Award (I.B.B.Y Polish Section) - Click Here to See Rukhsana receiving the Januscz Korczak Award in Capetown, South Africa at the IBBY Congress


“A young Afghan describes his grim life in the refugee camp where he lives with his mother and younger sister . . . One day his sister is hit by a truck. That night, after learning that she will survive, he dreams of jets crossing the sky and dropping bombs, but unlike his earlier nightmares of suffering a direct hit, he now dreams that the three find a space “the size of a carpet” where no bombs can strike."

-School Library Journal-


"A young refugee boy from Afghanistan struggles toward adulthood in a compassionate tale from Khan about the healing of the human spirit . . . In his graceful narrative, he names the colors he works with: 'White for the shroud we wrapped my father's body in. Black is for the night that cloaks us from enemy eyes. Green is the color of life. Blue is the sky. One day it will be free of jets.' Leaden skies and mud-colored walls contrast with the bright colors of the carpet; Himler's watercolor and pencil drawings, spare as the text, build poignantly to a portrait of a life."

-Kirkus Reviews-


"A young Afghanistan refugee finds a bit of comfort and solace in his stark life from the colorful roses in the carpets he weaves. The story presents very realistically the way the boy, his sister and mother manage to survive in their war-torn world. Highly recommended to aid in understanding the horrible effect of war on families."

-Children's Book Review Service-


"Toronto author Rukhsana Khan's book, The Roses In My Carpets, is filled with horror and honesty, humanity and heart . . . Khan has written about this fatherless boy with heartbreaking realism. She knows the young boy's story personally. She has met him and his family. He is her sponsored child. Her simple yet painfully detailed text will let your listeners know this boy's life through the bucket handle that cuts into his hand, the rough mats that rub his ankles raw and his nightmares of enemy jets screaming overhead. The author will guide them through his day-- a day where he must struggle to help his mother and sister survive while keeping a vision in his heart of a better future . . . This inspiring young boy's spirit shines through is stark contrast to the grimness of his life. As this powerful tale ends, this hopeful young boy dreams 'we find a space, the size of a carpet, where the bombs cannot touch us.' "

-The Toronto Star-


"In The Roses In My Carpets, an Afghani boy lives in a mud-drenched refugee camp caring for his mother and sister, and measuring his life by the next trip to the well or finding the next piece of bread. Except, that is, when he escaped into his work as an apprentice carpet weaver. Then 'with my fingers I create a world the war cannot touch.' Spare, unsentimental prose from Torontonian Rukhsana Khan and pictures by Tucson, Ariz. based Ronald Himler make this a moving story."

-Macleans Magazine-