author: Jean-François Chabas

ages: 13+

240 pages

Talents Hauts

series "Les Héroïques"


My Little Maid

  • A novel that denounces the situation of «little maids» in Lebanon, real modern slaves.


    1993, Beirut. The kafala, a kind of guardianship which makes the employers exert a hold over their foreign servants, is a widespread practice in Lebanon. So when Nada’s grandmother acquires her new little maid, Ife, an Ethiopian girl, it feels normal to Nada.

    Admittedly, her grandmother goes too far by demanding, among other things, to attend the maid’s toilette, but for Nada, it is only the whims of an old woman with backward ideas. However, Nada realizes, thanks to her brother, that the treatment imposed on Ife and on all the other «little maids» is nothing less than slavery and even if she is more modern than her grandmother, it does not prevent her from doing some soul-searching.


    Key points:

    * Nada’s journey as a 17-year-old who realizes that injustice is not necessarily ill-intentioned but can also be the result of ignorance and neglect.

    * Ife, a discreet heroine who does not give up on her rights and her freedom.

    * Lebanon, a full-fledged character in the story, from its wild celebration nights to the civil wars, from its archaic traditions to its modernity.

    *Jean-François Chabas, a renowned author. Amerigo-Vespucci Youth Award, 14 awards including the Prix Versele, Grand Prix de la PEEP and Prix Tam-Tam for Le Secret de Faith Green (Casterman, 1998), Amerigo Vespucci award for Une moitié de wasicun (Casterman, 1995). His novels have been translated into more than 10 languages.