'When Aminah regained her senses, she glanced up at the empty balcony. Her vision blurred, and she slipped back to the ground with a moan. Her eyelids fluttered, almost closed, when a flash of light pulled her back to consciousness.
The sun was about to settle behind the walls, and the avenue was crowded with shadows that crept forward like lurking rats. The lamp lay on the paving stones, and though discolored, it somehow caught the sunlight. With the slightest movement of her head, it flashed like a beacon.
Aminah crawled over to the lamp. She wrapped her fingers around the curved handle and picked it up. Cradling it like a baby, she stood on teetering legs and stumbled back the way she'd come.
Aminah leaned against the wall and looked back in the direction of the Princess's balcony, out of sight around a bend in the avenue. Now that her head had cleared a little, she was filled with bitter disappointment and bewilderment. She had hoped to find a soft heart and had instead found a stone.'
Aminah is one of many orphans living on the streets of the Arabian city Al-Kal'as. When, out of desperation, she appeals to Princess Badr for work, the black-hearted wife of Aladdin responds by throwing a beat-up old lamp at her head.
"Why couldn't the Princess have flattened me with a jeweled cup instead?" Aminah muses, ribbing her aching forehead. But when she polishes the tarnished brass, clouds of glowing purple gases -- and a jinni -- spew forth. With the rising of each full moon, the jinni informs her, she will have three wishes.
The jinni's magic brings Aminah food, clothing, shelter, and the best treasure of all: companionship. Still, Aminah cannot achieve true happiness until she had helped the suffering people she has left behind. The jinni warns her that his demon magic is not supposed to be applied to such purposes -- unexpected complications could result -- but he finds it impossible to resist the girl's kindness. Meanwhile, the power-hungry and bloodthirsty Princess hunts down Aminah and the lamp. Will Aminah's good deeds lead to her demise?
This fanciful yarn about what happens to the lamp after Aladdin will enchant readers who relish action, adventure, fantasy, and humor.
Condition: Pre-loved book. First edition. Minor yellowing of pages. Otherwise in good condition.
Year published: 2004
Sub-genre: Children's fantasy; historical fiction; retelling
Imprint: Dutton Children's Books
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