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About Me: Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous and dramatic books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries. She has won the Governor General's Award, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California's Middle East Book Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. A long-time feminist and anti-war activist, she is best known for The Breadwinner Trilogy, which has been published around the world in seventeen languages, with more than a million dollars in royalties donated to Street Kids International and to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan. In 2006, Deb was named to the Order of Ontario.
No Safe Place
Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loves, 15-year-old Abdul has made a long, fraught journey from his war-torn home in Baghdad, only to end up in The Jungle — a squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais, France. He takes a spot in a small, overloaded boat heading to England and full of other illegal migrants — and a secret stash of heroin. A sudden skirmish leaves the boat stalled in the middle of the Channel, the pilot dead, and four young people remaining — Abdul, Rosalia, a Romani girl who has escaped from the white slave trade, Cheslav, gone AWOL from a Russian military school, and Jonah, the boat pilot’s ten-year-old nephew. The story of their frantic and hazardous Channel crossing makes this a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense.
Looking for X
Smart and independent, 11-year-old Khyber lives with her mom, Tammy, a former stripper, and her autistic twin brothers in a poor Toronto neighborhood. Though she doesn t have a lot in common with her classmates, Khyber does have wonderfully eccentric friends: Valerie, Toronto s meanest waitress, and X, a homeless woman in hiding from the secret police. Despite having to deal with pompous social workers who make her mother cry and ignorant kids who make remarks about her brothers, Khyber manages to enjoy herself, poring over atlases, planning exotic journeys, and taking peanut butter sandwiches to X. But when Tammy decides to move her sons to a group home for proper care, Khyber s world starts to crumble. She fights with her mom and then gets expelled from school. To make matters worse, X suddenly disappears. Khyber sets out to find her in a wild all-night odyssey of self-discovery.
The Heaven Shop
There is a lion in our village, and it is carrying away our children.
At her father's funeral, Binti's grandmother utters the words that no one in Malawi wants to hear. Binti's father and her mother before him, died of AIDS. Binti, her sister, and brother are separated and sent to the home of relatives who can barely tolerate their presence. Ostracized by their extended family, the orphans are treated like the lowest servants. With her brother far away and her sister wallowing in her own sorrow, Binti can hardly contain her rage. She, Binti Phirim, was once a child star of a popular radio program. Now she is scraping to survive. Binti always believed she was special, now she is nothing but a common AIDS orphan.
Binti Phiri is not about to give up. Even as she clings to hope that her former life will be restored, she must face a greater challenge. If she and her brother and sister are to reunited, Binti Phiri will have to look outside herself and find a new way to be special.
Compelling and uplifting, The Heaven Shop, is a contemporary novel that puts a very real face on the African AIDS pandemic, which to-date has orphaned more than 11 million African children. Inspired by a young radio performer the author met during her research visit to Malawi, Binti Phiri is a compelling character that readers will never forget.
The Breadwinner Trilogy
The Breadwinner is set in Afghanistan, where 11-year-old Parvana lives with her family in a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul. When her father is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, the family is left with no money or resources. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy and become the breadwinner. In Parvana's Journey, her father has died and the family has scattered. Parvana, now 13 years old, is determined to find them. Again masquerading as a boy, she joins a group of wandering children, all refugees from war, who exist mainly on courage. In Mud City, the focus shifts to 14-year-old Shauzia, who lives in the Widows' Compound in Pakistan and dreams of escaping to a new life in France. Deborah Ellis uses simple, compelling language, memorable characters, and a wealth of imaginative detail in this wrenching look at the human cost of war that is also a surprisingly hopeful story of survival.