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Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including the Breadwinner trilogy; The Heaven Shop; Lunch With Lenin; Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees; and Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS. She has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers.

Deborah knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 or 12. Growing up in Paris, Ontario, she loved reading about big cities like New York. In high school, Deborah joined the Peace Movement, playing anti-Nuclear War movies at her school. Since then Deborah has become a peace activist, humanitarian and philanthropist, donating almost all of the royalties from her books to communities in need in Asia and Africa. Heavily involved with Women for Women in Afghanistan, Deborah has helped build women’s centers and schools, giving children education and finding work for women.

In 2006, Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario. She now lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying
Authors:
Deborah Ellis
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Through her association with a community anti-bullying campaign launched in Haldimand, Norfolk, and neighboring communities in Southern Ontario, children’s author Deborah Ellis asked students from the ages of nine to nineteen to talk about their experiences with bullying. The results are thoughtful, candid, and often harrowing accounts of “business as usual” in and around today’s schools. The kids in this book raise questions about the way parents, teachers, and school administrators cope with bullies. They talk about which methods have helped and which ones, with the best of intentions, have failed to protect them. And some kids reveal how they have been able to overcome their fear and anger to become strong advocates for the rights of others.

This is a book for reading and sharing. Each interview is followed by questions that will encourage open discussion about the nature of bullying and the ways in which individuals and schools could deal more effectively with bullies and their victims. And additional comments from international students reveal how much kids the world over have in common in the way they experience and deal with bullies.

These kids have something to say. It’s time we listened.

Authentic Canadian Content
$14.95

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Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids
Authors:
Deborah Ellis
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

After her critically acclaimed books of interviews with Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention closer to home. For two years she traveled across the United States and Canada interviewing Native children. The result is a compelling collection of interviews with children aged nine to eighteen. They come from all over the continent, from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaai to North Carolina, and their stories run the gamut — some heartbreaking; many others full of pride and hope.

You’ll meet Tingo, who has spent most of his young life living in foster homes and motels, and is now thriving after becoming involved with a Native Friendship Center; Myleka and Tulane, young artists in Utah; Eagleson, who started drinking at age twelve but now continues his family tradition working as a carver in Seattle; Nena, whose Seminole ancestors remained behind in Florida during the Indian Removals, and who is heading to New Mexico as winner of her local science fair; Isabella, who defines herself more as Native than American; Destiny, with a family history of alcoholism and suicide, who is now a writer and powwow dancer.

Many of these children are living with the legacy of the residential schools; many have lived through the cycle of foster care. Many others have found something in their roots that sustains them, have found their place in the arts, the sciences, athletics. Like all kids, they want to find something that engages them; something they love.

Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world.

As one reviewer has pointed out, Deborah Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media. The voices in this book are as frank and varied as the children themselves.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Curriculum Connections: English, Geography, Humanities and Social Studies, Indigenous Studies, Civics and Careers, History 

Authentic Canadian Content
$15.95

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No Safe Place
Authors:
Deborah Ellis
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9;

Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loves, fifteen-year-old Abdul has made a long, fraught journey from his war-torn home in Baghdad, only to end up in The Jungle -- the squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais.

When an altercation at the soup kitchen ends up with him accidently stabbing a policeman, Abdul has to flee, and in desperation he takes a spot in a small boat heading to England. 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 four of them end up hijacking a yacht and, despite their fear and mistrust, they form a kind of makeshift family. And as the authorities close in on them, they find refuge in an unusual place -- a child's secret cave on the English coast.

Awards

  • 2010 Resource Links' Year's Best commendation
  • 2011 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens commendation
  •  2010 OLA Best Bets commendation
Authentic Canadian Content
$12.95

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