No Safe Place

No Safe Place

Written by: Ellis, Deborah
ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up

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Finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

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.

Finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

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.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 1, 2010
Specifications 208 pages | 5 in x 7 in
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Excerpt
Written By

DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of the international bestseller The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Deborah has donated more than $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Mental Health Without Borders, the UNHCR and the Children in Crisis fund of IBBY. She lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

Written By

DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of the international bestseller The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Deborah has donated more than $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Mental Health Without Borders, the UNHCR and the Children in Crisis fund of IBBY. She lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

Audience ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up
Reading Levels Lexile HL710L

Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2010

Short-listed, SYRCA Snow Willow Award, 2011

Commended, Resource Links' Year's Best, 2010

Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, 2011

“What the best literature for young readers can be-simple, elegant language crafted to tell a story as full and rich as life itself. Eminently memorable.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Flashbacks involving the effects of war and poverty on communities and families drive this fast-paced and heart-wrenching narrative, which deals honestly with countless harsh realities.” —Publishers Weekly Online

“Flashbacks to each character's personal story are interwoven with the present-tense violence, prejudice, kindness, and community that the young characters find on their journey.” —Booklist

“Ellis' young readers love her because she speaks to them as intelligent, empathetic beings who will soon have agency in the world, and in No Safe Place, this gift is still powerfully evident.” —Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

“This novel moves fast and furiously...exciting and moving.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW