Groundwood Books

No Ordinary Day

Written by Deborah Ellis

For kids 9 - 12 years old | Published September 10, 2011 | ISBN 9781554981083
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Asia

Cover of No Ordinary Day

Regular price $9.95 CAD

160 pages | 7.5 in × 5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

No Ordinary Day

Deborah Ellis

Shortlisted for the SYRCA 2013 Diamond Willow Award, selected as an American Library Association 2012 Notable Children's Book, a Booklist Editors' Choice, nominated for the OLA Golden Oak Tree Award, and a finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards: Young Adult/Middle Reader Award, the Governor General's Literary Awards: Children's Text and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award

There's not much that upsets young Valli. Even though her days are spent picking coal and fighting with her cousins, life in the coal town of Jharia, India, is the only life she knows. The only sight that fills her with terror are the monsters who live on the other side of the train tracks -- the lepers. Valli and the other children throw stones at them. No matter how hard her life is, she tells herself, at least she will never be one of them.

Then she discovers that she is not living with family after all, that her "aunt" was a stranger who was paid money to take Valli off her own family's hands. She decides to leave Jharia . . . and so begins a series of adventures that takes her to Kolkata, the city of the gods.

It's not so bad. Valli finds that she really doesn't need much to live. She can "borrow" the things she needs and then pass them on to people who need them more than she does. It helps that though her bare feet become raw wounds as she makes her way around the city, she somehow feels no pain. But when she happens to meet a doctor on the ghats by the river, Valli learns that she has leprosy. Despite being given a chance to receive medical care, she cannot bear the thought that she is one of those monsters she has always feared, and she flees, to an uncertain life on the street.

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of more than two dozen books, including The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages and was recently adapted into a feature-length animated film and a graphic novel. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She has received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Canada. She has donated almost $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Women for Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF and Street Kids International.

Awards and Praise
  • Commended South Asia Book Award Honor Book, 2012
  • Commended CCBC Choices Best of Year, 2012
  • Short-listed Ruth and Syliva Schwartz Young Adult/Middle Reader Book Award, 2012
  • Commended ALA Notable Children's Books List, 2012
  • Winner Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 2012
  • Long-listed OLA Tree Awards, 2013
  • Short-listed SYRCA Diamond Willlow Award, 2013
  • Short-listed Governor General's Award: Children's Text, 2011
  • Long-listed TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, 2012