Off to War
Written by Deborah Ellis
Publication Date August 05, 2008
Society of School Librarians International Honor Book
Deborah Ellis has been widely praised for her gripping books portraying the plight of children in war-torn countries. Now she turns her attention closer to home, to the children whose parents are soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In frank and revealing interviews, they talk about how this experience has marked and shaped their lives.The children, who range in age from 7 to 17, come from all over North America. They were interviewed on military bases, in the streets, in their homes and over the phone. The strength of Off to War is that the children are left to speak for themselves, with little editorial interference beyond a brief introduction.
Includes a glossary, a list of organizations and websites and suggestions for further reading.
Selected for the Library Media Connection (LMC) Editor's Choice Awards - Social Studies 2008
Selected for the SSLI Honor Book 2009
Deborah Ellis is best known for her Breadwinner books — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with more than $1 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She recently received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Ontario.
"...gives voice to the children of Canadian and American soldiers...it is their accumulation that makes an impact...Ellis continues to be an important voice of moral and social conscience..." Kirkus Reviews
"...the voices of these children remind us that when we send an Army off to war, we are sending human beings with families and friends...Ellis offers reader a fascinating, and sometimes searing glimpse into these children's lives as she briefly introduces them and allows them to tell their stories in their own words...compulsively readable." Scripps Howard News Service
"Powerful and eloquent, Ellis' subjects are sad, scared, funny, angry and loving - just like all kids, but maybe more deeply...Kids with deployed parents will certainly find comfort in the similar feelings and voices of other kids going through the same." Copley News Service
"Ellis...comes home to share stories that remind us that the human cost of war is borne not just by those who fight, but by their families...a rare and deeply affecting glimpse into the lives of children whose voices are seldom heard...a powerful and eloquent statement about the families of the men and women who fight for our country, and the burden they bear" PR Newswire
"...tough, thought-provoking inquiries on subjects ranging from the way the household functions during parental absence, to the way the family adjusts to a soldier's return...Touching and insightful, these voices will appeal to a broad range of readers." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"...Ellis has struck a perfect balance here. This is the kind of book that children from military families will want to read, while civilians...will find that the range of opinions and types of kids in the collection yield fascinating stories...I look forward to reading Ellis's next book, Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees." School Library Journal
"Accessible and utterly readable, this book offers a glimpse into current home-front life, and is a primary source of what it means to have a family member serving in a war...the book is an excellent resource for opening discussions about the current events." School Library Journal
"Ellis tells everything without sensationalism...The personal voices are unforgettable." Booklist
"Readers will empathize with these children whose lives have been upended by circumstances beyond their control." Horn Book