- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Groundwood Books (September 13, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780888999740
- ISBN-13: 978-0888999740
- ASIN: 0888999747
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Safe Place Paperback – September 13, 2011
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An OLA Best Bets, 2010
Short-listed for the SYRCA Snow Willow Award, 2011
Resource Links' Year's Best, 2010
"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, starred review
"This novel moves fast and furiously exciting and moving." School Library Journal, starred review
"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
About the Author
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.
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Groundwood Books Ltd|September 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-88899-974-0
Recommended for ages 14 and up - 208 pages.
Finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award
Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loved, 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, France.
When an altercation at the soup kitchen ends up with him accidentally 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.
Abdul is a Kurdish refugee from Iraq who at fifteen-years of age has lost everyone in his family through the war and terror that has plagued his homeland. He meets a boy is own age and they become fast friends, both enjoying playing guitar and loving The Beatles. One day, Kalil, is beaten to death in front of Abdul's very eyes and he vowed then to go to England to Penny Lane in honour of Kalil.
Abdul first ends up in France where he meets an unlikely group of kids who oddly enough end up making a sort of makeshift family. Rosalia, is a Romani girl who has escaped from the white slave trade but she is one tough cookie; Cheslav, is AWOL from a Russian military school and has an attitude like no other; and Jonah, the ten-year-old nephew of the horrible man whose small boat they are on in France escaping to England.
When Abdul boards the smuggler's boat with the other kids he really thinks his life is finally heading in the right direction, but that is not to be. When a storm suddenly blows up things escalate quickly and become out-of-hand. From here the story really takes off and you'll find yourself reading faster and faster because you can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.
NO SAFE PLACE was a sad story but showed the strength, endurance, and courage of a group of young people who had lived rough and tough lives but came out in the end as whole people. I loved it!!
It's the story of Abdul, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq. At fifteen years old he has already lost most of his loved ones to war and terror, and has fled to a small refugee camp in France. His journey has only just begun, however. France is no safehaven, despite the efforts of local volunteers. There are riots among the refugees, who fight over things like food and shelter, both of which are in short supply. The local police force aren't exactly welcoming, and Abdul lives in fear of deportation. But he has enough money to get to England, if he can only find a way.
When he boards a smuggler's ship with four other teens, he is pretty sure things might finally be looking up. The smuggler is downright vile, but he hopes that within a night they'll be across the Channel and he'll be history. But things don't go as planned -- there's a storm, the tiny ship is set off-course, and there's a fight for everyone's lives as the smuggler becomes violent and one of the kids falls sick. Abdul knows he has to find a way to England, though, and the choices he makes have not been -- and will not be -- easy or even pleasant. Slowly, he is able to crack the shells of two of the other teens on board: a Romani girl and a Russian boy, who both have pasts filled with abuse, neglect, and poverty. And the young nephew of the smuggler, an English citizen but as equally outcast as his foreign companions, might manage to keep the group from completely falling apart.
Told partially in flashbacks, this story humanizes the people that we often think of as "other" -- the kids and teens who have been nearly lost to political struggles throughout the world. The kids who are dealing with things that "don't happen to us." Abdul's voice is strong but real -- a great tool not only for telling a story, but for showing us that even in times of struggle kids play guitar, fall in love, make friends. I loved the subtleties of Abdul's story, and his strength and determination are something we can all take to heart. I hope you'll go looking for a copy of NO SAFE PLACE soon. Anyone interested in books on world politics and "real life" teen stories is sure to enjoy it.
they come into contact with are at the least unhelpful and at worse abusive and exploitative. You'll be depressed and sad about the state of the world after reading this and maybe appreciative of your own situation.