Sunday, October 24, 2010

No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is one of my favourite authors to introduce to students. So many kids have no idea what happens around the world to children their own age. Ellis is constantly reminding us that the world is not always a safe place for kids. She deals with issues that are hard to understand and hard to believe are happening.

In No Safe Place, Ellis deals with the issues of migrant workers. In this story, she introduces the reader to three illegal teenaged migrant workers who are trying to cross the English Channel into England. Each child has their own story to tell, but they are very wary of saying too much. Slowly, as the three children- Abdul, Rosalia and Cheslav learn to work together and trust each other they also start sharing their stories. Abdul is from Iraq and his story is one of war and terror. Rosalia is a gypsy who was sold by her uncle to a man who promised a better life for her. Cheslav is a Russian boy who leaves the army for his own reasons. All three of the children find themselves very close to their dreams of living in England. Yet they must figure out a way to work together and trust each other in order to survive.

In order to understand and grasp what is happening in this story, young adults will need to be able to talk about the events and issues that are raised throughout the whole story.

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