Books by Deborah Ellis

THE BREADWINNER by Deborah Ellis
Released: Jan. 1, 2018

"A rather unsatisfying graphic novel, sure to disappoint fans of Ellis' book. (Graphic historical fiction. 10-14)"
A graphic-novel adaptation of Ellis' heartwarming story of Parvana, a young girl in Afghanistan who cuts her hair and dresses as a boy to earn money for her family when her father is imprisoned by the Taliban. Read full book review >
SIT by Deborah Ellis
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"The book is dedicated 'to all who just need a moment of peace,' but it may leave readers feeling far from peaceful. (Short stories. 10-14)"
A collection of short stories organized around the mental image of a sitting child. Read full book review >
THE CAT AT THE WALL by Deborah Ellis
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Quietly moving, full of surprises and, with Clare's colloquial and spirited voice, highly readable. (Fiction. 10-13)"
One minute, Clare is a middle school student in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but the next, she is in Bethlehem—"the real one"—and she's a cat. Read full book review >
MOON AT NINE by Deborah Ellis
Released: April 1, 2014

"A harsh introduction to a disturbing moment in Iran's recent history. (Historical fiction. 14-18)"
In a novel based on a true story, two teen girls fall in love and face harsh political fallout in post-revolution Iran. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"As gay Chippewa 16-year-old Zack puts it, 'They tried really hard to kill us all off, and we're still here!'—a welcome and necessary reminder to all. (introductory notes, photos, annotated lists of organizations) (Nonfiction. 12-16)"
In distilled interviews, 45 young Native Americans express hope, resilience, optimism—and, rarely, anger—amid frank accounts of families plagued by drug, alcohol and sexual abuse, as well as murder, suicide, extreme poverty, and widespread discrimination, both public and private. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"Readers will learn much about the war in Afghanistan even as they cheer on this feisty protagonist. (author's note) (Fiction. 11 & up)"
In a follow-up that turns the Breadwinner Trilogy into a quartet, 15-year-old Parvana is imprisoned and interrogated as a suspected terrorist in Afghanistan. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2012

"Necessary. (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
The author of the Breadwinner trilogy turns from fictional Afghani children to real ones. Read full book review >
TRUE BLUE by Deborah Ellis
Released: March 15, 2012

"Casey, whose misplaced loyalty indicates startling ignorance of her friend's character, is a bore. Jess—sharply insightful, but selfish and entirely lacking in empathy—may be a piece of work, but she grabs readers' attention and never lets it go. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Known for powerful tales of social injustice in the developing world, Ellis here offers readers a flawed but gripping character study of teens in small-town Canada. Read full book review >
NO ORDINARY DAY by Deborah Ellis
Released: Sept. 13, 2011

"A true-to-life portrait of a young girl's cheerful selfishness in this surprisingly optimistic novel of unrelenting poverty. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Homeless orphan Valli is always friendly, if amoral. Read full book review >
NO SAFE PLACE by Deborah Ellis
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"Eminently memorable. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Fifteen-year-old Abdul, an Iraqi Kurd, has escaped war-torn Baghdad and traveled for four months across six countries only to hit a dead-end in the Jungle in Calais, a community of migrants trying to survive in squalid shanties with winter coming. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2009

"Photographs of the interviewees and a glossary round out an important chronicle of war and the world's most vulnerable—the children. (Internet resources) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)"
In her previous volume, Off to War: Voices of Soldiers' Children (2008), Ellis interviewed Canadian and American children whose parents were off at war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Read full book review >
LUNCH WITH LENIN by Deborah Ellis
Released: Nov. 22, 2008

"This will work best where short fiction is in high demand, but some teens will find it preachy. (Short stories. YA)"
Readers of activist and award-winning Canadian novelist Ellis's novels won't be surprised that the short fiction collected here deals with substance abuse and impoverished peoples in countries large and small. Read full book review >
OFF TO WAR by Deborah Ellis
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Ellis continues to be an important voice of moral and social conscience, and this volume will be followed, in January 2009, by Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees. (glossary, further information) (Nonfiction. 9 & up)"
With 13,500 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and one million American military personnel in Iraq, millions of children on the home front and in the war zones have been affected. Read full book review >
SACRED LEAF by Deborah Ellis
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"An exciting story that confronts young readers with a very different kind of childhood. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Bolivians have long consumed coca leaves, the raw ingredient in cocaine, as a mild stimulant tea to minimize the effects of hunger and altitude sickness. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"Ellis creates an exotic atmosphere of sights, sounds, and tastes for her novel about a memorable, if anachronistic, heroine. (Fiction. 12-15)"
A baby girl born with a facial deformity is left to die in the dessert of Persia, but her mother, the number one wife in the harem, rescues the child. Read full book review >
THE HEAVEN SHOP by Deborah Ellis
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Allan Stratton's Chanda's Secrets (p. 498) is far deeper and better written (though its African country is fictional). (author's note, map, author interview) (Fiction. 10-13)"
This AIDS-in-Africa story, though occasionally poignant, smacks of intention. Read full book review >