The Heaven Shopby Deborah Ellis
At her father’s funeral, Binti’s grandmother utters the words that no one in Malawi wants to hear. Binti’s father and her mother before him, dies of AIDS. Binti, her sister, and brother are separated and sent to the home of relatives who can barely tolerate their presence. Ostracized by their extended family, the orphans are treated like the lowest servants.
At her father’s funeral, Binti’s grandmother utters the words that no one in Malawi wants to hear. Binti’s father and her mother before him, dies of AIDS. Binti, her sister, and brother are separated and sent to the home of relatives who can barely tolerate their presence. Ostracized by their extended family, the orphans are treated like the lowest servants. With her brother far away and her sister wallowing in her own sorrow, Binti can hardly contain her rage. She, Binti Phirim, was once a child star of a popular radio program. Now she is scraping to survive. Binti always believed she was special, now she is nothing but a common AIDS orphan.
Binti Phiri is not about to give up. Even as she clings to hope that her former life will be restored, she must face a greater challenge. If she and her brother and sister are to reunited, Binti Phiri will have to look outside herself and find a new way to be special.
Compelling and uplifting, The Heaven Shop, is a contemporary novel that puts a very real face on the African AIDS pandemic, which to-date has orphaned more than 11 million African children. Inspired by a young radio performer the author met during her research visit to Malawi, Binti Phiri is a compelling character that readers will never forget.
-- Quill and Quire
"Readers with an interest in faraway places... will cheer at Binti, self-centered and self-important when life is good, learns through adversity and through the model of her grandmother to think and behave more generously."
-- School Library Journal
- Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
- Age Range:
- 11 - 15 Years
Meet the Author
Deborah Ellis was born in Northern Ontario but grew up in Paris, Ontario. Like many writers, she was a creative loner as a child, at odds with formal education in her youth, and a voracious reader at all times. As an adult, Deborah has been occupied with many issues of interest to women, such as peace, education and equality in society at home and abroad. She works at a group home for women in Toronto, reading and writing in her spare time. In 2006 Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario.
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This book was a great experience to read, but as a 12 year old girl it wasn't something i would read again. It was a great book to learn interesting facts about Malawi but, it was not the kind of book i would recommend to a classmate.
Review from www.TeenLitReview.blogspot.com: The Heaven Shop was a book I will never forget. The story of Binti is one that I am sure happens everyday to many, many children. The story was the perfect introduction for 6th to 9th grade children into the horror of what is happening with AIDS in some parts of the world. Ellis wrote a book that touches readers, draws them in, teaches them, and in some sense shows you that no one should be too confident that life will always be as they expect it to be. For Binti, it was AIDS, for someone else it may be a car accident, cancer, or murder. Whatever your hardship, this story tells you to be strong, and keep living.
Rating: 4, includes mild sexual detail
Positive: The Heaven Shop tastefully presents the AIDS crisis on a level that is appropriate for 6th to 9th grade readers. Binti is a very good daughter who shows respect for her father and helps him a lot when he is sick. She is dedicated to her family and perseveres to help her brother and sister when they are split up. Binti¿s life is drastically changed by the death of her father, but she makes choices that in the end, make her a better person then ever.
Spiritual Elements: There are a few references that the coffins Binti and her family makes will take the deceased swiftly to Heaven, but nothing more religious/spiritual.
Violence: Some of the family members are quite mean to Binti and her siblings, I seem to recall they even hit them at one point.
Sexual Content: Eventually Binti¿s sister starts ¿being nice¿ to men in exchange for money that they save to escape. The term used is ¿being nice¿ and is clearly prostitution, though no further details are given. Of course, with AIDS being a disease transmitted primarily through sex, it is implied that is how people got AIDS. Again, no detail is given.
Recommendation: I would highly recommend this book to girls and boys ages 13+. I would go so far to say that I wish it was required reading in the 8th grade! I can name a couple books my 8th grade son has had to read this year that this one could replace. By reading The Heaven Shop I feel that kids will have better understanding of the scope and tragedy of AIDS, as well as a good example of how to keep living when life doesn¿t turn out as you thought is was going to.
Binti's life were no longer better, her parents were died because of AIDS. She and her brother, sister got send off to their different relatives. Their relatives treated them badly just because they think the children had AIDS. What will happen to the children with this horrible things happening on them? A classmate recommended this book to me. When I first looked at the cover of this book, I expected it to be about white people treated black people badly. But when I finished reading this book; I found there were some ideas that were similar to my thinking and some that were very different. I liked this book because I think it was really interesting and you can learn more about how Aids worked. I disliked this book because some parts that are really horrible, I can't believe Binti's very own relatives could treat her and her brother, sister very bad just because the relatives think that the children had AIDS but is not even true. I think this is a really interesting and page turning book, and if you wanted to learn more about Aids, this is a good choice for you to read. This book was a appropriate for Grade 7 and up to read but if you can¡¦t handle a sad story, I suggest you that you should think about it before you want to read it. Well, what are you waiting for? Let's ask your parents and buy 'The Heaven Shop'!!!!