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Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories
     

Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories

by Deborah Ellis
 

Deborah Ellis's first collection of short stories explores the lives of children who have been affected directly, or indirectly, by drugs. Sometimes touching and often surprising, the stories are set against backdrops as diverse as the remote north and small town America to Moscow's Red Square and an opium farm in Afghanistan.

This is an unforgettable

Overview

Deborah Ellis's first collection of short stories explores the lives of children who have been affected directly, or indirectly, by drugs. Sometimes touching and often surprising, the stories are set against backdrops as diverse as the remote north and small town America to Moscow's Red Square and an opium farm in Afghanistan.

This is an unforgettable collection of stories that will elicit discussions about the toll drugs take on the lives of teenagers and their families.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ellis's first collection of short stories for YAs exhibits the same fine writing quality that readers have come to expect from her. As occurs in the majority of her books, Ellis addresses a social concern, this time drugs and addictions, but she does so without engaging in any preaching or making of overt value judgements. Instead, she just lets readers draw their own conclusions from the stories' happenings.

Highly Recommended."

-- CM Magazine

"Lunch with Lenin, is a powerful and skillfully executed collection of short stories about the impact of drugs, alcohol, and addiction on the lives of young people. . . This collection is guaranteed to provoke discussion and debate among those who do read it, particularly at the junior high and early high school level, and is likely to attract teachers looking for accessible and interesting classroom reading."

-- Quill & Quire

"The stories themselves are uniformly readable, and their subject is undeniably timely and urgently important."

-- Booklist

"The variety of characters, settings, and perspectives make this a quality collection."

-- School Library Journal

"Fabulous work.. ."

-- The Hamilton Spectator

"In her first book of short stories, she lives up to her very fine reputation as a writer of thoughtful, current, and compelling fiction. Each [story] is perfect for opening a discussion on issues that will resonate with many of the adolescent readers… be sure to include it in your list of books to share in your middle years or high school classroom, or with your teenager…. Thank You, Deborah Ellis for sharing your stories with us!"

-- The Brandon Sun

"Deborah Ellis has written a marvelous collection of ten short stories presenting realistic and relevant problems to teenage readers. Her stories show how courageous individuals make difficult choices in a confusing and often dangerous world. One of the most powerful messages in the entire collection of stories is found in the words of Ms. Greer, a history teacher, "Stories… That's really all we leave behind us. Good stories and bad stories. Sometimes, we get to choose." (p. 147) Teenage readers will definitely choose these stories.

Rating: E - Excellent"

-- Resource Links

VOYA - Amy Sisson
In this collection, Ellis constructs a group of thematically related stories, each of which explores how drugs, including alcohol, affect people. Perhaps wisely, the stories do not focus particularly on drug users themselves but on all those affected, such as the high school boy nervously buying marijuana for his cancer-stricken grandmother, the farmer's daughter in Afghanistan whose livelihood harvesting opium is about to disappear, and the teenaged drug seller in Manila who contemplates selling his kidney to help his family. Ellis's talent lies in the way she believably assumes so many culturally different viewpoints. In fact, although every story except the exquisite Boot is written in third person, the stories feel as personal as though they were individual narratives. The relatively short stories read quickly, offering neither judgment nor solutions but rather the opportunity for compassion and understanding. The most difficult thing about this collection might be getting it into young adult hands. Middle school readers may be more open to it, and the book's length and lack of gratuitous violence make it particularly appropriate for that age level. It is also sophisticated enough for older readers, but a collection of drug-related stories may be a hard sell for teens who might assume they are being lectured. Librarians should try anyway based on the collection's quality, which is high enough to justify placing this book in every library. Reviewer: Amy Sisson
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This short-story compilation focuses on drugs and addiction. Selections vary in perspective, from the sister of a drug addict in rehab to a family in Afghanistan growing and harvesting opium to survive. Many of the stories are fleshed out and well written, including the title story. Valerin is left at Lenin's grave by his mother when he is five, leading to life in an orphanage. There he meets Squid, a boy to whom he opens up and trusts. When Valerin leaves the orphanage, he heads back to Lenin's grave where he sees Squid as a soldier. Squid has turned to drugs and Valerin tries to reason with him, to no avail. However, there are also stories that are cut short, leaving questions and a sense of incompleteness. Such is the case with "Through the Woods," in which Matthew buys marijuana to take to his grandmother's rest home to ease her pain, with no consequence. Overall, though, the variety of characters, settings, and perspectives make this a quality collection.-Nichole King, Morgan Hill Library, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554551057
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
10/11/2008
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including the Breadwinner trilogy, The Heaven Shop, Jakeman, and Bifocal, which she co-wrote with Eric Walters. A peace activist and humanitarian, Deborah has traveled the world to meet with and hear the stories of children marginalized by poverty, war, and illness.

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