No Safe Place

No Safe Place

5.0 1
by Deborah Ellis
     
 

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Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loves, 15-year-old Abdul has made a long, fraught journey from his war-torn home in Baghdad, only to end up in The Jungle — a squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais, France. He takes a spot in a small, overloaded boat heading to England and full of other illegal migrants — and a secret

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Overview

Orphaned and plagued with the grief of losing everyone he loves, 15-year-old Abdul has made a long, fraught journey from his war-torn home in Baghdad, only to end up in The Jungle — a squalid, makeshift migrant community in Calais, France. He takes a spot in a small, overloaded boat heading to England and full of other illegal migrants — and a secret stash of heroin. 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 story of their frantic and hazardous Channel crossing makes this a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ellis (the Breadwinner Trilogy) throws readers into the harrowing experience of migrant teens escaping from different horrors in various corners of the world. Fifteen-year-old Abdul leaves war-torn Baghdad after his family is brutally murdered, winding up in a shantytown in Calais, France, four months later with the aim of reaching England and beginning a new life. His only chance is to take a despicable smuggler's boat and become indebted to him. At sea, he meets Rosalia, a Romani girl who ran from a brothel in Germany, and Cheslav, a passionate trumpet player dodging the Siberian military. The trio is forced to work together to survive the treacherous waters and to keep the smuggler's ill nephew alive, but their haunted pasts have hardened them, preventing easy friendships. "There always seemed to be one more thing. Solve one problem, and another one cropped up," Abdul reflects. Flashbacks involving the effects of war and poverty on communities and families drive this fast-paced and heart-wrenching narrative, which deals honestly with countless harsh realities. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This novel moves fast and furiously as readers follow the plight of three teen orphans who are attempting to escape from their troubled homelands to England. Rosalia, a Roma girl; Cheslav, a Russian boy; and Abdul, an Iraqi boy are all fleeing the cruelties of their war-torn cultures. The exciting and moving story manages to pull in the threads of our global history in the making—bombings in Baghdad, sex trafficking, and the harsh lives of underage conscripted soldiers. Violence is a big part of the teens' short lives as a result of the injustices in the world around them; it includes beatings and deaths as a result of racism and sexism. The story line revolves around their experiences as they come together in Calais and make the crossing to England. Ellis deftly uses flashbacks to fill in the backstories of each character, reminding readers of how they can never really know where people are coming from emotionally. Her writing is highly accessible, and yet understated. Orphans of the world and victims of human trafficking need all the press they can get, and this book does a great job of introducing the topic and allowing young people to see beyond the headlines of "Another illegal accidentally dies in Chunnel."—Meredith Toumayan, The Governor's Academy, Byfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
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. When he sneaks onto a smuggler's boat and a skirmish leaves the pilot dead, Abdul and three other young people are left adrift on the English Channel, hoping to get to England. Ellis skillfully intersperses flashbacks with thrilling scenes in Calais and on the Channel to tell the heartbreaking stories of Cheslav, a trumpet-playing Russian who has fled a harsh military school, Rosalia, a feisty Romani girl, who escaped the white slave trade, and Abdul, hoping to get to Liverpool to honor his friend Kalil. The flashbacks add depth and dimension to the story, making the protagonists fully realized characters readers will care about. 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. (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
• A CCBC Best Book for Kids & Teens, 2011

• 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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780888999733
Publisher:
Groundwood Books
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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No Safe Place 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MiguelPerez97 More than 1 year ago
I'm a reader who loves adventurous books and this book was very good in adventure. It builds up in suspense and makes you want to read more. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventurous books.