by Deborah Ellis, Eric Walters
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Bifocal by Deborah Ellis, Eric Walters

On the White Ravens' Outstanding New International Books for Children and Young Adults list, 2008

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards Bronze Medal Winner (YA Fiction category), 2007

Snow Willow Award nominee, 2008

CCBC's Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2008

Two bestselling authors join forces to write a powerful novel about racism.

A student arrested on suspicions of terrorism. A high school torn apart by racism. Two boys from two different sets of circumstances forced to choose sides.

These are the issues at the heart of Bifocal, a ground-breaking new novel for young-adults.

The story is told from two different points of view. Haroon is a serious student devoted to his family. His grandparents emigrated from Afghanistan. Jay is a football star devoted to his team. He is white.

One day their high school is put on lockdown, and the police arrest a Muslim student on suspicion of terrorist affiliations. He might be guilty. Or is he singled out because of his race?

The entire student body fragments along racial lines and both Haroon and Jay find that their differences initially put them at odds. The Muslim students become targets and a smoke-bomb is set off near their lockers while Jay and his teammates believe they've been set-up to look like racists.

Bifocal is, by no stretch, an easy book. Award-winning authors Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters deliver a serious, hard-hitting book about racism that does not talk down to young people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554550623
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date: 08/16/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 15 - 17 Years

About the Author

Deborah Ellis is the acclaimed author of The Heaven Shop and the Breadwinner trilogy. She has won the Governor General's Award, Canada's highest literary honor, and is a member of the Order of Ontario. She travels the world to hear the stories of children marginalized by war, illness, and poverty.

Eric Walters is one of Canada's most successful writers and prolific writers for teenagers. His novel Shattered recently won the 2007 National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Award and the 2007 White Pine Award. A former teacher, Eric visits classrooms across the country and he has already spoken to more than 750,000 students.

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Bifocal 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bifocal, one of the most unique, realistic fictional stories I¿ve read in a while, was written by Eric Walters and Deborah Ellis. I thought the plot was different, but in a good way. It was easy to read, yet hard to put down.
Most of the events that occur in the story happen at a middle school in a small town, in America. The main character Haroon is accused of being involved in a terrorist group. When the cops realized they can¿t take him in without evidence, they take his friend, who apparently they did have evidence against, instead of Haroon. When Haroon is returned to school he has to face discrimination from his fellow peers, because of the color of his skin. Haroon learns that no one would treat him normally, so he came up with two options: he¿d ignore it all, and wait until everything died down or follow his twin sister¿s footsteps and stand up for his citizenship. He soon meets Jay, an audacious, rising star in their school¿s football team. Jay knows he needs to help Haroon but can he get over the racial dividers in their school? The story switches off between Haroon¿s points of views to Jay¿s. It was not exactly easy or hard to read regarding the vocabulary. The author also includes references to Afghan heritage.
I recommend this book to anyone who is confused about racism or doesn¿t understand the reality of discrimination against different colors of skin. This book might even be swell to relate to.