No Safe Place
is my favorite kind of book: one that brings seemingly different characters together and shows that, lo and behold, they are not so different after all. One that illuminates the connections that the characters have, and that, ultimately, we all have.
Deborah Ellis primarily tells the story from Abdul's point of view. Using vibrant details, she follows his journey from war-torn Iraq where he watched his entire family die, to Calais, France where he is a migrant among many, and now on his way to freedom in England. Ellis balances these difficult details with spare prose, giving readers a deep sense of Abdul's experiences while inviting them fill in the spaces with empathy.
The whole novel unfolds in a few short days, and in a small space. This heightens the intensity, and creates a realistic situation in which it makes sense to witness so much...
Beyond the Book
Deborah Ellis has been all over the world. And she hasn't just visited places, she's done things. Big things. She went to Pakistan to help at an Afghan Refugee Camp; she went to Israel and the Ghaza Strip to talk with Israeli and Palestinian children; and she went to Malawi and Tanzania to spend time with children orphaned by AIDS. Deborah has written books that draw on each of these experiences - some fiction and some non-fiction - and at the heart of her work is her deep passion for peace and her unwavering support of children.
She says it best: "It has been a real privilege for me to sit with people in many parts of the...