Summary and book reviews of No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis

No Safe Place

by Deborah Ellis

No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis X
No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2010, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2011, 208 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

No Safe Place is a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense by a writer at the height of her powers.

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.

Desperate to escape, he takes a spot in a small, overloaded England-bound boat that’s 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. As they attempt to complete the frantic and hazardous Channel crossing their individual stories are revealed and their futures become increasingly uncertain.

No Safe Place is a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense by a writer at the height of her powers.

Excerpted from Chapter One

“How much?”

“Does it matter? It’s more than you’ve got.”

“You don’t know how much I’ve got.”

“I can smell you. Your stink tells the whole story.”

Abdul clenched his toes inside his torn sneakers. It helped him control his temper.

At least my stink is honest, he thought, from months of hard travel and living rough. He wondered what the smuggler’s excuse was.

“I’ll owe you the rest,” Abdul said. The smuggler scratched himself in places that weren’t supposed to be scratched in public. He exhaled cigarette smoke into Abdul’s face.

“Don’t like dirty Arabs.”

“I’m Kurdish,” Abdul said, then wanted to snatch the words back. He’d just played into the man’s prejudice. Should he say that he was part Arab, his mother’s family from Baghdad? Why bother.

“I’m sixteen,” he said instead, lying just a little. &...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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...continued

Full Review (349 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Tamara Ellis Smith).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Ellis attempts a great deal for one short book, but she makes even the multiple coincidences work, and there is no sentimentality. ...The spare narrative celebrates the power of community to overcome the worst. Grades 7-10.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. 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. Ages 9+

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. 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.

Reader Reviews

Kareena

Awesome
Awesome book. You should definitely read it.
Louise J

Couldn't Put It Down!
Abdul is a Kurdish refugee from Iraq who at fifteen-years of age has lost everyone in his family through the war and terror that has plagued his homeland. He meets a boy is own age and they become fast friends, both enjoying playing guitar and ...   Read More
Sana Ahmed

Do I like this book
This book is has the worst ending it is so disgusting, inappropriate the only thing I like about this book is that it tells you the everyday life of a refugee.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Deborah Ellis

Deborah EllisDeborah 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 world and learn how their lives have been drastically altered by war or disease, and how they try to ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Deborah Ellis

If you liked No Safe Place, try these:

  • We Are Not from Here jacket

    We Are Not from Here

    by Jenny Torres Sanchez

    Published 2021

    About this book

    More by this author

    Winner of the 2020 BookBrowse Award for Best Young Adult Novel

    A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

  • The Map of Salt and Stars jacket

    The Map of Salt and Stars

    by Zeyn Joukhadar

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More by this author

    This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart - a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker - places today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
    1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
    by Ai Weiwei
    Ai Weiwei is such an influential and innovative artist and activist that a memoir focused purely on ...
  • Book Jacket: Honor
    Honor
    by Thrity Umrigar
    First Impressions readers enjoyed being transported to India via Thrity Umrigar's novel Honor, with ...
  • Book Jacket: What Storm, What Thunder
    What Storm, What Thunder
    by Myriam J. A. Chancy
    What Storm, What Thunder illuminates life in Haiti during and after the massive earthquake on ...
  • Book Jacket: Noor
    Noor
    by Nnedi Okorafor
    Noor's heroine goes by the moniker AO. Though officially this stands for her given name, Anwuli ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
My Broken Language
by Quiara Alegría Hudes
A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a sprawling Puerto Rican family.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Latinist
    by Mark Prins

    A page-turning exploration of power, ambition, and the intertwining of love and obsession.

  • Book Jacket

    Free
    by Lea Ypi

    "Nothing short of a masterpiece."
    Publishers Weekly
    (starred review)

Who Said...

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A P O B Y Houses

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.