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No Safe Place

by Deborah Ellis

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1054193,393 (3.86)None
Fifteen-year-old Abdul, having lost everyone he loves, journeys from Baghdad to a migrant community in Calais where he sneaks aboard a boat bound for England, not knowing it carries a cargo of heroin, and when the vessel is involved in a skirmish and the pilot killed, it is up to Abdul and three other young stowaways to complete the journey.… (more)



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Gogglebooks review as Lib Thing App did not save mine:
"It was a night without comfort, and without sleep. The rain fell without mercy, and the waves tossed the boat around like a plaything.There were no lights to head for, and there was no rescue coming. No one on Earth knew where they were, and no one even noticed that they were missing.
In the spirit of The Silver Sword and from the author of the bestselling Parvana series, this heart-stopping story of courage and friendship is based on the true experiences of children, caught up in the refugee jungle of Calais and striving to find a place for themselves in the world. A novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense by a writer at the height of her powers."

Tells the story of the journey of three refugee boys by boat across the ocean who want to get to England and how they are abandoned in the middle of nowhere at the mercy of the elements and pirates. Gripping stuff. ( )
  nicsreads | Apr 29, 2019 |
This #bookaday novel by one of my favourite authors, Deborah Ellis, tells the stories of illegal teen migrants Abdul, Rosalia and Cheslav as they journey by sea to a safer life in England. I particularly enjoyed how Ellis introduces the characters throughoiut the novel, and hearing their tragic stories of survival will hopefullly challenge teens to think critically about cultural stereotypes and the controversy surrounding immigration. This would definitely be a novel I might use in Social Studies 8 to begin conversation and discussion about immigration policies and cultural diversity. ( )
  ydenomy | Aug 4, 2011 |
I’ve talked on this blog about how books can make us feel like global citizens. I love that about books, and I love books that, despite stark, real, and sometimes sad depictions of real life in other parts of the world, let me live in other peoples’ shoes for a while.

I picked up NO SAFE PLACE by Deborah Ellis last week and absolutely couldn’t put it down.

It’s the story of Abdul, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq. At fifteen years old he has already lost most of his loved ones to war and terror, and has fled to a small refugee camp in France. His journey has only just begun, however. France is no safehaven, despite the efforts of local volunteers. There are riots among the refugees, who fight over things like food and shelter, both of which are in short supply. The local police force aren’t exactly welcoming, and Abdul lives in fear of deportation. But he has enough money to get to England, if he can only find a way.

When he boards a smuggler’s ship with four other teens, he is pretty sure things might finally be looking up. The smuggler is downright vile, but he hopes that within a night they’ll be across the Channel and he’ll be history. But things don’t go as planned — there’s a storm, the tiny ship is set off-course, and there’s a fight for everyone’s lives as the smuggler becomes violent and one of the kids falls sick. Abdul knows he has to find a way to England, though, and the choices he makes have not been — and will not be — easy or even pleasant. Slowly, he is able to crack the shells of two of the other teens on board: a Romani girl and a Russian boy, who both have pasts filled with abuse, neglect, and poverty. And the young nephew of the smuggler, an English citizen but as equally outcast as his foreign companions, might manage to keep the group from completely falling apart.

Told partially in flashbacks, this story humanizes the people that we often think of as “other” — the kids and teens who have been nearly lost to political struggles throughout the world. The kids who are dealing with things that “don’t happen to us.” Abdul’s voice is strong but real — a great tool not only for telling a story, but for showing us that even in times of struggle kids play guitar, fall in love, make friends. I loved the subtleties of Abdul’s story, and his strength and determination are something we can all take to heart. I hope you’ll go looking for a copy of NO SAFE PLACE soon. Anyone interested in books on world politics and “real life” teen stories is sure to enjoy it. ( )
  EKAnderson | May 9, 2011 |
Once again Deborah Ellis has written a disturbingly gritty story that resonated long after I finished the book. No Safe Place is about three teenagers, all from different situations, brought together when they attempt to leave their pasts behind by getting into a smuggler’s boat headed for England, where they believe they can begin a new life. The details of their heartbreaking backgrounds are told through flashback chapters, and each of their stories is shockingly believable. If you have the strength to read about Abdul, who saw his mother shot, and his best friend beaten to death, Rosalia, who barely manages to escape a life of prostitution, and Cheslav, abandoned by his mother to a military schools in Siberia, you will find the survival spirit of these teens; their will to start again, incredible. This is NOT a book for the faint of heart. In true Ellis style, it is gripping, brutal, and ugly in its honest portrayal of the obstacles and hatred these migrants face trying to restart their lives. I dare you to read this, and try not to feel disgusted by the tourists greeting Abdul on Penny Lane.
Highly recommended but only to those who can handle it. You know who you are. If you enjoyed, The Breadwinner, book one in a trilogy also by Ellis, you’ll love this. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 5, 2010 |
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Fifteen-year-old Abdul, having lost everyone he loves, journeys from Baghdad to a migrant community in Calais where he sneaks aboard a boat bound for England, not knowing it carries a cargo of heroin, and when the vessel is involved in a skirmish and the pilot killed, it is up to Abdul and three other young stowaways to complete the journey.

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