Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red Maple Mini Reviews - 4# No Safe Place

by Deborah Ellis

No Safe Place focuses on three teenagers, all from different but troubled pasts, and their journey to England where they hope to finally be safe and free. There is a mystery surrounding the main character, Abdul, who comes from Kurdistan and has a mission, with a purpose yet undisclosed, to reach Penny Lane. The two other characters also add much to the story with their unique personalities -- Rosalia, a gypsy from Czechoslovakia who is forced to go to Germany to become a prostitute, and Cheslav, a musician who ran away from socialist Russia.

In No Safe Place, Deborah Ellis writes in a straightforward way that not only adds tension and suspense, but also enhances the plot and character development.  I like the feeling of urgency in her writing when the tension is high. Overall, compared to her other books such as Looking for X and The Breadwinner Trilogy, this book is more action-packed. Ellis also brings to light social injustices in areas of the world that are not always frequently mentioned in the news, by telling us Cheslav's story. She also makes us take an inward look at possible injustices in our own countries, by telling us Rosalia's story. However, the main character's, Abdul's, story was set in the Middle East, similar to many of her other books. I hope, in future books, that Ellis might consider exploring the stories of teenagers in other parts of the world.

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