Friday, November 05, 2010

No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis

Abdul is 15. He has no family left and he fled Iraq looking for a better life. Four months later he is homeless and hungry, living on the coast of France, and looking for a way to get to England. He makes it aboard the rickety boat of an unscrupulous smuggler along with a few other migrant teens. After a struggle with the smuggler the teens take over the boat and must work together to get themselves to England. Interspersed with the present-day action are flashbacks telling each story. Rosalia is a Roma girl, sold into the sex trade, with no safe place to go. Cheslav has fled a Russian military boarding school. Abdul has a horror story of his own from war-torn Iraq. The true dilemma of this book is that even if the young people get to England they are not safe there and not wanted there. There are no easy answers in this book but it sheds light on world issues that many teens probably know nothing about.

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