No Ordinary Day
By Deborah Ellis
(Groundwood Books, Hardcover, 9781554981342, 144pp.)
Publication Date: September 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Even though Valli spends her days picking coal and fighting with her cousins, life in the coal town of Jharia, India, is the only life she knows. The only sight that fills her with terror is the monsters who live on the other side of the train tracks the lepers. When Valli discovers that that her aunt” is a stranger who was paid money to take Valli off her own family’s hands, she leaves Jharia and begins a series of adventures that takes her to Kolkata, the city of the gods. Valli finds that she really doesn’t need much to live and is very resourceful. But a chance encounter with a doctor reveals that she has leprosy. Unable to bear the thought that she is one of the monsters she has always feared, Valli rejects help and begins an uncertain life on the street.
Deborah Ellis says her books reflect the heroism of people around the world who are struggling for decent lives, and how they try to remain kind in spite of it.” Whether she is writing about families living under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, street children in Pakistan, the coca protests in Bolivia, or the lives of military children, she is, as Kirkus attests, an important voice of moral and social conscience.”
A lifelong small-town Ontarian born and raised in Cochrane and Paris and now living in Simcoe Deb has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Vicki Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She recently received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has also been named to the Order of Ontario.
She is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy, set in Afghanistan and Pakistan a series that has been published in seventeen countries, with more than one million dollars in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. Her recent young adult novel, No Safe Place (which has so far received starred reviews in Quill & Quire, Kirkus and School Library Journal), follows three teenagers who flee desperate situations in their home countries and make a perilous journey across the English Channel to seek new lives in England.
Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 2012
An ALA Notable Children's Book, 2012
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Text, 2011
A South Asia Book Awards 2012 Honor Book
"The story highlights not only the overcoming of adversity, but also the importance of education and literacy. It also brings to light the issue of leprosy, which is misunderstood. An important, inspiring tale." School Library Journal, starred review
" compelling and accessible " Booklist, starred review
" solid and worthy of attention by both its intended audience and adults alike Ellis continues to write what needs to be read." CM Magazine