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 the Kirkus Review 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.

Deb 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 new young adult novel, No Safe Place, 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.

Photo credit: TK