Children's Fiction Death & Dying
The Heaven Shop
- Fitzhenry and Whiteside
- Initial publish date
- Oct 2007
- Death & Dying, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Black Studies (Global)
- Recommended Age
- 11 to 14
- Recommended Grade
- 6 to 9
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- Oct 2007
- List Price
Where to buy it
There is a lion in our village, and it is carrying away our children.
At her father's funeral, Binti's grandmother utters the words that no one in Malawi wants to hear. Binti's father and her mother before him, dies of AIDS. Binti, her sister, and brother are separated and sent to the home of relatives who can barely tolerate their presence. Ostracized by their extended family, the orphans are treated like the lowest servants. With her brother far away and her sister wallowing in her own sorrow, Binti can hardly contain her rage. She, Binti Phirim, was once a child star of a popular radio program. Now she is scraping to survive. Binti always believed she was special, now she is nothing but a common AIDS orphan.
Binti Phiri is not about to give up. Even as she clings to hope that her former life will be restored, she must face a greater challenge. If she and her brother and sister are to reunited, Binti Phiri will have to look outside herself and find a new way to be special.
Compelling and uplifting, The Heaven Shop, is a contemporary novel that puts a very real face on the African AIDS pandemic, which to-date has orphaned more than 11 million African children. Inspired by a young radio performer the author met during her research visit to Malawi, Binti Phiri is a compelling character that readers will never forget.
Awards and Nominations:
- Ontario Library Association's Golden Oak Award winner 2006
- Winner of the 2005 Jane Addams Children's Book Award in the category of Honor Books for Older Children
- Shortlisted for the 2006 Alberta Children's Choice Book Award
- A Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards Honour Book for 2006
- Foreword Magazine 2004 Book of the Year Award finalist
- A Children's Africana Book Awards (CABA) 2005 Honor Book for Older Readers
- A Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice 2005
- Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award for Young Adult/Middle Reader Books finalist
About the author
Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including The Breadwinner Trilogy; The Heaven Shop; Lunch With Lenin; Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees; and Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS. She has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers.Deborah knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 or 12. Growing up in Paris, Ontario, she loved reading about big cities like New York. In high school, Deborah joined the Peace Movement, playing anti-Nuclear War movies at her school. Since then Deborah has become a peace activist, humanitarian and philanthropist, donating almost all of the royalties from her books to communities in need in Asia and Africa. Heavily involved with Women for Women in Afghanistan, Deborah has helped build women’s centers and schools, giving children education and finding work for women.In 2006, Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario. She now lives in Simcoe, Ontario.
"Deborah Ellis always tackles difficult issues, so The Heaven Shop, a powerful and passionate novel about AIDS in Africa, should not surprise her readers. But what is exceptional about Ellis's story is how uncompromising she continues to be... The Heaven Shop never gets strident, but it certainly offers readers a clear sense of the helplessness that African children and young adults face in confronting HIV/AIDS. What the novel does best is offer a human face to the child victims. Binti, like Parvana (the heroine of Ellis's Breadwinner trilogy) before her, is a plucky, high-spirited heroine whom young readers will take to their hearts... a groundbreaking novel that should be in classroom libraries."
— Quill and Quire
"Readers with an interest in faraway places... will cheer at Binti, self-centered and self-important when life is good, learns through adversity and through the model of her grandmother to think and behave more generously."
— School Library Journal