The Heaven Shop

Category: Book
By (author): Ellis, Deborah
Subject:  JUVENILE FICTION / Age 10-14 Canadian
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)
  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Orphans & Foster Homes
  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying
Audience: young adult
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Published: October 2007
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 186
Size: 8.26in x 5.56in x 0.57in
Our Price:
$ 12.95
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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
Review Quote*"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

Biographical NoteDeborah Ellis was born in Northern Ontario but grew up in Paris, Ontario. Like many writers, she was a creative loner as a child, at odds with formal education in her youth, and a voracious reader at all times. As an adult, Deborah has been occupied with many issues of interest to women, such as peace, education and equality in society at home and abroad. She works at a group home for women in Toronto, reading and writing in her spare time. In 2006 Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario.