Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘lesbian’

49th Shelf features Moon at Nine in their August newsletter

Posted on August 5th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine“In this third person rendition, Deborah Ellis creates characters that aren’t all loveable Ann[e] of Green Gable types. Farrin is a defiant perhaps selfish teen with a razor sharp mind who hates her mom. Besides writing stories, she has no goals until she meets Sadira, a kind and smart girl who comes to the aid of all…A story that illuminates, astounds and perhaps will grow empathy for other cultures and sexualities.”

Click here to read the full review.

Canadian Children’s Book News reviews “riveting” Moon at Nine

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“Growing up in Tehran in the 1980s, Farrin’s entire life has always been filled with secrets. As secret supporters of the Shah who was overthrown by the Revolutionary Guard in 1979, Farrin’s parents’ illegal activities in support of the Shah could land them all in serious trouble. Her mother has always warned her not to draw attention to herself. Consequently, Farrin has never had close friends at school where she endeavours to keep a low profile. But everything changes when she meets a new girl named Sadira. Sadira’s friendship brings colour and brightness to her days, and soon Farrin knows that her feelings for Sadira are stronger than friendship. But this is Iran, and being gay is considered a crime. Farrin and Sadira cling to a desperate hope that the can somehow be together. But when the truth about their relationship is discovered, they are confronted with the harsh and terrible penalty that they must face for loving one another.

True to form, Deborah Ellis has crafted a stark, riveting and uncompromising account of life in a country and era that is markedly different from our own. Even the day-to-day details of Farrin’s life – the cruel, ever-suspicious school monitor always looking for an excuse to report her to the principal; her father’s driver stealing food from Farrin’s house to feed the other Afghan workers – create a strong sense of the political and religious climate of this time and place. Although the evolution of Farrin and Sadira’s relationship is not shown or explored in any real depth, their plight is nonetheless dramatically depicted. The strength of this novel is in its ability to highlight the social injustices that are still sadly present in our world today. Its heartbreaking and unflinching honestly will both engage readers and create heightened awareness.”

– Lisa Doucet

Learn more about Canadian Children’s Book News here.

Moon at Nine is certainly worth putting on your to-read list” – Amy’s Marathon of Books

Posted on July 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“Moon at Nine is quite frankly one of the most powerful love stories I have ever read, as Ellis shows her reader love is love, no matter what the sexual preference of those involved…With a backdrop of an almost post-war Iran, Farrin and Sadira are vibrant and inspiring characters consciously deciding to live in the moment by clinging to each other in the face of great opposition. Ellis’ writing is passionate and informative, creating a realistic and frightening picture of Iran’s reaction to homosexuality.

Moon at Nine is certainly worth putting on your to-read list.”

Click here to read the full review.

International Reading Association features Moon at Nine on Tales from Around the World

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“…Adapted from a true story, this novel takes readers into intimate lives of same-sex relationships in a country which still enforces traditional and religious beliefs. While many places around the world are promoting gay rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage, there are still many places considering homosexuality an unspoken issue. This is a thought-provoking story inviting readers to ponder the interplay of cultural, moral, and sexual issues in different countries around the globe.”

Click here to read the full review.

Simcoe Reformer discusses Moon at Nine with Deborah Ellis

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

“While the book covers a nationality and subject matter she hasn’t covered yet, it does have many of the same themes.

“I write about courage and how people find it,” said Ellis.

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd

Ellis’ work often explores social justice and human rights.

She noted the issues explored in Moon at Nine will resonate with people in many countries.”

Click here to read the full article.

Moon at Nine is an important story” – More than Just Magic

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“Moon at Nine is the touching story of two people trying to find love in a dangerous place…Their story is beautiful and their love for one another intense…Moon at Nine is an important story. Diverse books like this are important because they educate us about other cultures and they’re an opportunity for people to share their stories when others want to silence them. Previous to reading I had no idea things were so bad in Iran for the LGBTQ community but now I know about organizations like Rainbow Railroad and want to do what I can to support them. I recommend Moon at Nine for those who enjoyed The Tyrant’s Daughter by J C Carleson and If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan.”

Click here to read the full review.

Horn Book reviews Moon at Nine

Posted on June 12th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“In 1988 Iran, wealthy fifteen-year-old Farrin avoids anything that could draw attention to her family; she knows her mother’s anti-Ayatollah political gatherings could bring trouble. However, Farrin’s burgeoning friendship and then romance with new girl Sadira leads her to become more inquisitive and involved in the world around her, and eventually leads to the couple’s discovery and persecution. Ellis skillfully introduces readers to the social and political backdrop, showing in troubling detail how fear, suspicion, and historical animosities fragment Farrin’s world and limit her freedom…the social struggle element is more hard-hitting [than those in Farizan’s recent If You Could Be Mine (rev. 11/13)] with a harrowing climax and a realistically bleak ending (both of which may also be a function of this title’s earlier setting). Secondary characters provide fascinating windows into other perspectives and call attention to Iran’s heterogeneity, creating a multidimensional portrait of corruption and cruelty, resistance and compassion. Set in the final days of the Iran-Iraq war and based on a true story, this novel sheds light on an important chapter in history and the people who experienced it firsthand.”

– Claire E. Gross

Moon at Nine is “beautiful and heartbreaking”—School Library Journal

Posted on May 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C“The daughter of wealthy Iranian parents, 15-year old Farrin earns top scores at a prestigious school in 1988 Tehran. Her parents remain loyal to the ousted Shah, so Farrin knows the importance of keep morphs into a romantic relationship, for which both girls could face death. Set during the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini, Moon At Nine is based on real women who feing a low profile. One day, Farrin meets a new classmate, Sadira, who plays forbidden music on a prohibited instrument in a closet at school. Farrin and Sadira become fast friends who enjoy subversive literature and music despite the tough restrictions imposed by the Iranian government. Before long, Farrin and Sadira’s friendshipll in love in a country where homosexuality is still against the law. Sparse and eloquently-written, this short historical novel is both beautiful and heartbreaking. The subject matter and writing style will appeal most to older teens and adults who likely have a better understanding of the political history of Iran. Sadira and Farrin’s relationship is believable, as is the girls’ undying determination to stay together at all costs. While homosexuality is important to the plot, the book is relatively tame, containing no profanity and nothing beyond hand-holding and a few kisses. A four-page Author’s Note provides necessary historical background and insight into worldwide persecution of homosexuals today. Give this to fans of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns (Riverhead, 2007) or Latifa’s My Forbidden Face (Miramax, 2003).”

“Its importance is hard to deny.”—Smithsonian BookDragon on Moon at Nine

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C“In her ending “Author’s Note,” mega award-winning Canadian author Deborah Ellis…who has built a renowned international reputation for giving voice to children in the most challenging circumstances around the world—explains how her latest novel is true…Adding a succinct historical overview of Iran’s history, Ellis is careful to balance details of Ayatollah Khomeini’s destructive regime with the rich diversity—especially artistically —of the country’s past. But neither does she shy away from the shocking numbers of tragic victims as they relate to this novel…As more and more states strike down anti-gay marriage laws, Moon at Nine is a chilling reminder of the suffering of too many others…its importance is hard to deny.”

Visit the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center BookDragon blog to read the full review.

Moon at Nine is “sensitive and passionate”—Quick Brown Fox

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C“…Multi award-winning author Deborah Ellis excels in creating stories of determination in the face of adversity and social injustice. Here, she presents us with a sensitive and passionate tale based on the true life experiences of a young woman in Iran, where execution is the accepted form of punishment for gays or lesbians.

This is a story of love, courage, perseverance and ultimate betrayal by family, friends and country. Beautifully told, Ellis’s work represents the struggles and efforts of young people everywhere to gain acceptance in a world where inclusivity is not just a dream, but a reality.”

Click here to read the full review.