The Prison Runner by Deborah Ellis
  

The Prison Runner

Written by Deborah Ellis

9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Deeply moving and wholly compelling, The Prisoner Runner is an eye opener on how easily a child can get used by the drug trade in Bolivia. Diego is a good boy, and smart too. While his parents are in prison, he makes money by running errands and doing homework for students who are less able then him. But sick of the drudgery and eager to help make his family’s life better, Diego joins a friend on a mystery mission which promises to pay them well. But the mission is drugs. Diego is forced into the horrifying labour of creating cocaine. Diego’s story is as gripping as it is horrifying and the background of the inexorable link between drugs and the exploitation of the poor in one of the world’s poorest countries is as fascinating as it is horrifying.

The Lovereading comment:

This is one of the most powerful and compelling novels you’ll ever read about the effect of cocaine production on the city children of Bolivia. It’s the story of ordinary kids caught up in extraordinary situations living a nightmare away in the jungle in the clutches of men who produce drugs for a living but who thought they were being employed to get rich in order to build a better life for their family back home in the city.

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Synopsis

The Prison Runner by Deborah Ellis

Diego had never been in the jungle before. He'd lived with his family high in the hills, and then he was a prison kid, a city kid. His nights were bare lightbulbs burning, women and children crying, guards yelling and keys clanging. He hated it, but it was what he was used to ...' A simple error of judgement hurls Diego into a nightmare. He's been living in prison with his mother and sister, looking after them and earning money whenever he can. Until the day he accidentally breaks the rules. Suddenly the family are in trouble, and Diego needs money to save them. So when one of his friends tells Diego that he knows a job that will make them both rich, Diego gives into temptation. But the job is far different from the one he'd imagined, and Diego soon finds himself in the heart of the Bolivian jungle and the clutches of men who produce drugs for a living.

Reviews

A moving story, with a deeply satisfying ending, the novel convincingly portrays the story of the real children behind the headlines about landmines and refugee camps. * Best Books Guide 2003 * a book all young teens should read . . . It is impossible not to be moved * Birmingham Post * . . . a harrowing, true-to-life story . . . meticulously researched and sensitively written, but not for the faint-hearted. * Northern Echo * [Parvana's Journey]:

'A book all children should read * The Teacher * a powerful and gruesome depiction of life under the Taliban regime, told honestly by children. * Entertainment News * [The Breadwinner]:

'deserves to become a bestseller. * The Daily Telegraph *

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis works as a mental health residential counsellor in Toronto and is the winner of the Governor General’s Award in Canada (equivalent to the Carnegie Medal) for her first novel 'Looking for X'.

She was raised in Paris, Ontario and from the time she was 17 she has been a political activist, advocating non-violence. After high school she went to Toronto and worked in the Peace Movement. Later she got involved in the Women’s Movement, focusing on women’s rights and economic justice. She has spent a lot of time in Pakistan, in Afghan refugee camps, talking to women and documenting their lives under 20 years of war. Her main engagement continues to be anti-war politics.

Her books include 'The Breadwinner' and its sequel 'Parvana's Journey'. Both books are set in Afghanistan during and after the rule of the Taliban.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
208 pages

Author

Deborah Ellis
More books by Deborah Ellis

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Publication date

5th June 2008

ISBN

9780192755483

Categories


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