Beyond The Barricade by Deborah Ellis

Beyond The Barricade

Written by Deborah Ellis

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Fact written as fiction this is a fast moving, gripping and thought-provoking story of the dilemmas faced by Diego, a young boy in Bolivia who having escaped the ruthless drug thugs in the jungle is taken in by a family, but a family who is completely reliant on the coca leaf for survival. Diego is swept along by the excitement of it all, and by the sense of belonging. He makes himself invaluable, running errands, helping out where he can, and making new friends. But the good humour soon sours. A powerful stand-alone novel yet also a sequel to the equally impressive, yet harrowing story in The Prison Runner, both books provide a frightening realisation of drugs and their effects.


Beyond The Barricade by Deborah Ellis

Diego has managed to get away from thugs who were forcing him to make cocaine paste in the jungle, but he doesn't know where he is or how he will find his parents. When he's taken in by the Ricardo family, he's eager to help them harvest their coca crop. Doing so reminds him of home because, like his family, the Ricardos need the harvest for survival.

At first the army merely threatens to break the blockade, but then its threats become a violent reality. When Diego is given the chance to escape, he is tempted. And when he discovers that the person offering rescue could take him to his family, it's almost impossible to resist.But should he stay and fight, or leave silently and perhaps, finally, find his family?


[The Prison Runner]: 'Ellis's spare colloquial style, her narrative drive and her empathy with her central character once more produce a fast moving, gripping and thought provoking story. Books for Keeps powerful and compelling Publishing News [The Breadwinner]: 'deserves to become a bestseller. The Daily Telegraph a powerful and gruesome depiction of life under the Taliban regime, told honestly by children. Entertainment News [Parvana's Journey]: 'A book all children should read The Teacher ... a harrowing, true-to-life story ... meticulously researched and sensitively written, but not for the faint-hearted. Northern Echo a book all young teens should read ... It is impossible not to be moved Birmingham Post 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

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


208 pages


Deborah Ellis
More books by Deborah Ellis


Oxford University Press

Publication date

2nd April 2009




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