Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis (with giveaway)

Moon at Nine
by Deborah Ellis

Visit Deborah:
Twitter: @DebEllisAuthor

Just released: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Pajama Press
Genre: LGBTQ, Middle East, YA
Hardback: 240 pages
Rating: 4.5

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail or worse.

The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be a homosexual in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?

Based on real-life events, multi-award-winning author Deborah Ellis’s new book is a tense and riveting story about a world where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent that it is punishable by death.

My two-bits:

I found this story to be an interesting peek into the middle east, specifically Iran during the 80's.

Despite the oppression and unrest in this world, a lovely sweet friendship forms between Farrin and Sadira.

But, whoa! The attitudes portrayed against homosexuals in this story were a bit eye-opening. Being a YA book the descriptions were not as shocking or horrifying as they most likely were.

Learning about how gays and lesbians were and are still being treated in the middle east in current times is just so sad. Makes one raise the arms in the air and scream for the pain inflicted. And too, makes one wonder what can be done to turn things around so that there is more acceptance and peace.


About the author:

Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of nearly thirty books for children and young people, most of which explore themes of social justice and courage.

A peace activist, feminist, and humanitarian, Deborah has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, the American Library Association’s Notable List and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. In 2010, she received the Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Deborah lives in Ontario, Canada.


Welcome to Day 3 of the SECRETS OF MOON AT NINE BLOG TOUR, featuring Moon at Nine – a timely new YA novel from humanitarian and award-winning author Deborah Ellis. Each stop on the 2-week tour will feature revealing posts, a chance to win a copy of the novel, and a chance to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Guest post: Secrets of a Cover Designer

Rebecca Buchanan is the art director and cover designer at Pajama Press. She describes how the Moon at Nine cover progressed from a focus on the skyline of Tehran to the arresting image of a girl gazing out from behind barbed wire.

In our first discussion about cover concepts, we all agreed to try something with a moon, possibly a skyline and avoid a face. I think this is because we didn’t want a pitiful character that might turn some people away and send out the wrong message about the book.

In my image search I came upon the photograph of the girl that we ultimately used on the cover—we were all so taken with her stoic gaze and the fact that she’s looking up works so well with the storyline involving the moon; the two girls make a pact to look at the moon each night to remember each other. In the end this image was much more compelling than the skyline of Tehran.

--~ Giveaway courtesy of tour ~--

a Rafflecopter giveaway


At each stop along the tour, readers will have a chance to enter the grand prize giveaway.

One winner will receive a set of Deborah Ellis' books, and Pajama Press will make a $100 donation in their name to one of five charities:
Canadian Women 4 Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF Canada, Street Kids International, Leprosy Mission - Canada, or IBBY - Children in Crisis Fund.

Below is a list of the books included in the giveaway:

• Moon at Nine
• True Blue
• Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids
• No Safe Place
• My name is Parvana
• Lunch With Lenin and Other Short Stories
• A Company of Fools
• Our Stories Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS
• Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children speak
• Annaleise Carr: How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer (By Annaleise Carr with Deborah Ellis)

US/Canada only please. Enter using the rafflecopter below! Ends May 12th at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


* review copy and giveaway courtesy of book tour - check out the other stops below for more details on this book and goodies sponsored by Pajama Press.

* feel free to comment (with email) if you would be interested receiving my review copy -expires May 11

Secrets of Moon at Nine Blog Tour Schedule:

April 28th: Buried in Books
April 29th: Candace's Book Blog
April 30th: VVB32 Reads
May 1st: Read Now Sleep Later
May 2nd: LiveToRead
May 5th: Loving the Language of Literacy
May 6th:
May 7th: From A to Z
May 8th: Manga Maniac Café
May 9th: Bookish

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu