No Ordinary Day: New and Noteworthy


NO ORDINARY DAY  by Deborah Ellis, the acclaimed Canadian children’s author, is an adventure story of the heart that a reader of any age will never forget.  Out of coal dust and leprosy, Deborah Ellis has created Valli, a street child of Kolkata, India. Valli’s lively indomitable spirit makes you laugh and then pause as you reflect about the harsh reality of her life, the daily garbage existence of too many of today’s children.  Valli’s voice is as unique as her story is profound. Deborah Ellis introduces to young readers an important awareness with a sense of hope, compassion and inspiration. Valli and her story have the power to inspire young readers to become a Dr. Schweitzer or a research scientist, musician or poet and in some way bring hope and healing to our world.

In NO ORDINARY DAY you will also meet Margaret, a goat, who has the great gift of being able to find treasure among trash. You will meet Margaret’s owner, who says to Valli, “Poetry is life…it tells us who we are, where we have been and where we are going.  It is even more than that. Poetry tells us what we can be.”

“I already know what I can be,” Valli said. “Nothing. I’m nothing. I come from nothing, and I have nothing and I’ll always be nothing.”

“You have soap,” the old man pointed out….”You are lucky…You are on an adventure.”

“I’m scared.”

“If you were not scared, you would be having just an ordinary day.”


Deborah Ellis has written about families living under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, street children in Pakistan, children of soldiers in Iraq, and refugee teens trying to survive in the US, Canada and Australia. Her famous Breadwinner Trilogy has raised more than a million dollars in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. Royalties from NO ORDINARY DAY are being donated to The Leprosy Mission of Canada,

Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press, 2011.

1 comment for “No Ordinary Day: New and Noteworthy

  1. January 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I really appreciated No Ordinary Day and thank you for your review. Ellis’s remarkable skill lies in weaving a compelling, well constructed, and well written story around an issue or theme. Her work challenges the accepted taboo against issue-oriented fiction. While much issue-oriented novels sacrifice characterization and story to theme, the emotional effect of this work is achieved so successfully—mainly through interesting, likable characters and a tangible setting—that readers will want to learn more about organizations working to fight child poverty and leprosy in India.

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