Off to War
Deborah Ellis, author of Parvana and Diego, Run!, is known for courageous books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries. Here, she shares stories from Western children that remind us how the human cost of war is borne not just by the men and women who fight, but by their families.
In writing Off to War, Ellis interviewed children from military families across Australia, Canada, and the U.S. She introduces them briefly and then lets them tell their own stories, in their own words. The kids speak frankly and openly, offering readers aged 9 and up a rare and deeply affecting glimpse into the lives of children whose voices are seldom heard.
The collected voices of these children- sad, scared, funny, angry, and loving- makes Off to War a powerful and eloquent statement about the families of the men and women who fight for their nations, and the burden they bear. The book includes a glossary and a list of organisations and publications that help soldiers, veterans and their families.'Dad had a lot of combat stress when he came home,' says Kaela, 13. 'He tried to hide it from us kids, but I could see that he was a lot quicker to get angry.'
'Daddy is an important soldier,' says Cole, 6. 'I'm going to be a soldier when I grow up because they have guns and I like shooting bad guys. The hard part would be dying.'
'Find someone you can trust if you need to talk,' says Allison, 11. 'Find some way to relieve your stress. You have your own life to live.' Deborah Ellis
was born in 1960 in Cochrane, Ontario. While still in high school, she got involved in the anti-nuclear war movement in the late 1970s, and that lead to further involvement in politics, particularly feminism and projects aimed at drawing attention to the consequences of war. She had been writing since she was a child, and published, Looking for X in 1999, followed by the Parvana and Diego novels. She has been able to travel around the world, meeting people who have survived serious calamities brought about by other people's decisions, and has recorded their stories for others to read and learn from. Deborah Ellis has donated more than half a million dollars in royalties to international children's charities. She lives in Simcoe, Ontario.
Off to War
Allen and Unwin
Author: Deborah Ellis
Price: $16.95 Buy it now at