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The Paper House (Orca Young Readers


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About the Author

Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children. For more information, visit


"A wonderful story about the importance of community which will raise awareness about the conditions some people must endure, and how a situation, no matter how dire, can be changed if you really want change. Highly Recommended."--CM Magazine
"Readers will come away happy for Safiyah and at least a little more aware of conditions in one of the Third World's more blighted locales."--Booklist
"Despite the dingy setting and omnipresence of poverty in Safiyah's story, this is not a sad tale; it is rather an uplifting story of a girl with pure and unselfish motives learning to trust others and being rewarded for her talent. Not that it glosses over the darker side: Safiyah's struggle is realistically portrayed, and her feelings of desperation and shame thoughtfully depicted. This is a solid and accessible offering for young readers eager to experience life in someone else's shoes."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Young American readers will identify with many of the protagonist's daily problems (fights with friends, frustration with relatives), while challenges she faces (searching for potable water, finding medical aid for her grandmother) will educate them about life in poverty-stricken Kibera. There is an unfortunate lack of books for young readers about this part of the world."--School Library Journal
"An unusual story of life in a country that many readers from 4-8th grade would rarely read about. This is a story of struggle, love, and trying to make the best of your circumstances. It is also a story of how a community tries to support each other to survive. An excellent read that will keep readers caring about the characters and wondering what Safiyah is doing with her colorful pieces of paper. You can't help but cheer for Safiyah."--Southwest Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"Safiyah is a heroine who through her own actions and passions enables change in her life and in her community, despite the limitations of her situation...Peterson has created a vibrant story full of emotion and descriptive richness, bringing awareness of life in an African slum and the daily struggles for survival that occur there."--Canadian Children's Book News

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