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 gay 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.
Twitter version - Girl meets girl. Girls fall in love. Girls meet trouble. Welcome to Iran.
Which character would I most like to have dinner with:
Principal Kobra. She is a strong, intelligent woman who has not only seen a lot of Iranian history, she has helped make it. I would like to know more about her views of the revolution, her experience of teaching girls in that environment and what she thinks will happen in the future.
Other works in process - The novel coming out this fall is called Cat At The Wall (Groundwood Books) and it takes place in the West Bank.
What book is this one's cousin?
True Blue (Pajama Press) is a novel I did recently about two girls of similar age to Farrin and Sadira. They are best friends and get a job one summer at a summer camp, looking after a cabin full of 8 year old girls. One of the girls is very disobedient, but they get through the camp and take their cabin out to sleep under the stars, a last night tradition. When they wake up in the morning, this disobedient camper is gone. The police later find her body - she's been brutally murdered. One of the teenaged girls is arrested and charged with murder, leaving the other girl all alone, unable to navigate the world without her friend, as the town goes crazy with emotion in the lead up to the trial. Like Moon at Nine, True Blue is about courage and friendship and the price we pay for these things.
My favourite books - Anything by Chaim Potok. Also love the short stories of Shirley Jackson and the children's literature of Jean Little
Do I need anything to write? I travel a lot, so can write anywhere - train stations, benches by the side of the road, diners, doesn't matter. I don't need quiet around me, but I do need quiet inside of me. Getting my head quiet enough to write is the biggest challenge.
Which superpower would I choose? Eternal life.
Favourite free time activity? Picking blueberries. Norfolk County, Ontario, where I live, grows tons of blueberries.
What would I tell my 15 year old self? Get a grip. Get to work. Get yourself ready.
Anything to say to my readers? Thanks for reading my books - and please write down your own stories!
-• One winner will receive a finished hardcover copy of Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis (US)
-Ends on 7/5/2014 11:59 pm EST
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