On our trip we brought along a book called The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis. Deborah is a Canadian author who writes novels about children in other parts of the world. The novels help us to understand the children that live there.
The Heaven Shop takes place in Malawi, and the main character is a girl who becomes an orphan. It's a sad but amazing story. Her parents die from AIDS.
We read this story while we were at La Casa Grande and traveling through Benin. A lot of the things she describes about life in Malawi were so similar to the life we saw in Benin. And while we were living at the orphanage, we wondered about the stories of all of the children there, and how they compared to the story of Binti, the main character in The Heaven Shop. I really think you should read this book if you have the chance. Eden, me and my mom really loved it.
In Benin, we would often go by coffin shops, or see coffins being carried on the back of a motorcycle. That reminded us of The Heaven Shop, which was the name of Binti's father's business. He made coffins for a living.
Here is my letter that I wrote her today. I'm going to send it in the mail.
July 4, 2013
Dear Deborah Ellis,
I loved your book The Heaven Shop. It was especially meaningful reading this book in Benin, West Africa. It was easy to picture people with AIDS.
My mom, sister and I read The Heaven Shop together, but I got so anxious to find out what was going to happen next, so I read ahead. I finished the book, then started over. Then I finished the book again.
We read The Heaven Shop while we were at an orphanage. I loved this book soooooo much! I look forward to reading your other books: Parvana's Journey, I Am A Taxi, and Sacred Leaf, which I have up in my room!
Here's a bookmark for you. It has pansies on it. Pansies make me laugh because they either look like dogs or it looks like they have mustaches. I hope you like it.
Your favourite reader,