Shortlisted for the SYRCA 2013 Diamond Willow Award, selected as an American Library Association 2012 Notable Children's Book, a Booklist Editors’ Choice, nominated for the OLA Golden Oak Tree Award, and a finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards: Young Adult/Middle Reader Award, the Governor General's Literary Awards: Children's Text and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award
There’s not much that upsets young Valli. Even though her days are spent picking coal and fighting with her cousins, life in the coal town of Jharia, India, is the only life she knows. The only sight that fills her with terror are the monsters who live on the other side of the train tracks -- the lepers. Valli and the other children throw stones at them. No matter how hard her life is, she tells herself, at least she will never be one of them.
Then she discovers that she is not living with family after all, that her "aunt" was a stranger who was paid money to take Valli off her own family’s hands. She decides to leave Jharia . . . and so begins a series of adventures that takes her to Kolkata, the city of the gods.
It’s not so bad. Valli finds that she really doesn’t need much to live. She can "borrow" the things she needs and then pass them on to people who need them more than she does. It helps that though her bare feet become raw wounds as she makes her way around the city, she somehow feels no pain. But when she happens to meet a doctor on the ghats by the river, Valli learns that she has leprosy. Despite being given a chance to receive medical care, she cannot bear the thought that she is one of those monsters she has always feared, and she flees, to an uncertain life on the street.
About the Author
Deborah Ellis has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She is a member of the Order of Canada and has been named to the Order of Ontario.
She is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy, set in Afghanistan and Pakistan — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with $2 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thought this book was very educational yet entertaining. I thought the author did an excellent job in bringing forth truth in the education of a subject that could be swept under the rug or avoided because of the sensitivity and graphic information involved.No Ordinary Day takes place on the streets of India. Valli is a child who lives in a shack with her aunt and uncle and her five cousins. The town that they live is a coal mining town, and everyone¿s job is either mining coal or loading coal. Valli¿s uncle is sick from all the coal dust and cannot work, leaving her aunt as the bread winner. The uncle often drinks and this leaves the family with less income. Valli is forced to eat whatever is left on one of her cousins plate, this is how she lives day to day. Her uncle tells the children of the monster¿s that live across the train tracks (people with deformities) with eat them and if anyone should touch them the would be like them. Elamma is Valli¿s eldest cousin, and one day she is upset with Valli, and tells Valli that she is not really their cousin. She tells her that her family gave their family money to take Valli in. Valli is determined to find the truth and finds her aunt at the coal mine to confirm this information. Then her aunt tells her that this was the truth, and Valli is shocked. She decides to sneak on one of the coal trucks when no one is looking and hides under the coal to keep from falling off the truck. She is discovering a whole new world as she is seeing for the very first time anything outside Jharia. As she is leaving she sees Elemma and waves goodbye, as Elemma tries to stop the truck. Then she falls to sleep, and wakes up to two men talking, yelling at one another. They are arguing of what they should do with Valli. They discuss calling the police then are afraid that someone will think they stole ¿it¿. Then they pull her out of the truck and discover that she is a girl. They attempt to take her to a brothel, looking to make a deal. Then the owner orders for the women in the house to clean her up so that she can see what she has. Then they discover white patches on her body. The owner is furious and throws her out on the street, the women giving her a kurta and trousers. She is baffled and doesn¿t understand why they don¿t want her. She begins to wonder the streets of India and meets up with an elder who gives her advice and wisdom. She wants to stay with him only to find out that he is living on the streets as well. Then she starts barrowing things from everyone passing on what she has barrowed to someone else. She sleeps in cemeteries, train stations, and sidewalks. She begs in the street for rupees, and makes few friends on her journey to survive. She is often hungry and is always on the move. One day she is diving for coins in the Ganges river, she is aware that people throw coins in the river for good luck. She is having no luck doing this, she spots a young girl with coins, and steals them. She swims far away from the girl and ends up in a place where they cremate bodies. There she sees a woman reading a bible and begins to quote verses from the bible. The woman notices that Valli is standing on coals and Valli tells her that it is ok because she can¿t feel it. Then the woman explains that she is a doctor and would like to take her to the hospital. Valli refuses to take a cab with the doctor. So the doctor walks with Valli to the hospital. Dr. Indra begins to look at Valli¿s feet and discovers they are in bad condition, with ulcers. She cleans and bandages Valli up. Then she offers Valli a home within the hospital so that she can recover. Valli agrees until she wakes up to discover that she is surrounded by monsters. She flees the hospital until she sees herself in a reflection. This is when she decides to return to the hospital. Dr. Indra tells her that if she stays that she cannot call the people monsters, and that she will have to live with them. Val
My ela tacher made us kids read to navles ad we got to see some trailers of some books and the ones i o we had to read 2 novels and one for was no ordanary day y family made me read this book a lot so much it would make me want to o to bed with out haveing to and i am glad they made me do that ausome book if u like some sad ness and releaf
U r sute to love this book if u like mysterious books.