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Adapting to Life Changes

  • Other Formats

    9781773060835 Kindle, $16.95 9781773060828 EPUB, $16.95
  • Reading Levels

    Lexile measure: HL620L
  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: WORLD
  • Supply Detail (CA)

    Distributor: UTP Distribution Supplies to: CA Availability: Available On Sale Date: Mar 01, 2019 Carton Quantity: 32 $18.95 CAD
  • Supply Detail (US)

    Distributor: Publishers Group West Supplies to: US Availability: Available On Sale Date: Mar 01, 2019 Carton Quantity: 32 $18.95 USD
  • Catalogues

Cold White Sun
By (author): Sue Farrell Holler
Sue Farrell Holler


Groundwood Books - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Printed dust jacket
Hardcover , Printed dust jacket


Juvenile: Age (years) 14, Grade (US) 9
Mar 01, 2019
$18.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 0.9 in | 0.97 lb

Page Count:

288 pages
Groundwood Books Ltd
Groundwood Books
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Orphans & Foster Homes
High Plains Book Awards — Young Adult Category 2020, Nominated Governor General’s Award, Young People’s Literature — Text 2019, Nominated Alberta Literary Award — R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature 2020, Winner Alberta Literary Award ‚Äî R. Ross Annett Award for Children‚Äôs Literature 2020, Winner
  • Short Description
A story based on the real-life experiences of a young boy who was smuggled out of Ethiopia amid political unrest to start a new life in North America.

A stranger-than-fiction story based on the real-life experiences of a young boy who was smuggled out of Ethiopia amid political unrest to start a new life from nothing in Calgary, Alberta.

Tesfaye lives behind the safe walls of his family’s compound in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His father is an important man, Tesfaye goes to one of the best schools in the city, his mother and older sisters keep him fed and cared for. He and his beloved brother, Ishi, can spend their time playing soccer, racing chickens and spying on the guests — as long as they stay away from the sharp horns of the family’s goat and avoid their father’s fiery temper.

When rebel forces take over the capital, life becomes more complicated. Tesfaye’s father’s cousin takes him to live in the former imperial palace, and Tesfaye becomes the most favored son. His father takes him along when he gives political speeches and distributes leaflets. It is all very exciting, even if Tesfaye doesn’t pay attention to what the leaflets actually say.

And then suddenly his father is arrested, and Tesfaye’s own life is in peril. His mother sends him into hiding in her father’s village, until even that is too dangerous. Tesfaye is put in the care of a human smuggler and embarks on an uncertain, confusing and terrifying journey through Kenya, Europe and finally to Canada, where he is put on a Greyhound bus with ten dollars and instructions to stay on the bus until someone tells him to get off. You are safe now, says the smuggler. You are in Canada. This country will protect you.

And so begins his new life in North America, sheltered for a while by fellow expats, threatened by the authorities, shunted from a group home to foster care. But through it all he is plagued by confusion and grief, wondering whether he will ever know what has happened to the family he left behind.

Key Text Features
author’s note
historical context

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

SUE FARRELL HOLLER is a journalist, literacy advocate and the author of picture books and a middle-grade novel, including Lacey and the African Grandmothers (Second Story Press, 2009). She is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, past president of the Grande Prairie Children’s Literature Roundtable and former director of the Young Alberta Book Society.

The care taken with this narrative is apparent on every page; readers cannot help but feel for Tesfaye and others like him who must sacrifice so much for survival and safety. A profound, heartbreaking narrative filled with loss, confusion, displacement, and longing. - Kirkus Reviews

Holler has taken great care to focus on Tesfaye’s humanity throughout a story that could so easily be overtaken by its political upheaval, physical peril, and culture shock; readers will be compelled by Tesfaye’s eye-opening perspective as they follow him through terror and survival. - Horn Book

An excellent addition to a school library, Cold White Sun is a lovingly crafted narrative that is stranger-than-fiction. - CM Reviews

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