Shalia's Book Blogs

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Breath of Hope

This story was written for the Nestle 2004 Write Around Australia Competition.

It won the Area Prize and was short-listed for the NSW State Finals.

Read It Here

Frankie's Triumph By Shalia Eime

Feeling horribly intimidated, Frankie stared at the yellow, plastic structure that loomed over him. It almost seemed to reach into the sky. He couldn't believe he was about to do this. His palms were moist with perspiration, his legs were trembling and he had butterflies in his stomach.

Then, with sudden decision, Frankie reached forward and grasped the railings. Diffidently, struggling to overcome his fear, he hoisted himself up on to the bottom rung then, after taking a deep breath, the next, then the next until at last, in wondering disbelief, he found himself perched precariously on the top. He looked at what lay before him- and nearly fell off. Dizziness overwhelmed him, making him feel faint and weak, filling him with nausea.

After a moment, making a supreme effort, he closed his eyes and sat down. Renewed determination swelled in him as, with a violent, he sent himself flying down the smooth surface at what seemed the speed of light.

It was a moment of pure exhilaration as he plummeted down, down, down to the soft, welcoming grass that awaited him.

Then, grinning like a Cheshire cat, satisfied with what he has achieved, Frankie stood up. For a moment he could only stand there. Wow! He'd actually done it! For the first time ever in his life, Frankie had gone down a slippery dip. It was, he knew, an important turning point in his life.

Parvana's Journey Review by Shalia Eime

Parvana's Journey is the inspirational story of girl trapped in a world of death, war and on-going grief but she manages to endure these hardships through her love, kindness, consideration for others, strength, resilience and determination. Written by Deborah Ellis, and set in Afghanistan, this book is riveting, sad, humorous and motivating all in one!

Parvana is young woman who decides to look for her remaining family after her father dies. She chooses to make her trip disguised as a boy because females are not allowed out of the house without a burqa (a long tent like garment that covers the whole body), chador (a piece of clothing that covers the hair and shoulders) and a male escort. But if the Taliban found her dressed like a boy they would make her join the army and Parvana didn't even want to think about what would happen if the Taliban discovered she was a girl.

On her voyage she meets Hassan, a baby boy found next to his crushed mother in the wreckage of a bombed hut; Asif, an insolent 9-year-old boy who was found in a dirty cave and Leila, a bizarre little girl was found taking care of her ill and aged grandmother. The odd four hit the road and their trials continue. They stumble upon a "camp for Internally Displaced Persons" where perhaps the worst disaster strikes and the foursome becomes a trio.

This book presents a land of poverty and pain and proves that even in the direst situations children can endure.

Product Details (from
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Groundwood Books (July, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN: 0888995199