Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book Interviews Authors of Bifocal

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Open Book Interviews Authors of Bifocal

Open Book recently interviewed Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters, authors of the remarkable YA novel Bifocal (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007). Bifocal is about the growth of racial tensions in a high school after a Muslim student is arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities. The Canadian Press calls Bifocal "a powerful look at a community divided along racial lines." Read Open Book’s interviews with award-winning authors Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters.

About Bifocal:
Haroon is a serious student devoted to his family; Jay is a rising football star devoted to his team. The boys barely know each other. They may go to the same high school and walk the same hallways, but they are worlds apart.

One day the high school is put on lockdown and the police arrest a Muslim student on suspicion of terrorist affiliations. Is the boy really guilty, or has he been singled out because of his race? Along with the rest of the school, Haroon and Jay take sides. When a newspaper article quotes some Muslim teens, who claim they are regularly subjected to prejudice at school, Jay and the football squad are indignant. A smoke bomb is set off near the Muslim kids' lockers, and the jocks are convinced that they have been set up to look like racists.

As the atmosphere of racial tension grows, both Haroon and Jay must set out on a painful journey of self-discovery, where they will ultimately question their loyalties and the beliefs they have always taken for granted.

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