Jodysegal's Reviews > Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories

Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories by Deborah Ellis
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it was ok
bookshelves: middle-school, realistic-fiction, young-adult
Recommended for: Older Middle school- High school

The short stories that comprise Ellis’ latest global fiction endeavor take on the complex impact of drugs on teens around the world. In one story a young Afghani woman is reluctantly promised in marriage to a much older man when her family’s opium cash crop is plowed under by authorities. In another, a Russian teen discovers that his sole friend and protector growing up in an orphanage has become a heroin addict. In yet another angle on drugs, an American high school student, a guy who has always followed the rules, buys marijuana and rolling papers from another student. Ellis lets us assume the drugs are for him until she surprises us, not entirely convincingly, with a scene in which he keeps his grandmother company while she smokes the marijuana to ease her pain. Ellis crafts stories and breathing characters with few words, and she avoids simplistic anti-drug clichés, but at the same time her message and plotting are overly predictable and very heavy-handed.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
November 8, 2009 – Shelved
November 8, 2009 – Shelved as: middle-school
November 8, 2009 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
November 8, 2009 – Shelved as: young-adult

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