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The Heaven Shop

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shima clarke

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of The Heaven Shop

Text to Text- This book reminds me of the book "The Breadwinner' also written by Deborah Ellis. I think this because when Binti is forced to work constantly almost every minute of the day preparing food, building coffins and entertaining the little. She manages to succeed in taking over a role meant for a well experienced adult . Binti being only 13 years old. This is like when Parvanna has to take on a man's job in life, her dressing up like a boy and making money and bringing home food and necessities. A very difficult and dangerous job to master, just like Binti's job when it comes to working for her business and family.
Character Descriptions
Book Genre
Realistic, fiction
The Heaven Shop
Binti- (traits- Confident, Brave & Strong
Binti is a confident person because before her life changed drastically , she was a star speaker on a very important radio show. Binti was extremely proud of herself for being able to do her job smooth and successfully every week. Ex. pg. 38. Binti purposely sticks out her script of her weekly radio show, displaying that she and her script are of great importance. The book also talks about Binti believing in herself, and taking a stand against her struggles through every step of the way. Binti is a brave person because when even the worst scenarios had happened to her, she chose to face her anxiety, stress and fears, instead of falling behind in life. After Binti and her sister were forced to live with their ill tempered aunt and uncle who forced the two girls to work night and day, "be nice to men" and to never touch them. Even when Junie-Binti's older sister ran away to get a better life for herself and her family, Binti knew to not stay with her aunt and uncle- taking a bus to her Gogo (grandmother) to start a new and "improved" life. I know for a fact that there are almost no kids in Canada that would ever have the guts or the faith to do what Binti did when it came to facing her fears and standing up for herself. I believe Binti is strong because when her life changed forever (her dad passed away& mother) and her and her siblings were seperated she remains positive and bites back her sass . She also does not forget about who she used to be. Once her aunts and uncles and cousins come to her father's memorial and start stealing her family's possessions and property Binti again controled her anger, an extremely hard thing to do. Of everything that Binti has been through, millions of people would never have the strength or the faith to do anything Binti has done.
Text to World- This book reminds me of the disease ebola that effects people all around the world. I think this because the book talks about the diseases HIV and AIDS in detail (ex. pg 1 on Binti's radio show they discuss an AIDS death and it's effects to a family), the disease that kills off millions of innocent lives worldwide every year, specifically in Africa. Both of the diseases contagious through the exchange of saliva, semen and germs. For example the Malawi Aids association in the story like the cyclist who talks to young and old people about multiple precautions of how to prevent being HIV and AIDS positive. Binti's sister Junie also becomes HIV positive when she goes into prostitution.
Text to Self- While reading this book I am reminded of relationship between my sister and I, when it comes to the parts about Junie and Binti. The two sisters are often fighting ex. pg 62 and are constantly overly stubborn about small things like wearing a sweater or not. However, they still do love each other plenty no matter where they are or what they're doing. This is similar to when my sister and I fight and argue about extremely useless topics that we forget in the next hour. However, just like Binti and Junie we still love each other no matter what.<3
The setting of this book takes place in Blantyre, Malawi, Lingowie Malawi and Mulanje Malawi. The first setting -in Blantyre very calm and fairly easy to live in comfort. The main character- Binti and her family are able to make money by running their own business and even attend private school. The entire city is also very busy and even had some modern storefronts unlike many Malawi cities. The second setting- in Lingowie was a more cold and strict area where the main character were forced to live with their dreadful, strict and mean spirited aunt and uncle and cousins. Citizens of that town however, were still able to live in average levels of needed comfort like everyday education and shelters. The last setting in Mulanje Malawi was a very warm and kind town. Unlike Blantyre and Lingowie, this town's inhabitants don't necessarily all live in comfort as many families aren't able to eat everyday let alone sleep on beds. The community luckily still does their best to have faith in each other when it comes to dependance on food and education. Sice thousands of Mulanje citizens die of aids and are born/ diagnoses with HIV- a blood disease that can lead to aids.
Beginning- At the very start of this book, the main character (Binti) had a very desirable life. She had a loving family which consisted of her wonderful, hardworking father, a beautiful, intelligent older sister and her creative and upbeat older brother. Binti also was able to attend a great private school five days a week and she even had a job on the radio which involved her entertaining thousands of people every week while getting payed! Also at the beginning of the book Binti's father becomes dangerously ill- leaving their coffin business untended. Her father later passes away from pneumonia and leaves the Phiri children alone....

Middle- In the middle of this book, after Binti's father passes away, the Phiri family's distant relatives come to the memorial and claim the children to go to their homes. The children in extreme dismay as brother Kwasi and sisters Junie and Binti are seperated. The two girls are taken by their aunt and uncle, them already having a family. The aunt and uncle treat Binti and Junie with great disrespect as they believe they girls could give them and their family aids. The aunt and uncle also sell nearly all of the girls' belongings for profit. The sisters are also forced to do many chores and to even work at their aunt and uncle's restaurant. Junie attracted customers so she was forced to work tiring hours and "be nice" to men. The two girls had hidden money from their previous home, Binti's last radio pays and all of Junie's tips. Eventually their savings are discovered and the girls' plan of escaping is gone. The next day however, Junie runs away, leaving a note that tells Binti to find their grandmother. The letter from Junie also tells Binti that she will make money and find her later on. Binti after, steals money from her aunt and uncle and takes a bus to Mulanje in attempt to find her grandmother(Gogo). Her new life soon begins...

End- Finally Binti meets her grandmother, who she discovers is an extremely generous person, her sharing her home and food with many children, over 15, who she proudly calls her grandchildren-even though most are not related. Binti finds life there hard at first, there being no everyday school, running water or siblings. She is also forced to help take care of many young, do many hard working chores and to help prepare food daily if there is any. Eventually Binti comes to love her new life with cousins like Memory and her daughter Beauty. Binti, with the help of Jerimiah a man that worked for the Aids Awareness Association, even managed to locate her brother Kwasi and bring him to the home. Mnths later Gogo passes away leaving the home sombre and filled with grief. Kwasi and Binti build a coffin for her, which eventually leads to them and Memoryto open up their own makeshift coffin shop, them building functioning coffins for the deceased and loved ones. They called it the Heaven Shop and even started earning profit from their relatives. A little wile after the business took off, Jerimiah had been able to locate Junie- Binti and Kwasi's eldest sister. Junie had worked as a prostitute and was sadly diagnosed with HIV- a terrible blood disease. The three siblings were finally reunited.
The book "Heaven Shop" was to me, a very great book. It teaches you shocking realities around the world while teaching important life lessons! For example, the author (Deborah Ellis) writes about HIV and AIDS in detail in this book, it going on in the many places of where thie story takes place. Letting me follow along Binti's overcoming while learning precautions/dangers/effects of aids. For ex. on pg. 119 Jerimiah (an AIDS/HIV association worker) mentions in the text the causes of the two diseases- saliva, germs and semen. Deborah Ellis also makes the story extremely realistic when Junie (Binti's older sister) was discovered as a prostitute and was later diagnosed with HIV.
I also enjoy this book because the character's personalities and beliefs are similar to mine and to people I know- making this story relatively easier to follow. For ex. I find I can relate to Binti because she is very confident when it comes to her radio acting job, which is similar to when I am confident in my sports and school activities.

Lastly, I enjoy this book because the author provides many life lessons that are necessary when it comes to life. For example, When Binti finds out that Memory- a girl her own age has her own baby, she judges her harshly, immediately. However she is ashamed to find out that it was not in Memory's free will meaning she was raped, and Memory chooses to forgive her. This lesson alone, teaches adolescent reader like me that not everything is what it seems and to judge one and other without knowing the truth is a sin.

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