This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
La route de Chlifa tells the story of Karim, a child born in the war-torn country of Lebanon. Events force Karim to leave his school in Beirut, and he later finds himself in a large high school in Montréal. Most of the narrative concerns the period before his arrival in Quebec. It tells of his love for Nada; of a dreadful bombing; and of Karim's decision, one he hardly understands himself: to accompany Nada's sister Maha and her baby brother Jad on their journey to Chlifa. There, they seek refuge with a family friend, and the trip proves full of surprises.
This is an extraordinary novel. The children who are its protagonists are forced to face situations that sometimes defy understanding. The story encourages reflection on the destiny, daily life, friendships and families of these young people, whose lives are played out against a backdrop of permanent war. Readers are left wondering at their amazing capacity to adapt to such an alien world. Happily, there is a glimmer of hope for the children of La route de Chlifa.
This novel won the 1993 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature (Text).