Book - 2007
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Two bestselling authors join forces to write a powerful novel about racism.

A student arrested on suspicions of terrorism. A high school torn apart by racism. Two boys from two different sets of circumstances forced to choose sides.

These are the issues at the heart of Bifocal , a groundbreaking new novel for young-adults.

The story is told from two different points of view. Haroon is a serious student devoted to his family. His grandparents emigrated from Afghanistan. Jay is a football star devoted to his team. He is white.

One day their high school is put on lockdown, and the police arrest a Muslim student on suspicion of terrorist affiliations. He might be guilty. Or is he singled out because of his race?

The entire student body fragments along racial lines and both Haroon and Jay find that their differences initially put them at odds. The Muslim students become targets and a smoke-bomb is set off near their lockers while Jay and his teammates believe they've been set-up to look like racists.

Bifocal is, by no stretch, an easy book. Award-winning authors Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters deliver a serious, hard-hitting book about racism that does not talk down to young people.

Publisher: Markham, Ont. : Fitzhenry & Whiteside, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781554550364
Characteristics: 280 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Walters, Eric 1957-


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Aug 07, 2018

Deals with issues of prejudice and peer pressure and teens,,,,,some funny parts...Deborah
Ellis wrote Haroon and Eric Walters wrote Jay.....short and simple read

May 14, 2018

I turned every page dying to find out what would happen next. Bifocal is written from the perspective of Jay, a white football player, and Haroon, who is a Middle Eastern student. Haroon is much like many other students. He’s intellectual, shy, and on the “Reach for the Top Trivia Team.” But everyone looks past his similarities the day that the school is bombarded by police in search for a home grown terrorist. Police burst into his classroom and arrest him as well as another student. Jay however see’s this from a completely different view. All he sees are two Middle Eastern students being taken off by the police as his ostensibly racist football team members decipher the whole thing. What follows is a sea of questions, hate, and prejudice. As all the school feels that they are no longer safe and blame it all on the Middle Eastern students off the school.It shows that ignorance and racism, is still very viable in our country. That people just like you and me are under attack by fellow citizens just because the colour of their skin or the religion they follow. Overall , I give this novel a 4/5 rating . @Jinimini2002 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Dec 31, 2017

I don't recommend this book.

Jul 10, 2017

I have mixed feelings about this book! Read my full review at ! 😃

Sep 13, 2014

I love anything by Deborah Ellis (she's DEFINITIVELY my favourite author), and this book is no exeption. I like how it's about an issue that I don't really hear about too much: Muslim kids and how racist people can be.

Feb 19, 2011

my teacher read this book in class.

Jul 18, 2010

The ending was ok, but I wish that it had gone on for a bit longer...

May 13, 2010

This book is probably my second favorite by Eric Walters and first favorite from Deborah Ellis, but I haven't read many of her books. It helped me think different of people around me and respect them more. I like it when books do that.

Jul 01, 2009

Possibly my all- time favourite book. The two stories weave together so beautifully and the endign is SOOOO brilliant. A must- read.
I`d have to say that jay`s sections are easier and more fun to read, but haroons are better written and much more interesting as well as very thought- provoking. I couldn`t put this book down, and finished it in just a few days it was so good.

anoudconda Apr 07, 2009

Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters, both Canadian authors, wrote this book about race relations in a fictional Ontario highschool. Interesting, but not my favourite choice from either of these authors.

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Sep 13, 2014

rebanne thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

RNSRL Jan 01, 2014

RNSRL thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Jul 01, 2009

Everything is going well at school for Haroon, until a bomb threat is called in and, after one of his friends is arrested for the alleged crime of trying to blow up the school, his whole world is turned upside- down. Suddenly, he is the enemy. Him and his people. Muslims are begining to be feared by the world around him. FEAR OF TERROR.
Jay`s school is let out early one day on the account of a bomb threat that had been called in. In the following days, Jay is tought by the people around him to hate and to fear the muslims. He cannot decide what part of him he should follow, the part that is telling him to just go with the flow, keep his friends and take the easy path, or the part that is telling him to stand up for what he knows is right, no matter what it will cost him. TERROR OF FEAR.
``There are two sides to every story. You just have to listen.``


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Sep 13, 2014

Other: deals with racism and suicide bombing.


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