Deborah Ellis is a Canadian author, feminist and activist known for works like "The Breadwinner" and "Looking for X." She was born in Cochrane, Ontario, and has published over 20 books. Though much of her writing is fiction, Ellis fills her writing with messages of hope, peace and change by capturing real-life situations depicting human suffering.
In 1997, Ellis spent time in Afghanistan volunteering at refugee camps. During her time there, she interviewed many displaced mothers and children, inspiring her first novel "The Breadwinner" and two more related books examining the dangers of refugee life.
Her other works have involved similar stories of tragedy, including settings in the slums of Toronto, South Korea and Malawi. She explores themes like poverty, HIV/AIDS, racism and terrorism. In the course of her writing, she hopes to bring light to the travesties occurring around the world in order to inspire social activism in her readers.
In 2006, she was named to the Order of Ontario, and has since been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor General's Award and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She is a philanthropist and frequently donates royalties from her books to support charitable causes, like the Women for Women in Afghanistan Foundation and UNICEF. She has donated over $1 million from the proceeds of her most popular books to charity.