The BreadwinnerBook - 2015
"All girls [should read] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis." -- Malala Yousafzai, New York Times
The first book in Deborah Ellis's riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan.
Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. Parvana's father -- a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed -- works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.
As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.
The fifteenth anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new map, an updated author's note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana's Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.
From Library Staff
Follow Parvana's story as she tries to help her family in a time of hardship.
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SummaryAdd a Summary
Parvana lives with her family in Afghanistan where the Taliban have taken over. Because of the Taliban, the girls and women are not allowed to go to school or get a job. When Parvana's father is sent to jail, Parvana must dress like a boy to earn money. Will Parvana's father ever return or will Parvana need to dress like a boy until her brother is old enough to work?
Parvana lives during the time of the Taliban invasion. Everything is crazy no women allowed outside without an escort, and so her mother and older sister Nooria are trapped inside. Parvana though is lucky, her dad lost a leg in a bombing and needs her support to go to the market and back. So life is just teetering along in the one room apartment with her mother, father, younger brother (Ali), younger sister (Maryam), and Nooria. Then one night Taliban soldiers come into there house and arrest her dad. Life is starting to break apart until she runs, literally, into one of her mothers old friends in the market. She visits and comes up with a plan. Parvana will have to dress as a boy and carry on her fathers work at the market. She sells the things they have but eventually they begin to run out of things to sell. Then one day a tea boy drops his cups and Parvana helps him pick them up. When she looks up into the face of the boy she gasps, this is no boy this is her old classmate Shauzia. Together they collect money digging bones and earn enough to buy trays with neck straps and goods to sell. One day she goes home and guess what her sister is going to get married. She stays with her mothers friend and then one day her father comes back. A while later she found a young woman who tells them that the town where her sister is getting married was captured by the Taliban. And that they were shooting people on the street. The book ends as she and her father go off to find her mother and siblings.
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