The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner, #1)
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The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  8,319 ratings  ·  915 reviews
It is Afghanistan. Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by the Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own. Parvana, her mother, and sisters must stay inside. Four days later, the food runs out. They face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 4th 2004 by Oxford Childrens (first published September 1st 2000)
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I absolutely LOVED this book. I read it in less than 24 hours. It is a beautifully written story about a young Afghan girl named Parvana who is growing up in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan. Her story is amazing, I know that it is fiction, but I believe that the author, Deborah Ellis, did a lot of research on how women live in Afghanistan. Anyway, Parvana's family is very well educated, and thus are considered to be a threat to the Taliban. Parvana's father can read and has a little place in the ma...more
Francesca Tubito
Parvana is a great book! The book is very interesting... It doesn't only explain how Parvana is feeling, but it also describes how other girls in Afghanistan survive with the Taliban in control. Some girls in Afghanistan are scared to go outside, I would be too, but Parvana is brave to go outside to get food for her family. At the end Parvana, goes back to see her family which is sad and happy at the same time... I really LOVED this book and I can't wait to read "Parvana's Journey!"
This is one of the best books I have ever read. All The ideas in the book have logical supporting evidence, The characters are very realistic due to their activities and appearance. I would recommend this book to each and every student in the world (Even the bullies). I think when someone reads this book their thought about Afghanistan and Afghan people must change. This book was just so realistic and so pure that it took my breath away. I could literally feel the characters' feelings, sometimes...more
I think Parvana was a very good book. Deborah Ellis keeps action in the story, while still developing the character of Parvana. The writing flows smoothly and was very enjoyable. I liked the whole book, but it gets very exciting in chapters fourteen and fifteen. It has a good ending, but it makes the reader want to know more about Parvana, and what happens to her.
Jeannie Donovan
My middle school students responded so strongly to my booktalk about this book, that the library and the local bookstores ran out, and many went on to read the sequel. However, do not be quick to label this as purely young adult fiction. As an adult, I was changed and moved by Parvana and her family, and this novel has stuck with me vividly for 12 years.
Rotem Rozner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Bread Winner by Deborah Ellis is about a girl name Parvana who is living with her family in the 1980’s in Afghanistan. She is trying to survive life under Taliban rule. I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was very inspiring and empowering to see a women survive under such strict rule. It made me appreciate what it is like to have your human rights stripped from you. Human rights are a moral entitlement that everyone should have. For example one of my human rights is the freedom...more
The novel The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is a book concerning human rights. In this novel the main character Parvana, an eleven year old girl is living in a one room home with her five family members in Afghanistan. At the time, the Taliban are ruling their town and orders all the girls and women in Afghanistan to stay inside their homes. They even forbid girls to go to school or walk outside without a man. Throughout the novel Parvana comes across many challenges such as loosing her father, c...more
Braden Groff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie McGaha
I really liked this book and I think it will be a great eye opener for students. The book starts off with 11-year-old Parvanna and her background as a little girl living in Taliban controlled Afghanistan and the struggles she and other girls and women faced. When her father is captured and taken away by the Taliban her family have no way to provide since women were not allowed to work or go to school or even go outside. In order to make sure that her family eats, Parvanna decides to disguise her...more
Aisha A 140A571
The breadwinner is the best book I have ever read. It talked about a family who is from Afghanistan specifically in Kabul. This country is under the rules of Taliban. There were a rule which claims that no woman or a girl could dare to go out of the house. This family has a girl called Parvana and she wanted to feed her family to survive, but she couldn't because she was a girl. As a result Parvana dressed like a boy and worked to earn money. Her family was well educated and her father read lett...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is the first book in The Breadwinner trilogy. Parvana is eleven years of age and she lives in Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Her mother and sisters have not left the house in a year. Women are not allowed outside the home without a male escort and full burqa. Thus, when her father, the breadwinner of the family is arrested, Parvana's household full of women has a problem. How to get food? How to get money? They can't leave or go to work...

This is how Parvana becomes a boy. She becomes a busine...more
This book is talking about a girl called parvana that lives in afghanstan, kabul and has to dress up as a boy to sell stuff since there are no boys in the family, the father has been jailed and the girls are to big and to small, parvana is just right. As a boy, she met a girl who is dressing up as a boy just like parvana called shauzia. Life is not what it is going to be what you dream.

I like this book because it is adventureous and it is very interesting and it teaches me a lesson that not real...more
Rebecca  Einstein Schorr
This book was assigned to my son, who is in the 6th grade. Because he struggles with reading, I have made it a habit to read the same books that he is reading for school.

And I am so glad.

Because I might not have had any other reason to discover this very compelling story.

It was a fast read and one that gave me particular insights into life under the Taliban regime. I am looking forward to many great discussions with my son as he and his classmates make their way through it.
David Fox
This is the first book in the series by Deborah Ellis who went to Afghanistan to report on the lives of children there. These stories were made up based on interviews she conducted with kids and are based on real events. Since they were written for kids, they are more of watered-down versions of the Hosseini's Kite Runner or Thousand Splendid Suns novels.

I think this is a good series to introduce teens and pre-teens to the people of Afghanistan. It covers pretty gruesome topics and brings up thi...more
Wow, one word. This book was amazing someone so young and trying so hard to help the family this book can even put you into tears. The protagonist, 11-year old Parvana is growing in Afghanistan where there is a war going on. The Talibans are ruling the country and her own family, along with many more are struggling to survive. Women aren’t allowed to leave the house, and so Parvana gets a complete makeover and dresses up as a boy so she can earn money for the family. This was a tough book to rea...more
This book is absolutely fabulous and I cannot wait to read the two sequels. I have never read anything like this, sadly, because I don't think there are many books out there that focus on this culture and these experiences. The story is about eleven-year-old Parvana, who is growing up under the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The country has been at war for over twenty years, and Parvana knows really nothing except bombs and ruined buildings and stories of what it used to be long ago. Her fa...more
The Breadwinner is an acclaimed novel written by Deborah Ellis. It showcases factual concepts towards the notion of human rights, drawing the reader in to make conclusions for themselves. By inference, the title gives out a clear message of what the book’s morals will be about. It talks about the breadwinner, someone whose earnings are the primary source of support for one’s dependents. The novel takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, where the Taliban Militia have enforced laws restr...more
Was curious to read this text because there were numerous references to it in an article I was reading in order to write a grad school paper. While the paper I was writing concerned the construction of black masculinity, I became curious about the references to The Breadwinner and finally decided to read it.

Geared toward a middle reader or young adult audience, this book was short and simple to read. Most of the vocabulary was accessible, and words particular to the culture are defined in a glo...more
Jaclyn Giordano
The Breadwinner is a chapter book intended for readers in grades three though six. It is a story set in Kabul, Afghanistan, of 11-year-old Parvana taking the role as a little boy in order to get money for her family after her father is arrested and sent to prison. I gave this book four stars. I listened to this story on an Audio CD. This format is different for me. However, I enjoyed the female narrator’s voice, as it was soft and emotional, bringing back memories of being read to. The dialect...more
Evelyn Chen
APA Citation:
Ellis, Deborah. (2001) The breadwinner /Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre ;

Reader Interest/Level: Grades 7-10

Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 11-year-old Parvana has been banned from attending school, playing with her friends in the streets; she is trapped inside her family's one-room apartment. Her only sense of freedom was when she could accompany her father to the market, but when the Taliban arrests her father, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to support he...more
A powerful story of 11-year-old Parvana living in Afganistan under the Taliban. When her father is arrested and imprisoned without a trial, Parvana and her mother, teenage sister and two very young siblings are left with no means to survive--without a man in the family to escort them the women cannot leave the house to shop for food or work. So, in desperation, Parvana's mother cuts off her hair and Parvana begins life as "the breadwinner" for the family, disguised as a boy.

Horrors of life in t...more
Mei Soucie
Mei Soucie
September 25, 2013
Block E
Second Review
“Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis is a story about a young girl named Parvana who lives under the control of the Taliban. In the story, Parvana has an older sister and a younger brother and sister. Because of the Taliban, women aren’t allowed outside without a male escort. Parvana’s father gets arrested going to college in England, and Parvana must dress as a boy and make money so her family could survive. As Parvana is in the market, she runs into o...more
Amy Strickland
The story was good and the characters were well defined by dialogue and interaction with each other, but there was almost NO description of anything physical. The book is targeted towards preteen Americans, but the author used terms that would be unfamiliar to that demographic and then failed to define them in context. There was a glossary that I did not discover until ten pages before the end of the book.

Further, the dialogue was not always clearly attributed and I sometimes was confused about...more
Confidential Ness
This book had potential. A children/young adult book set in a country ravaged by war COULD have been an interesting, dark book, but simple bad writing ruined it.
The whole book was written in the style of:
My mother cried and started hitting them. They shot her. I cried and hid. They went away. I came out.
It's very bland, clunky and downright painful. There is little exploration of their religion, and characters who hasn't been educated is quickly dismissed as stupid and unimportant, even if th...more
Jun 11, 2014 Brian is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The main characher is

The mail character is Parvana. had to move to Afghanistan. she was not allowed to leave her house except to help her dad get to work and she was sad because her dad lost a foot.
Today is about when Parvana drssed like a boy to go get food for her family.

Parvana mama said no you can't go to dig bones. Then Parvana said no. Then mama let her do it. then parvana and shauzia went to a soccer game. They went into a stadium. It wasn't a game. the soldiers was cuting off...more
Parvana is a powerful story about an 11-year-old girl (Parvana) living in Afganistan under the Taliban. When her father is arrested and imprisoned without a trial, Parvana and her mother, teenage sister and two very young siblings are left with no means to survive. Women are forbidden to work. Without money they cannot buy food and without a man in the family to escort them the women cannot leave the house. How will they obtain food to survive? In desperation, Parvana's mother cuts off Parvana's...more
Parvana is a girl That lives in Afghanistan.She had to move around because the Taliban were attacking the city. His dad was locked up for no reason. Now they have a problem. In Afghanistan, only boys can go out. If a girl want to go out, they have to have a boy besides them. In their family had three girls and one boy baby. Even though the baby is a boy, but he was too small. One of them has to pretend to be a boy. Her sister is too big and had puberty and her sister is too small. Now only she c...more
Lord Moonlight
Okay, what the heck, Deborah Ellis? You made me tear up! I usually hate it when stories are too small, but I think that changed when I read the Breadwinner.
The characters are just like you or me, with their quick-wits and their personalities.
I would've loved it if the book was more descriptive. Maybe I would understand what was going on more if it was described more thoroughly, but I got to say, Parvana's Journey and Mud City are next on my to-read list.
Good job, Deborah. You wrote a book that w...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was another fast read and once started I really didn't want to put it down. Parvana a girl in Afghanistan that used to be wealthy. Her parents were both educated. Worked in Education. With each consecutive war her family lost more wealth until they lived in a one room apartment and lived minimally. They did retain some books from their previous life but those had to be hidden in the cabinet. As the Taliban had made books illegal. Her father is arrested which leaves...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sequel? 3 14 Nov 11, 2013 08:31AM  
Title? 1 6 Sep 19, 2013 06:06PM  
the breadwinner 3 21 Mar 06, 2012 12:00PM  
Parvana 1 9 Dec 12, 2011 08:46AM  
The Breadwinner-New topic 1 5 Nov 20, 2011 12:41PM  
The Breadwinner 1 3 Nov 20, 2011 12:27PM  
New book - The Breadwinner 1 3 Nov 15, 2011 10:09AM  
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Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous and dramatic books that give Western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries.

She has won the Governor General's Award, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California's Middle East Book Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award.

A long-t...more
More about Deborah Ellis...
Parvana's Journey (The Breadwinner, #2) Mud City (The Breadwinner, #3) My Name Is Parvana (The Breadwinner, #4) I Am a Taxi The Heaven Shop

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