Michele Velthuizen's Reviews > The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
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Nov 14, 10

Read in January, 2006

Interest level: 5th +
Reading level: easy
Genre: historical fiction, Afghanistan, Taliban, refugees, human rights, trial by fire
Series: Breadwinner
Readalike for 8th+: Kite Runner

This trilogy is a true-to-life story about a girl called Parvana who has to cut her hair and pretend to be a boy in order to be able to go outside and earn a living for her family. The Taliban - a ruthless militia group which has taken over Afghanistan - forbid women from venturing outside on their own or without a burka (head-to-toe covering). But because Parana's father has been arrested and imprisoned, and there is no longer a male breadwinner in her family so she must go out to help her family survive.

This series gives you a good insight into what life was like for Afghan women during the Taliban years. The royalties of these books go to the education of Afghan girls who are still in Pakistaní refugee camps.

If you're an 8th grader and a very advanced reader, the "Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini is an incredible book that also takes place in Afghanistan as well (and was turned into a movie). However, it's considered an adult book and consists of a lot of gruesome details, so be warned.
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