Nancy's Reviews > The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
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's review
Feb 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: middle-eastern
Read from February 24 to 27, 2011

Published: 2001, Groundwood Books
Age: 9-12
Parvana is an 11 year old girl who lives with her family in Taliban controlled Kabul, Afghanistan. Formally well off and educated, Parvana and her parents, two sisters, and baby brother now live in a one room bombed out apartment. Only her father can go out and sell their belongings for money to buy food. As if things weren’t bad enough, Parvana’s father gets arrested and sent to prison for no reason. Now it is up to Parvana to go out and make money for the family to eat and survive. So her mother cuts her hair and she dresses in her dead brother’s clothes to disguise herself as a boy.
Ellis writes the book with characters that will appeal to young teens while revealing the atrocities that people had to endure under the Taliban regime. Parvana displays courage and bravery that is amazing for a child her age. It is amazing what children can do in such adversity. This is a great book for children to learn about conditions are in other parts of the world and what people must endure, and to appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that we have here. It is unbelievable that women are treated with such oppression today in the 21st century. Digging up bones of bodies to sell for money, selling off wives false legs because they wouldn’t need them: these are just a few of the traumas dealt with. But there is also laughter and hope in this very engaging story.

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