Terrell's Reviews > Parvana's Journey

Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis
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's review
Feb 03, 2008

really liked it

This is the sequel to The Breadwinner. This book stands alone, independent from its predecessor. The lead character is thirteen year-old Parvana, a girl in search of her mother and sisters. The story opens with Parvana burying her father who died at the beginning of the journey. Dressed as a boy she travels alone to Afghanistan.
She has to keep a low profile, fearing that if the Taliban finds her that she’ll be drafted as a soldier. But if she is seen without a male companion she’d be punished for that. Parvana comes in contact with a baby she finds lying beside his mom who died from an explosion. Parvana names the baby Hassan; later she meets a one-legged boy, Arif, who eases some of her worries about being seen alone as a girl and also who helps take care of baby Hassan. Through Parvana’s daily journal entries one is given access to Parvana the child who is forced to grow up early. This book doesn’t end happily; one is forced to draw conclusions.

This book is appropriate for children ages twelve and older. It is very graphic, though a twelve-year-old should be ready for a book of this nature. Parvana’s Journey will undoubtedly challenge a child’s philosophies; and if that child hasn’t began to set in motion her/his opinions on such things as the current war, then this book should begin that process. For that reason I would recommend this book, hoping that a class discussion would ensue.

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