A special edition of The Breadwinner, the first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series, will be published in fall 2017 to coincide with the launch of the animated movie. It 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 book includes a foreword by Deborah Ellis, as well as a map, author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. An eight-page color insert features stills from the movie. 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.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Parvana felt the shadow before she saw it, as the man moved between her and the sun. Turning her head, she saw the dark turban that was the uniform of the Taliban. A rifle was slung across his chest as casually as her father’s shoulder bag had been slung across hers.…
The Talib kept looking down at her. Then he put his hand inside his vest. Keeping his eyes on Parvana, he drew something out of his vest pocket.
Parvana was about to squish her eyes shut and wait to be shot when she saw that the Talib had taken out a letter.
He sat down beside her on the blanket.
“Read this,” he said.
What People are Saying About This
Middle East Book Award
Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize
Baia delle Favole Prize
Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Award
Rocky Mountain Book Award, finalist
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
“A great kids’ book...a graphic geopolitical brief that’s also a girl-power parable.”—Newsweek
“...an exceptional story that enlightens the reader about circumstances beyond comprehension and helps students understand that all of us in this global community share the same hopes, dreams, and fears.”—Resource Links
“[The books in the Breadwinner series] are terrifying indictments of what war can bring to children and a powerful testament to the ingenuity and strength of young people in times of terror.”—Book Links
“...a book...about the hard times — and the courage — of Afghan children.”—Washington Post