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Parvana by Deborah Ellis
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Parvana (original 2000; edition 2002)

by Deborah Ellis

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1,355865,685 (4)15
Member:zemaniax
Title:Parvana
Authors:Deborah Ellis
Info:Allen & Unwin (2002), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:War, Afghanistan

Work details

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (2000)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
This was another great book by Ellis, the Afghanistan culture that shines through her story lines is so interesting. I was fascinated to imagine such hard times that the people must go though. With Parvana’s family being so well educated they are an immediate threat to the Taliban. The author portrays a great heroine though Parvana. The overall message of the book is to have hope and heart.
  achamb15 | May 13, 2015 |
This book was really good. One reason I thought this was a good book was because it took me back in history to real life situations that occurred in the lives of Afghans. For example, “The Taliban had ordered all the girls and women in Afghanistan to stay inside their homes.” When the Taliban took over in 1996 they imposed new rules such as forcing women to stay inside unless they had a male escort. I could not imagine being forced to change my lifestyle. Another example of the situation in Afghanistan was when the Taliban came and took Parvana’s Father. “When the soldiers dragged her father outside, she flung her arms around his wrist. As the soldiers pried her loose… Parvana watch helplessly as two soldiers dragged him down the steps…” The Taliban took many fathers away from their families and sometimes they were never seen again. Another reason I thought it was good was because of the courage the young girl showed in the book. For example, “They were going to turn her into a boy… All right, I’ll do it.” Parvana the young girl in the story agreed to turn into a boy after the Taliban took her father. Her family needed food and money so Parvana stepped up to take on the role. Another example of Parvana’s courage was her ability to physically fight the Taliban. For example, “Her mother was also on the ground, the soldier’s sticks hitting her across her back. Parvana leapt to her feet. “Stop! Stop it! We’ll go now! We’ll go!” She grabbed the arm of one of her mother’s attackers. He shook her off as if she were a fly.” Throughout the book Parvana showed her courage to fight the Taliban Physically. When they took her father she tried to stop them and when they beat up her mom she jumped in to help her mother. Parvana showed tremendous courage for an 11 year old. I think the message of this book was that courage can occur at any time in life and no matter the situation you are put in you can find a way to work through it. ( )
  KinderelHodgson | Apr 9, 2015 |
7. Deborah Ellis’s chapter book, “The Breadwinner, “is about children, family, and specifically female struggles under the Taliban in Afghanistan. The big idea of this chapter book is about bravery during times of hardships. I absolutely lobed this book. In my opinion this book is appropriate for readers of school age, and relates to children and their experiences and interests. I love how the main character is told through first person because it keeps the read captivating. The main character, Parvana, explains her miserable experience throughout the suspenseful plot. Honesty, I could not put the chapter book down after beginning to read the first page. I love how the plot truly publicizes her experience as a vigorous yet courageous battle for freedom. In addition, I love how the language was vivid which moves the reader’s perspective of others who are battling for freedom in various countries. I absolutely adored this chapter book. ( )
  kacieforest | Apr 6, 2015 |
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is an eye-opening novel about female struggles in Afghanistan under the Taliban. There were aspects of this story that I really enjoyed, and other aspects that I was slightly indifferent about. For example, I loved the characters because they were extremely believable and well developed. Physically, Parvana transforms into a boy to provide food and income for her family. As a young girl, Parvana is forced to take on the Father’s role, which is something girls do not do. I love that Parvana is a strong, independent female character for young girls and boys to identify with. On the other hand, I think the writing doesn’t flow, nor is it paced well. For example, on page 32 it says, “She threw herself at the soldiers with such force that they both fell to the ground. She swung at them with her fists until she was knocked aside. She heard rather than felt the thwack of their sticks on her back. She kept…” In my opinion the writing is very repetitive and choppy. I believe that this book does push readers to broaden their perspectives on life for women especially in other countries. It’s important for young readers to know about how people live beyond their own understanding, and I think this book does that. ( )
  ShakelaWilliams | Apr 6, 2015 |
I really liked this realistic fiction chapter book for a few reasons. I felt that the writing of the story was simplistic, yet powerful, as it made me feel like I was in the story, experiencing all of Parvana’s mixed emotions. For instance, one page in the story said, “Parvana looked at Mother, still lying on the toshak. She looked at Ali, worn out from being hungry and needing his parents. She looked at Maryam, whose cheeks were already beginning to look hollow…” These sentences were short and to the point, which made me feel sorry for Parvana and her family after reading just the first line. I also liked this book because of its storyline of a family who has to endure the tribulations of living under the Taliban control. I love that the storyline is rich with culture, family values, and how it teaches many lessons, including to be strong when everything in life may seem hopeless. I think that because this story is so realistic, it made for a great read. Lastly I loved the story’s big idea- that in the face of hardship, family is most important to overcome any and all tragedies. ( )
  akoches | Apr 5, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Ellisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brisac, Anne-LaureTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kjersén Edman, LenaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manzolelli, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridelberg, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the children of war
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"I can read that letter as well as Father can," Parvana whispered into the folds of her chador.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
In Afghanistan, only men are allowed to work. The Breadwinner tells the courageous story of a young Afghan woman living in war-torn Kabul who must pretend to be a boy so that she can work to support her family. Pravana and her family live in one room of a bombed-out apartment building. Her father, a former history teacher who was injured when his school was bombed, works in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. Because of his foreign education, he is arrested by the Taliban, the radical religious faction that controls the country. Forbidden to go to school, work outside the home, or even leave the home without a male escort, Pravana disguises herself as a boy to become the breadwinner. This powerful book brings to light the reality of life under the Taliban, illustrating not only the lengths that one young girl goes through simply to put bread on the table but also the enormous capacity of children for acts of courage.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0888994168, Paperback)

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 11-year-old Parvana has rarely been outdoors. Barred from attending school, shopping at the market, or even playing in the streets of Kabul, the heroine of Deborah Ellis's engrossing children's novel The Breadwinner is trapped inside her family's one-room home. That is, until the Taliban hauls away her father and Parvana realizes that it's up to her to become the "breadwinner" and disguise herself as a boy to support her mother, two sisters, and baby brother. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, this topical novel for middle readers explores the harsh realities of life for girls and women in modern-day Afghanistan. A political activist whose first book for children, Looking for X, dealt with poverty in Toronto, Ellis based The Breadwinner on the true-life stories of women in Afghan refugee camps.

In the wily Parvana, Ellis creates a character to whom North American children will have no difficulty relating. The daughter of university-educated parents, Parvana is thoroughly westernized in her outlook and responses. A pint-sized version of Offred from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Parvana conceals her critique of the repressive Muslim state behind the veil of her chador. Although the dialogue is occasionally stilted and the ending disappointingly sketchy, The Breadwinner is essential reading for any child curious about ordinary Afghans. Like so many books and movies on the subject, it is also eerily prophetic. "Maybe someone should drop a big bomb on the country and start again," says a friend of Parvana's. "'They've tried that,' Parvana said, 'It only made things worse.'" (Ages 9 to 12) --Lisa Alward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.

(summary from another edition)

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