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The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
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The Breadwinner (2000)

by Deborah Ellis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Breadwinner (1)

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
So this is a graphic novel adaptation of an animated movie adaptation of a book. I usually try to avoid something this watered down, but I knew I could read this slim little volume in a fraction of the time it would take me to watch the movie or read the original book, and I was unlikely to do either of those things anyway.

This is a sad story about an Afghan family suffering under oppressive Taliban rule. For context, the original book was published about a month after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, or about the same time the U.S. began military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thinking about how sad things were before the onset of 17 years of continual war and what they must be like now is just plain depressing. The author wrote three sequel books, so I suppose I don't need to just imagine, but honestly I'd rather not go down this road of suffering right now. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
This was a book that was touching, thoughtful, and provided a window into the lives of people, especially women living under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The burden of responsibility put on an eleven-year-old girl, the lack of equality and social justice makes this book memorable and invites contemplation.
  cyctorres | Jul 20, 2018 |
I read this graphic version right after reading the original The Breadwinner. This book is apparently is adapted from a feature film based on the original book. Therefore there are changes from the original. It ends differently, a more definitive ending, which was fine. However, in the original book, the reason for the father's arrest is unknown but in this version there is a definite member of the Taliban who causes the arrest. Parvana is discovered masquerading as a boy but in the book she is not. These changes, I did not care for. ( )
  geraldinefm | Jul 2, 2018 |
Parvana, an eleven-year-old living in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, disguises herself as a boy after her father is arrested and her family has no means of support. Set in a time before the first Persian Gulf War, but because the discrimination against woman still is a problem, this book does not seem dated. Despite the fraught situation, every day life still has ordinary problems, and they are reflected in this book. Parvana and her older sister have sibling rivalry issues. She makes a friend in the marketplace. There are small heroes throughout this book, not the least of which is Parvana herself. ( )
  geraldinefm | Jun 25, 2018 |
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

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I would not call this book a graphic novel, but a chapter book.

I feel, that there are certain books that must be read during one’s lifetime and this book is one of them. This world is full of repression: repression about color, repression about sex, repression about class, repression about knowledge, repression about privacy, repression about wealth… and so on.

This particular book focuses on the repression of females, regardless of age, and knowledge. The Taliban are threatened by both and feel it necessary to do whatever they can to keep women and knowledge controlled.

The idea that being a woman means you have no freedom is ridiculous. In Kabul, Afghanistan, females are shunned, controlled, enslaved and repressed. If you are a man who is educated, and because education could mean learning the truth about what the Taliban are doing and doing something about it, such as organize and/or stage a revolt, then you are kept under the tight control of the Taliban and repressed from doing anything but what they feel necessary to their cause.

It’s a sad book, filled with despair and no hope. You will read about a girl who must hide the fact that she is a girl behind the disguise of a boy/male in order to obtain food for her family. What the book does do, is bring to light the horrific conditions of living in Afghanistan if you are female.

The Protagonist, Parvana, is extraordinary. She is the epitome of bravery, courage and strength. What we take for granted in Canada, she has to fight for, and always with the constant threat of death should her deceit be found out. Freedom, is a luxury, a far-off dream for fools, because survival is much more important in Parvana’s family of women.

Although a middle-grade read, adults need to pick this book up and read it too. Awareness about a culture we are far too quick to judge is needed, and this book sheds a lot of light of topics unknown to many.

The book itself is beautiful, a quick read and written very well. The author has done her research and created incredible characters to send her message to readers.

This author lives in Canada, about two hours away from me. I think her achievements of her Breadwinner series in raising awareness of Afghanistan children and their plight for survival in a war zone is incredible. I can’t even begin to imagine growing up in a never-ending war, especially since my own childhood was wonderful. You need to read the follow-up to the children featured in this series to see what these children are doing since the fall of the Taliban regime.

I’m impressed with the author’s detailed research, her simplistic yet hard-hitting writing style and the message contained in “The Breadwinner.” The royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (www.cw4wafghan.ca). Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.

The book structure, character development, plot flow, tension, voice and setting are all bang-on! Well done! ( )
  JLSlipak | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Parvana es una chica de once años que vive con su familia en Kabul, la capital de Afganistán, durante la época del gobierno talibán. Cuando su padre es detenido, su familia -sin recursos para poder vivir-, buscará una solución desesperada: Parvana, que por ser mujer tiene prohibido ganar dinero, deberá transformarse en un chico y trabajar. Primero, leyendo la correspondencia en el mercado a la gente que es analfabeta y, poco después, vendiendo también tabaco con otra chica disfrazada. Mientras, su familia marcha a Mazar a casar a la hija mayor. Pero la ciudad, que estaba en manos de los rebeldes, es tomada por los talibanes, quedando atrapados allí. El padre de Parvana sale de la cárcel y ambos emprenden viaje para reunirse con ellas.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Ellisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brisac, Anne-LaureTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kjersén Edman, LenaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manzolelli, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridelberg, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the children of war
First words
"I can read that letter as well as Father can," Parvana whispered into the folds of her chador.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 city who must pretend to be a boy so that she can work to support her family. Pravana is forbidden to go to school, work outside the home, or even leave the home without a male escort, but she disguises herself as a boy to become the breadwinner and fight for equal rights.
Haiku summary

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.

» see all 14 descriptions

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