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The Breadwinner

by Deborah Ellis

Published by Groundwood, 2000
170 pages
ISBN: 0888994192
price: $15.95

Ages 10 - 14

In the first book of what is now called "The Breadwinner" trilogy (which includes "Parvana's Journey" and "Mud City," Deborah Ellis introduces readers to Parvana, a girl living in Kabul, Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban. After her father is arrested, 11-year-old Parvana begins posing as a boy to earn money to help support her family. Once well-off, they are now struggling to survive, living in one room. Her mother and older sister are not allowed to work--part of the oppressive rules the Taliban have imposed on women and girls. Parvana's ability to pass as a boy gives her a freedom her mother and older sister cannot enjoy, but it also places enormous responsibility and pressure on her. Ellis's narrative is particularly strong in depicting the underground effort of women and girls to resist the oppressive regime.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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