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The Breadwinner Paperback – 4 Mar 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (4 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192752847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192752840
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deborah Ellis has achieved international acclaim with her courageous, sensitive, and dramatic books that give western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in developing countries. Her Breadwinner trilogy has sold hundreds of thousands of copies in twenty-five languages, and she was awarded the Governor General's Award for her book, Looking for X. Deborah grew up in Ontario, Canada and from the age of 17 has been a political activist, advocating non-violence. After high school she went to Toronto and worked in the Peace Movement. Later she got involved in the Women's Movement, focusing on women's rights and economic justice. She continues to be involved in anti-war politics. She has spent a lot of time in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, talking to women and documenting their lives through 20 years of war. The stories she heard and the children she met were the inspiration for The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey, Mud City, and My Name is Parvana.
Deborah lives in Ontario, Canada.

Product Description

Review

We've heard and read millions of words about living under the Taliban, yet it remains a distant horror. But [The Breadwinner] brings everything to poignant life. (The Independent)

very remarkable and highly topical. The horrors of life under the Taliban are balanced by loyalty, courage and hope. Read it. (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

Starvation or survival - a girl's life under Taliban rule --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midnight Sun Books on 28 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
The Breadwinner offers a timely glimpse into life in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. Hopefully, this book will become a memorial for the hardship and oppression the common people experienced, especially women, under Taliban rule, now that the Taliban rule is crumbling as I write. The book though, gives a compelling portrait of how one family tries to cope and survive. 11 yr old Parvana disguises herself as a boy so she can sell things at the marketplace when the family no longer has a male who can escort a female or take care the family's day to day affairs. Parvana pushes aside her fears and gathers her courage to provide for her family. The book describes many difficult experiences, but doesn't go overboard so that it is still accessible for children. The book doesn't go into the religious or cultural reasons why the Taliban has set up these harsh rules. It's a great book to read about contemporary life in a distant land, one that is dominating the headlines of our newspapers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Sept. 2002
Accomplished actress Rita Wolf ably reads "The Breadwinner," an affecting story of childhood in a repressive land.
As difficult as it may be for those of us who live in a free country to imagine, there are parts of the world where women and girls are not allowed to leave the confines of their homes without a man, and they must wear clothing that covers every part of their bodies. A bizarre look back at some nether region? No, it is a way of life in Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
Parvana, an 11-year-old girl, lives with her family in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan during the days when the Taliban held sway. Her home is one room in a bomb damaged apartment building.
Parvana's father, a former history teacher, now earns the family's living by sitting on a blanket in the marketplace and reading correspondence for those who cannot read or write. While the pittance he earns is negligible, it is something. That is taken away when he is arrested. The charge? He has a foreign education.
Now, there is no one to earn a living for the family or even to leave the house to shop for food.
Before long it is evident there is only one solution if the family is to survive - Parvana must disguise herself as a boy and become the family's breadwinner.
Listeners will be astounded at the strength and courage displayed by Parvana and, quite possibly, be reminded of the bravery evidenced by thousands of youngsters in ravaged countries. "The Breadwinner" is, indeed a sobering story. It is also an uplifting tale of stamina and strength in the face of apparently insurmountable obstacles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KRz1981 on 27 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am going to read this novel to my fifth graders in elementary the next term. If can manage that without crying, it will be a miracle. An absolutely gripping novel with messages about resilience, identity and discrimination. I can't wait to share it with my students.
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By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
The Breadwinner is written simply for young people and is based on true events in Afghanistan since the Taliban arrived.

Parvana and her family are torn apart by the Taliban. Her father is arrested and Parvana is the only one who can earn some money for the rest of the family to live on - but she is a girl, so bravely disguises herself as a boy to enable her to walk the streets safely.

Written for young people in simple language, this book really gets across the terrible regime imposed by the Taliban. It does not shirk from issues of violence and brutality but is written in a way that informs rather than scandalises.

An excellent book, one that could be used to explain things that are happening in this world. I look forward to reading the next two books in the series.
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By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 12 May 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a well written, eye-opening book about life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Pavana's mother is well educated but is forbidden to work because women have to stay at home. Her father has a degree from an overseas university but is reduced to reading and writing letters in a corner of the market.

When her father is taken by the Taliban there is no male figure to provide for the family and to shop for everyday needs. The only solution is for Pavana to dress as a boy and work in the market.

An excellent insight into life under very difficult circumstances. Books such as this should be compulsory reading for young readers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
The Breadwinner is an inspirational story about the plight of a family living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The main character in the story is a young girl, Parvana. Due to the arrest of her father Parvana is forced to dress and work as a boy. If she does not do this then her family will starve.
In her quest to provide for her family Parvana finds herself placed in terrifying situations on an almost daily basis. Yet despite this Parvana also experiences the warmth of friendship and love of family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Snonymous... on 16 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazing book! I read this all in one night and I can't believe it's finished. I enjoyed this book so much and I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on 2 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very sad book. Although it was written for children, it is also appropriate for adults. Great read!
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