The Breadwinner (Breadwinner Series #1)

The Breadwinner (Breadwinner Series #1)

by Deborah Ellis

Paperback(Anniversary Edition)

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The first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series 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 15th anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new map, an updated author’s note, and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554987658
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Series: Breadwinner Series , #1
Edition description: Anniversary Edition
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 11,342
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Deborah Ellis, best known for her Breadwinner series, has donated more than $1 million in royalties to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won many awards, including the Governor General’s Award and Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize.

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The Breadwinner (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 139 reviews.
veronica kenny More than 1 year ago
I loved it. Read it when I was in fourth grade and it still mesmerizes me. And I'm in the seventh grade. Beautiful. Makes you think past the things you hear.
ArMason More than 1 year ago
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is the story of a young girl who by nothing more than an accident of birth was born into a time period of war in constrictive Afghanistan society. This girl who did her best to Live and care for her family the only way she could, by pretending to be a boy. I have read many books with similar story lines especially realistic historical fiction about other wars in other time periods that deal with a young girl dressing as a boy to survive. What makes The Breadwinner stand out to me is that this is the first book I have come across personally that deals with the struggles of a family in Afghanistan, let alone being right after the Taliban took control of the nation. This book has a unique way of showing from a first person perspective the lives of women in this society and how the Taliban was able to exploit already tight social norms, to create the world Parvana story takes place. In my opinion this book would be most beneficial to be read to children ages ten to twelve. My reasoning for this is that the main character Parvana is eleven years old and while I agree that this book has the potential to greatly impact any age group because children ten, eleven, and twelve are so close to the age of Parvana they can most closely relate to imagining what they would do in her situation and this will hopefully open their eyes a little wider to the fact that there is a whole world out there beyond their own ways of life. I will have this book in my classroom in the future. Ideally this book will be part of a unit in either a 6th or 7th grade classroom as a reading group book or for 5th grade I would read this book aloud to the class. This book would be part of a unit either dealing with diversity or war. I would makes sure to tell parents about the books in the unit before beginning this unit about either diversity or war. I truly think that The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is a worthy book to have in the classroom and would encourage others to read this book. I will suggest to other teachers that they should consider adding The Breadwinner to their classroom libraries and curriculum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have to get super good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am sorry to say this book is soooo boring dont read it. It stinks like a rotton egg!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok... It was boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was horrible it bored me to death
LaneyDC More than 1 year ago
When you become a teen u start to turn a little selfish and lose sight in what is real. It showed u that ur life is mot as horrivle d that u didint havrto go through ejat poor parvana did. She had her days but always jad her head held high
wiremonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Afghanistan in the early 90s. The Taliban have taken over, and women are not allowed to go outside without permission from the males in their family. In fact, they are not allowed to show their faces in public anymore, but must wear the cumbrous burqa. People who resist their authority are summarily shot. Anyone can be imprisoned. This is the world of 11-year old Parvana. Her older sister and mother have not left the house since the Taliban took control a few months ago. Her brother is just a toddler and her father has only one leg, having lost the other when the high school where he taught was bombed. In order to make money, the Father , with the help of Parvana, make their way to the market, where he sells his services as a letter writer and reader, as well as selling some of their goods from the old life. Parvana knows to keep her head down and as silent as possible in order to not grab the attention of the numerous soldiers patrolling the market. But when their father is arrested for being educated in England, the family has no way of supporting themselves. Parvana must dress as a boy and go out into the market by herself to support her family.Though I consider myself pretty educated and knew that the status of women is deplorable under fundamentalist groups such as the Taliban, this read as a sort of absurdist dystopia. Did the Taliban not make provisions for all the women they left husbandless, fatherless? A short, but intense read, this is a very, very good introduction to the plight of women in Afghanistan for middle schoolers.In fact, I hope this will be the crux of our third discussion group with our kids. As the need for feminism has been called into question lately, this book is a good reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done.
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is a wonderful way to introduce students to what life was like in the late 1990s Afghanistan under Taliban rule.
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Parvana is a girl living in Kabul, Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. In a society where grown women are held prisoner to repressive rules of behavior, Parvana is just the right age. She is old enough to run errands for the family and help her crippled father get around town. But then her father gets hauled off by the Taliban soldiers and the burden of supporting the family falls on her young shoulders. She's the only one in her family who can masquerade as a boy, don't you know. (Well, except for baby Ali, I suppose, who really is a boy.) As far as a girl-masquerading-as-a-boy tale goes, The Breadwinner is pretty typical. What makes the book interesting is the picture of Taliban run Afghanistan it offers. 'Tis a culture of oppression, yet one that had failed to totally eliminate hope. I can only pray that hope and justice win out wherever such regimes hold sway.--J.
JMBridger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A gripping story of a young girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to work and bring home money to ensure her family's survival when the Taliban tears her family apart.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I appreciate one of the purposes of literature is to teach, particularly in children's fiction. In pursuit of that goal, Deborah Ellis makes the common mistake of writing down to children rather than filtered through their lens. Admittedly, I knew very little about Taliban-run Kabul previously, and as introductions to world affairs go, I think The Breadwinner isn't bad for kids: neither overly confusing nor whitewashed, and featuring dilemmas framed relatably (if at very high stakes). However being rather worthy in subject matter does not make compelling writing in itself. In terms of actual plot, The Breadwinner is exceedingly predictable and its characters underdeveloped. It all lends to an overall flatness to the prose that doesn't distract from the message of the piece, but nor does it animate it past mere lesson.
Moriah103193 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Bread Winner is about a war in the in the East in Kabul where women aren't allowed to have an education, work nor go outside. So Parvana (the main character) cuts him hair and disguises herself as a boy to go to school, work, and shopping to support the family. But she has to be careful for the Taliban or else she may get killed.
scd87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is interesting in that you get to see what daily life is like in Afghanistan under the Taliban. However, the story itself was rather plain. I guess this may be very intriguing to children since the topic will shock them and the writing is simple. It is not recommended to squeamish kids.
srssrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Breadwinner is a fictional account of a girl living in Kabul in the late 1990s during the rule of the Taliban. Parvana, the narrator - main character, is lively and brave. The title of the book reflects what she does every day; goes to the market in disguise to try and earn enough money to support her family. Her knew identity as a boy gives her freedom to move around the bombed out city, albeit in constant fear of being discovered. Ellis does a fantastic job in moving the plot along, suspense is on every page. There is also a brief glossary in the back to assist with some of the language used in the novel. This book would be a great fit for a class read, or for any young adult who wants to experience a war torn city through the eyes of Parvana.
mathqueen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Deborah Ellis does a magnificent job portraying the lives of women being ruled by the Taliban in this book. I am ashamed to admit that I don¿t know a lot about the culture of Afghan or the severe struggles these people endured to survive under Taliban rule. The restrictions on females described in this book prompted me to further research. It is amazing women, and children, could survive this heinous treatment. This book served a reminder of the cocoons we can weave ourselves into as we go about our daily lives, giving no thought to the outside world. The interaction of the female characters in this story made a huge impact on me. When Father is with them, the girls are rude to each other, bantering back and forth about everything. Rarely do they have a pleasant exchange. Because of the laws concerning women, even Mother, who in the past was a very active member of society, is stuck in her own little world within her apartment. As the story progresses, the women begin to rely on each other, and also on other females outside the apartment. Finally, the females in the story even begin helping others, seeing needs beyond their own and realizing their own strength and significance. Library Implications: This book is an excellent addition to any library collection. It gives the reader, young and old alike, a perspective of Afghanistan few can even imagine. The reader is able to experience the plight of women being terrorized by the Taliban but also feel a sense of hope as the events of the story unfold. The student reading this book could further their study of Afghan women by focusing on present-day conditions of life for women. Although graphic in nature, the more mature student could focus their research on Taliban control tactics and battle strategies that have made it difficult for Afghans to survive in that war-ravaged land.
stornelli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
jo2son on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of Parvana, a young Afghan girl who must support her family in Kabul. Provides a glimpse of what life is like in Afghanistan for women and girls. Twenty years of war have left this a difficult place to live.
SunnyChang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book about this girl's life under the Taliban's rule. The story started off with how life was in Afghanistan and there were rules about how girls could not go out of their home but only do house work. The males were the only ones who were able to go out of the house to work, and they had rules about executing people who had education before. Unlucky the Taliban soldiers took away her father and he never came back to their house again. Ever since that happened her family had problems, and she had to disguise herself as a boy and go out the market to buy and get what ever the house needs and the story goes on talking about what happened to her dad and how she overcame the problems.
Tassinee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is the book called ''The breadwinner'', because breadwinner is the person who provides money or is the source of someone elses survival. It takes place in Afganistan which is a land locked area.This book is about a girl's life under the Taliban's rule. The story started off by showing how life was like in Kabul, Afghanistan under the taliban rule. Where woman and girls are not aloud to go to school or do work. And windows are needed to be painted black because they don't want to see woman inside the house. The men are the ones who was aloud to go to work. If the taliban comes by and see a woman walking alone on the street they can just shoot her or do whatever they like, which is not correct. Woman had no rights at that time. Unluckily the Taliban soldiers took away Parvana's father and he never came back to their house again. She became the leader of the family. Ever since that happened her family had problems, and she(11 year old Parvana) had to disguise herself as a boy and go to the market to get what the family needs, she also works like her dad, translate letters and sell some stationaries as well. Parvana did that for a long time and she even dig up bones from the graveyard to sell them. She found a friend who is in the same situation as her. With luck, somebody bring her dad home, he was very ill though. Then her sister Shauzia decides to marry at age of 14 in Mazar-e Sharif, because she thought that life would be better there and so she can get more education because over there the talibans are not there. But unlucky when they where there (her siblings and mom) (not Paravana and her father), the taliban were there before...Paravana and her friend agreed to meet each other again at the eiffel tower, Paris, France in another 20 years from today...and the story ends...I would like to recommend this book to everybody who wants to know more about people lives...
i.luv.rootbeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. A young girl has to go through so much in Ahfganistan. The title, "The Breadwinner" meaning the person who makes the money and brings it home, is totally appropriate for this book because this young girl has to do many things to provide for her and her family.
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s Battle of the Books Friday. This week¿s book is on the 2010 ¿ 2011 Pikes Peak Region Battle of the Books list. The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana and her family after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Since that time she has only been outside in the company of her father. Her mother and two sisters have not left the apartment in over a year. Women are prohibited from attending school, shopping or even being outside alone. Eleven-year-old Parvana is allowed to accompany her crippled father to the market where he reads and writes letters in an effort to support the family. She is only allowed to do this because he needs assistance walking. Before the Taliban, Parvanna¿s family was successful. Both her parents are well educated. They had a nice home. She and her sister attended school. After the Taliban they had to move frequently as their homes were bombed. Things couldn¿t get much worse until the Taliban arrests her father. To save the family from starvation Parvana must to become the "breadwinner." She disguises herself as a boy so she can get a job to support her family. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, The Breadwinner highlights the harsh life for girls and women in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. Ellis is an excellent storyteller, able to convey the seriousness of the situation but also keeping the reader entertained with Parvanna¿s resourcefulness and courage. This is an excellent novel to use for teaching about perseverance as well as differences in other cultures. One of my former students read this book and was so moved by the plight of girls and women under the Taliban regime that she was inspired to start fundraising to help build schools for women and girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Recommended for Grades 3 and up.Mrs. Archer¿s rating: 5 or 5
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
11-year-old Parvana's father has been taken to prison. Under the Taliban in Afghanistan, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house without a man - with her father gone, Parvana's family will be trapped inside and starve to death. The only solution is for Parvana to dress as a boy, and make money as a scribe at the market place.This story was wonderfully touching. While it firmly aims to show how difficult Taliban rule was, especially for woman, this message does not overwhelm the characters. Parvana is a game and fiesty little girl, and her frustrations and fears are easy to identify with. I found the sotry personal and sympathetic rather than didactic. In one incident Parvana and a friend follow a crowd to stadium hoping to sell sweets to football fans and instead encounter a mass execution - while the gore is not vividly described, the children's shock is bright, sharp, and memorable.I'd give this to readers interested in life in other stories, and especially about the conflict in the Middle East.
AwsomeGuy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book Bread Winner A.K.A Parvana is a great book about a 11 year old girl who lives in Afghanistan and has to dress up like a boy to get money for her family after her father is put in prison for something and meets another girl just like her called Shauzia and they work together to get more money, and they take on more than one job to help feed their family but Shauzia wnts to leave Afgaistan.this book is full of the things Parvana and what her family have done, the members of Pavanas family are Nooria,Parvana,Maryam,Ali,Mother whos real name is only mentioned once and Farther whos real name isnt mentioned. thats my reveiw and I hope you enjoy this book! By AwsomeGuy!!
Bekki08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is so cool it is about a girl called Parvana who has to turn into a boy to help her family survive because her father has been take. The taliban can not find out will they manage to keep it a secret????