The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Book - 2000
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"All girls [should read] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis." -- Malala Yousafzai, New York Times

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 Breadwinner is a novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances. A map, glossary and author's note provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Groundwood Books, ©2000.
ISBN: 9780888994165
Characteristics: 170 pages : maps ; 20 cm.

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m
MayaWilson
Aug 16, 2017

This book was so good, and the following books keep getting better and better.

p
parnoosh
Jul 15, 2016

I love this book so much. It shows because anyone would do anything to help you and how friends have each other's backs and no matter what happens they help each other. I liked this book better than mud city because of the family and friend love and courage.

c
Chihuahualover
May 17, 2016

The Breadwinner is a very good book, but the next one Parvana's Journey is better. Still, you should absolutely read this book.

j
janelllim
Apr 05, 2016

The Breadwinner is a very good book to read. I recently read it for school, but enjoyed it a lot. It explains about the hard times people are living in nowadays, and how somebody's courage can make the world a little bit more bearable to take on.

b
blue_dolphin_3839
Mar 15, 2016

The "Breadwinner" is a wonderful book. I think I read it in grade 6 with our class.
It's a story full of bravery,sad times, and courage, of which Parvana had. I don't remember much of it, but I do remember that I enjoyed every bit of it and would like to read it again.

p
pattiekd
Mar 13, 2016

This was an amazing book! Can hardly wait to read Parvana's Journey! We read it for our mother/daughter book club. My daughters enjoyed it too!

l
Lea18
Nov 03, 2015

I first heard this story in grade 5. Since then I have reread it and its sequels multiple times. It remains an example of the bravery of children.

t
the_Albino_wolf
Aug 09, 2014

I think this is the most amazing and courageous book i have ever read. I don`t think anyone could be so courageous to become a boy, survive in the wilderness and watch three other children, and handle the grief of losing one. Parvana was almost as courageous as Malala!

m
MoonRiver5301
Aug 08, 2014

This book is amazing!

cindycruise Apr 14, 2014

breadwinner is an amazing book

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Age Suitability

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j
JustinL2005
Dec 10, 2016

JustinL2005 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

t
the_Albino_wolf
Aug 09, 2014

the_Albino_wolf thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Blue_Dog_3738 Dec 08, 2013

Blue_Dog_3738 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Indigo_Dolphin_91 Jun 24, 2013

Indigo_Dolphin_91 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

m
mymelody123
Jun 22, 2013

mymelody123 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

b
burgundy_leopard_4
Mar 20, 2013

burgundy_leopard_4 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

m
manvir_dhaliwal
Jan 21, 2013

manvir_dhaliwal thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

jessy24 Aug 15, 2012

jessy24 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

e
evelynprizont
Apr 15, 2012

evelynprizont thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

o
oilcountry04
Nov 04, 2010

oilcountry04 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Summary

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p
parveenm
Jul 10, 2015

Parvana lives with her family in Afghanistan where the Taliban have taken over. Because of the Taliban, the girls and women are not allowed to go to school or get a job. When Parvana's father is sent to jail, Parvana must dress like a boy to earn money. Will Parvana's father ever return or will Parvana need to dress like a boy until her brother is old enough to work?

lhicke Feb 22, 2012

Parvana lives during the time of the Taliban invasion. Everything is crazy no women allowed outside without an escort, and so her mother and older sister Nooria are trapped inside. Parvana though is lucky, her dad lost a leg in a bombing and needs her support to go to the market and back. So life is just teetering along in the one room apartment with her mother, father, younger brother (Ali), younger sister (Maryam), and Nooria. Then one night Taliban soldiers come into there house and arrest her dad. Life is starting to break apart until she runs, literally, into one of her mothers old friends in the market. She visits and comes up with a plan. Parvana will have to dress as a boy and carry on her fathers work at the market. She sells the things they have but eventually they begin to run out of things to sell. Then one day a tea boy drops his cups and Parvana helps him pick them up. When she looks up into the face of the boy she gasps, this is no boy this is her old classmate Shauzia. Together they collect money digging bones and earn enough to buy trays with neck straps and goods to sell. One day she goes home and guess what her sister is going to get married. She stays with her mothers friend and then one day her father comes back. A while later she found a young woman who tells them that the town where her sister is getting married was captured by the Taliban. And that they were shooting people on the street. The book ends as she and her father go off to find her mother and siblings.

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