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My 8 year old daughter and I couldn't put this down and read it over 2 evenings. We enjoyed it so much and are desperate to know what happens next to the main character so we have immediately ordered the follow up books in the series. Specially wonderful for our all-female family to have a story of female heroics against the harrowing backdrop of the Taliban rule over Kabul. The story is extremely engaging - my daughter could relate closely to the 11 year old Parvana, and so thought provoking for a child becoming more politically and economically aware, as it focuses on a very basic problem - how to get money to buy food for an all-female household when females are not allowed to set foot outside their homes alone. This book has provoked all sorts of interesting discussions between my 8 year old daughter and I about gender equality, gender identity, the welfare state, corporal punishment, the current aims of ISIS/Daesh, and the difference between fundamentalist Islam and true Islam. I was serving with the UN in Kabul when my daughter was conceived, so I am very grateful to have this story as a prop to help my daughter understand why I was there, why it was important to be there, and what it was like.
This book was recommended to me by a child in my class who said, ‘This is the most true book ever, you need to read it because then you’ll understand.’ With that review, I knew I needed to read it. And oh, I’m so glad I did. Not only do I now understand the particular child more, but I also have a greater appreciation for what life in other areas is like, which I am so thankful for. The Breadwinner has opened my eyes to what those who live in different societies face, and I feel far richer for it; everyone should read this book.
Very moving book which is an eye opening read for children who live in a western society and can't comprehend life in a very different, but real, world so contrasting to their own. It is a well written book that is very impactful. My ten year daughter enjoyed reading it with me but we were both a bit surprised towards the end of the book when some truly brutal realities were introduced. It was quite a shock (dogs eating corpses in the street amongst other things) so something I think you should be mindful of before purchasing.
The story is a simple one - but it's also a story that hits hard because of the current global situation. Parvana could be any of thousands of Afghan children and this is what makes the story so much more powerful. Deborah Ellis has provided an accessible and relevant contribution to the understanding of the cultural and social issues of Afghanistan that has engaged and interested my middle school English students. I'd highly recommend it and I'm looking forward to the next two volumes.