“The Breadwinner”


After stumbling upon Bob Odenkirk’s “By the Book” interview for The New York Times (whose book suggestions have made my “To Read” list) I browsed some of the other people profiled and came across Malala Yousafzai’s one. I admire her for being an advocate for education, and for being so strong after getting hurt by the Taliban.

A book she mentioned for girls to read was “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis, about a young Afghan girl named Parvana who, after her father is arrested for being educated in England, disguises herself as a boy in order to help her family survive.  It’s categorized as children’s literature, and it sort of reads that way, with short paragraphs and no big words. But it’s a really fast read–I finished it in a day. It’s the first book in a trilogy, the other two works being “Parvana’s Journey” and “Mud City.”

Ellis does a harrowing job in showing the Taliban rule in Afghanistan and how women and girls are treated there. She also captures the fighting spirit of a girl who doesn’t quit despite tough times. I’m trying to find a way to read the rest of series for free (haha!), because it is that good. Highly recommend.


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