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Children's Nonfiction Middle East

Kids of Kabul

Living Bravely Through A Never-Ending War

by (author) Deborah Ellis

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2012
Middle East, Middle East, Military & Wars
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2012
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0
  • Grade: p to 12
  • Reading age: 0


About the author

Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including The Breadwinner Trilogy; The Heaven Shop; Lunch With Lenin; Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees; and Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS. She has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers.Deborah knew she wanted to be a writer at the age of 11 or 12. Growing up in Paris, Ontario, she loved reading about big cities like New York. In high school, Deborah joined the Peace Movement, playing anti-Nuclear War movies at her school. Since then Deborah has become a peace activist, humanitarian and philanthropist, donating almost all of the royalties from her books to communities in need in Asia and Africa. Heavily involved with Women for Women in Afghanistan, Deborah has helped build women’s centers and schools, giving children education and finding work for women.In 2006, Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario. She now lives in Simcoe, Ontario.

Deborah Ellis' profile page


  • Short-listed, North Carolina Young Adult Book Award
  • Commended, The Bankstreet College of Education's Best Books of the Year 2013
  • Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Book List
  • Winner, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction
  • Commended, CCBC Choice Book
  • Short-listed, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award
  • Joint winner, South Asia Book Award
  • Long-listed, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award
  • Commended, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society

Excerpt: Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through A Never-Ending War (by (author) Deborah Ellis)

I used to think, if only I could read, then I would be happy. But now I just want more! I want to read about poets and Afghan history and science and about places outside Afghanistan.
— Faranoz, 14

I try to remember that my house is not me. Where we live it is very, very bad. We have no clean sheets, no beds. We sleep on the floor. We try to keep it clean but there is mud when it rains and dust when there is no rain. We have no electricity, just a little oil lamp that we light to do our home-work, but we must work quickly and not waste the oil.
— Sharifa, 14

Librarian Reviews

Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-ending War

Deborah Ellis is back with her third and arguably most-anticipated volume of interviews that give voice to children impacted by war. Ellis’s first collection of raw, honest and at times heartbreaking stories was Off to War: Voices of Soldiers’ Children published in 2008. This was followed by Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees in 2009. Now 12 years after the publication of her highly acclaimed Breadwinner Trilogy — a fictional account of an 11-year-old Afghani girl living under the rule of the Taliban, Ellis returns to the streets of Kabul for a revealing look at the everyday lives of Afghanistan’s children since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Kids of Kabul features the stories of 27 children between the ages of ten and 17, of whom 19 are girls. Their stories uncover a country still torn apart by war and lives still filled with hunger, poverty, abuse and inequality, yet the stories these children tell are also infused with hope, positivity and an unmistakable thirst for education and change.

With a succinctly written opening for each interview, Ellis provides valuable historical, social, political and cultural context. A beautifully written introduction, thorough glossary and a list of organizations and books for additional information further round out the book. A must have for most libraries.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War

Author Deborah Ellis travels back to Kabul to meet with kids and find out what their lives have been like since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The boys and girls in this book range in age from ten to 17 and many still support their families by selling items like pencils and matches on the street. Although violence and oppression still exist all around them, they are weathering their lives as best they can.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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