Winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award
A war is raging in Afghanistan as a coalition of Western forces tries to oust the Taliban by bombing the country. Parvana's father has died, and her mother, sister and brother have gone to a faraway wedding, not knowing what has happened to the father. Parvana doesn't know where they are. She just knows she has to find them.
She sets out alone, masquerading as a boy, her journey becoming more perilous as the bombs begin to fall. Making her way across the desolate Afghan countryside, she meets other children who are strays from the war. The children travel together because it is easier than being alone. And, as they forge their own family in the war zone that Afghanistan has become, their resilience, imagination and luck help them to survive.
A map, glossary and author's note provide young readers with background and context. Royalties from the sale of this book will go to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan.
Deborah Ellis is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy set in Afghanistan and Pakistan — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with more than one million dollars in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California's Middle East Book Award, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She recently received the Ontario Library Association's President's Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Ontario.
Deborah lives in Simcoe, Ontario.