Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
- Reading age: 10 to 14
The second book in the internationally-bestselling series that includes The Breadwinner, Mud City and My Name Is Parvana
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.
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.
- Long-listed, Garden State Teen Book Awards (NJLA)
- Winner, Red Cedar Book Award
- Commended, Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award
- Long-listed, OLA Red Maple Award
- Long-listed, Tiny Torgi Audio
- Winner, OLA Golden Oak Award
- Commended, YALSA BBYA
- Winner, Jane Addams Children's Book Award
- Commended, CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (Honor Book)
- Winner, Ruth Schwartz Award
- Commended, Amazon.ca Top Ten
- Long-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards: Text
[The books in the Breadwinner trilogy] are terrifying indictments of what war can bring to children and a powerful testaments to the ingenuity and strength of young people in times of terror.
This sequel to The Breadwinner easily stands alone...An unforgettable read.
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Ellis, in focusing on the personal struggle of her young character, leaves readers with a lasting impression of another life and culture where, despite desperate hardship, compassion and courage can still prevail.
Quill & Quire