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
In 2001, 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 — an infant boy in a bombed-out village, a nine-year-old girl who believes she has magical powers over land mines, and a boy with one leg who is so obnoxious that Parvana can hardly stand him. 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.
The reissue includes a new cover and map, an updated author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
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
- Long-listed, Tiny Torgi Audio
- Long-listed, OLA Red Maple Award
- Commended, Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award
- Winner, OLA Golden Oak Award
- Winner, Jane Addams Children's Book Award
- Commended, YALSA BBYA
- Commended, CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (Honour Book)
- Winner, Ruth Schwartz Award
- Long-listed, Governor General's Literary Award: Text
- Commended, Amazon.ca Top Ten