Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
- Reading age: 10 to 14
Deborah Ellis’s bestselling novel The Breadwinner, now available as a stunningly illustrated graphic novel.
This beautiful graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana, who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.
Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for having forbidden books, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.
As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.
Readers will want to linger over this powerful graphic novel with its striking art and inspiring story.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
About the authors
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.
The Breadwinner film was produced by Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions.
Aircraft Pictures is an independent scripted content production company creating quality entertainment for a worldwide audience, ranging from independent feature films to high-end television series. Aircraft has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.
Cartoon Saloon is a two-time Academy Award nominee for the 2010 film The Secret of Kells and 2014’s Song of the Sea. The studio was formed in 1999 by Paul Young, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, and is based in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Melusine Productions is based in Luxembourg. They specialize in animated films and documentaries. Recent films include the award-winning Song of the Sea and Ernest & Celestine
NORA TWOMEY is co-founder and creative director of Cartoon Saloon, and was co-director of their Oscar® nominated animated feature The Secret of Kells and head of story on the follow-up film, the Oscar® nominated Song of the Sea. Nora is the director of The Breadwinner, an animated feature film adaptation of Deborah Ellis’s best-selling children’s novel.