Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
- Reading age: 10 to 14
A special movie tie-in edition of The Breadwinner, the first book in the best-selling Breadwinner series by Deborah Ellis, featuring an eight-page color insert with stills from the movie.
Eleven-year-old 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 the crime of having a foreign education, 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.
The book includes a map, author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. An eight-page color insert features stills from the movie. 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.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
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.
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.
- Winner, Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Award
- Long-listed, Young Jury Awards
- Commended, YALSA PPYA
- Winner, Baia delle Favole Prize
- Winner, Sweden's Peter Pan Prize
- Long-listed, SYRCA Diamond Willow Award
- Winner, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
- Commended, Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Award
- Winner, Middle East Book Award
- Short-listed, Trillium Book Award
- Long-listed, Red Maple Award
Excerpt: The Breadwinner (movie tie-in edition) (by (author) Deborah Ellis)
Parvana felt the shadow before she saw it, as the man moved between her and the sun. Turning her head, she saw the dark turban that was the uniform of the Taliban. A rifle was slung across his chest as casually as her father’s shoulder bag had been slung across hers.…
The Talib kept looking down at her. Then he put his hand inside his vest. Keeping his eyes on Parvana, he drew something out of his vest pocket.
Parvana was about to squish her eyes shut and wait to be shot when she saw that the Talib had taken out a letter.
He sat down beside her on the blanket.
“Read this,” he said.
[The books in the Breadwinner series] are terrifying indictments of what war can bring to children and a powerful testament to the ingenuity and strength of young people in times of terror.
…an exceptional story that enlightens the reader about circumstances beyond comprehension and helps students understand that all of us in this global community share the same hopes, dreams, and fears.
…a book…about the hard times — and the courage — of Afghan children.
A great kids’ book…a graphic geopolitical brief that’s also a girl-power parable.