Sarah's Stars

Deborah Ellis. The Breadwinner
Groundwood Books, ISBN 0-88899-416-8 $7.95 170 pg.

It is Afghanistan, 1996. The Taliban have imposed extremely strict rules on the women and children. There is no school for girls, and women cannot hold jobs. When they are outside, women must wear burqas (full length, tent like garments which cover them completely) and the girls must wear chadors (head and shoulder covering). In the midst of all this lives a young Afghan girl, Parvanna. Parvanna despises the Taliban and wishes that they would just leave the people of her country alone. She has to do almost all the outside work at her house, as her mother and older sister cannot because of their burqas, and her younger siblings are not yet strong enough. It is a tough life, and they are always on edge because the Taliban could invade their house at any moment.

I thought that Deborah Ellis's book The Breadwinner is an excellent tale. It is very true to life and kept me waiting to hear more. Deborah Ellis did a very good job of collecting the interesting facts, and then creating a touching story. It also teaches the reader about life in Afghanistan. She has also written the sequel entitled, Parvanna's Journey, another must read. I think The Breadwinner deserves four stars.

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