Since its publication in 2000, hundreds of thousands of children all over the world have read and loved The Breadwinner, the fictional story of eleven-year-old Parvana living in Kabul under the terror of the Taliban. But what has happened to Afghanistan’s children since the fall of the Taliban in 2001? In 2011, Deborah Ellis went to Kabul to find out.
The twenty-six boys and girls featured in this book range in age from ten to seventeen, and they speak candidly about their lives now. They are still living in a country at war. Violence and oppression exist all around them. The situation for girls has improved, but it is still difficult and dangerous. And many children — boys and girls — are still supporting their families by selling items like pencils and matches on the street.
Yet these kids are weathering their lives with remarkable courage and hope, getting as much education and life experience and fun as they can.
All royalties from the sale of Kids of Kabul will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (www.cw4wafghan.ca), which administers Parvana’s Fund, supporting schools, libraries and literacy programs for Afghan women and children.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Compare and contrast one author's presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Deborah Ellis is a member of the Order of Canada. She has won the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. She is best known for her Breadwinner series, which has been published in twenty-five languages, with $2 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. deborahellis.com
This nuanced portrayal of adolescence in a struggling nation refrains, refreshingly, from wallowing in tragedy tourism and overwrought handwringing. - Kirkus Reviews
"...sufficient historical context enriches the readers' understanding of the situation in Afghanistan. " - Huai- Yang Lim, CM Magazine
It's a gritty, poignant, and intensely personal glimpse into the effects of war and poverty. - Publishers Weekly
Each of their stories is introduced with relevant, contextual, cultural details from Ellis' sharp observations. - Smithsonian
With a succinctly written opening for each interview, Ellis provides valuable historical, social, political and cultural context. A beautifully written introduction, thorough glossary and a list of organizations and books for additional information further round out the book. A must have for most libraries. - Kathy Hammer, CCBN
Young readers will likely appreciate Ellis’s approach, which renders social and political trends in one of the world’s most volatile regions accessible by focusing on the experiences of kids their own age. - Paul Challen, Quill & Quire
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