In this stunning sequel to The Breadwinner, Parvana, now fifteen, is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspected terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan.
On a military base in post-Taliban Afghanistan, American authorities have just imprisoned a teenaged girl. The army major thinks she may be a terrorist working with the Taliban. The girl does not respond to questions in any language and remains silent, even when she is threatened, harassed and mistreated over several days. The only clue to her identity is a tattered shoulder bag containing papers that refer to people named Shauzia, Nooria, Leila, Asif, Hassan — and Parvana.
As Parvana waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate, she remembers the past four years of her life. Reunited with her mother and sisters, she has been living in a village where her mother has finally managed to open a school for girls. But even though the Taliban has been driven from the government, the country is still at war, and many continue to view the education and freedom of girls and women with suspicion and fear.
As her family settles into the routine of running the school, Parvana, a bit to her surprise, finds herself restless and bored. She even thinks of running away. But when local men threaten the school and her family, she must draw on every ounce of bravery and resilience she possesses to survive the disaster that kills her mother, destroys the school, and puts her own life in jeopardy.
A riveting page-turner, Deborah Ellis’s new novel is at once harrowing, inspiring and thought-provoking. And, yes, in the end, Parvana is reunited with her childhood friend, Shauzia.
Deborah Ellis is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy set in Afghanistan and Pakistan — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with more than one million dollars in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She recently received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Ontario. Deborah lives in Simcoe, Ontario.
My Name is Parvana is perhaps the most subtle and accomplished of the four Breadwinner volumes. - Maclean's
This passionate volume stands on its own, though readers new to the series and to Ellis' overall body of work will want to read every one of her fine, important novels. Readers will learn much about the war in Afghanistan even as they cheer on this feisty protagonist. - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Ellis succeeds in putting a human face on the headlines and the brutality of the Afghan war, while answering many questions about the fate of a heroine whose personality and force of will shine through. - Publishers Weekly
This sequel to the series is not merely an important book about the difficulty of girls' lives in war-torn, U.S.-occupied Afghanistan. It is also an example of vivid storytelling with a visceral sense of place, loss, distrust, and hope. - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW