The Breadwinner


The Breadwinner‘ is a powerful book based on true events during the time of Taliban control of Afghanistan. It focuses upon the lives of helpless, cruelly treated people.

The main character, Parvana, is a girl in a poor Afghani family. When Parvana’s father is arrested ,Parvana is forced to disguise herself as a boy to take on her father’s job and earn money. In the busy marketplace of Kabul, Parvana discovers her friend Shauzia, also disguised as a boy. Together they experience the horrors and wonders of the marketplace. As we join Parvana on her journey the reader is determined for her survival and her future.

I found this book touching; it moved my heart. It is about longing for something more than a dismal life where girls are forced to stay at home and obey orders.

While ‘The Breadwinner‘ expands upon the nightmarish conditions that ordinary families are forced to try to survive in during the Taliban rule, it demonstrates loyalty and courage, in Parvana’s and Shauzia’s stories. This is  one of the most heart breaking yet meaningful stories I have ever read. It’s also one of my favourite books. – (Amaara, aged 12)

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The Breadwinner

Deborah Ellis

(Oxford University Press)

The Breadwinner‘ is a heartbreaking story of a family’s struggle against an unfair reality. Taliban rules dictate Afghani girls stay at home and obey orders. Parvana must break this rule that her family survives.
 ‘The Breadwinner‘ is true, strong and memorable. We take Parvana’s path and feel her struggle. Like Boy 87 our main character becomes someone in whom we are invested. Furthermore through her journey, we realise a new reality, far from our own experience. What respite is there for Parvana? As she risks breaking curfew to work and earn for her family, she learns about the Taliban rule, including silence. Thereafter, she discovers how this imposition has affected more than her family. What of the landmines and the lack of education? Where are the hospitals and caregivers? What seeds of hope might Parvana find as ‘The Breadwinner’?

Now an acclaimed film:- Trailer for ‘The Breadwinner’ movie


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