Imagine living in a country
where women and girls are not allowed to leave the house without a man.
Imagine having to wear clothes that cover your entire body and face whenever
you go outside. This is 11 year-old Parvana's life in Afghanistan
where the Taliban run most of the country. Parvana lives with her
parents, 2 sisters, and an infant brother in a one-room, bombed out apartment
building. Parvana's father was a history teacher but now works in
the marketplace reading letters from people who cannot read or write.
One day, the Taliban come to arrest her father and he is thrown into prison.
How will Parvana, her mother, and sisters live without an income and how
will they shop for food without a man to escort them? Who is going
to take them to the well to get their water? Since women are forbidden
to earn money, what can Parvana do to save her family from starvation?
Read The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. (New
Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)
Set in Afghanistan when the
Taliban ruled, life is strange, with harsh laws for all. Women are not
allowed to be seen in public, and may only accompany the men of their families
as they venture outside the house dressed in long veiled clothes. Parvana
is an eleven-year-old girl whose father, a former teacher until his school
was bombed, can only make a living by reading letters for those who canít
read. Every day he goes to the marketplace to read letters and sell various
items. Her father is arrested (for the crime of having a foreign education!),
leaving his family to starve. So, Parvana does what she can, she cuts her
hair and dresses like a boy to continue to sell at the marketplace. Will
Parvana make enough money to save her family? Does anyone realize she is
a girl? She IS breaking the law by dressing as a boy. Will they all be
reunited sometime and be safe? Read this fascinating story of a world we
can barely imagine, and find out! (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2004-2005)