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Book one of the Breadwinner Trilogy featuring children in war-torn Afghanistan, The Breadwinner takes place in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. The novel tells the story of Parvana, an eleven-year-old girl, surviving with her parents, her two sisters, and her baby brother in a miserable one-room apartment in Kabul. Forbidden by the Taliban government to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy and become the breadwinner of the family.
The Breadwinner is a novel about loyalty, survival, family and friendship. A map, glossary and author's note provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book are donated to the education of Afghan girls in the refugee camps in Pakistan.
Suitable for grades six to nine students the novel can be integrated with a Human Rights or Social Justice theme. Have students compare Parvana and her family's life before and after the Taliban took over Kabul. Have students compare their life with Parvana's. Have students make a list of restrictions placed on women while reading the novel. Ask students to research aid organizations that provide support to Afghanistan and its citizens.
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