Since 2000, Deborah Ellis has spent a lot of time trying to help the children in the war torn country of Afghanistan. Royalty money from her wonderful The Breadwinner goes to the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International funds, and she has continued her research into the plight of these children in this new nonfiction book.In short chapters, a number of preteens and teens are interviewed about their lives. Each chapter starts with a bit of information about one facet of life in Afghanistan. Many of the children are fatherless, and some are homeless, but all want to improve their lives by working hard. This is an important message for children in the US, who do not fully understand how fortunate they are to have educational opportunities.
Ellis has a very good eye for what interests young people. Our sixth grade students have a unit study of The Breadwinner, and this is an excellent companion volume. In fact, I may start reading one of the stories aloud every day to my study hall students!