The Breadwinner Trilogy

The Breadwinner Trilogy
Age Range
Release Date
August 25, 2012
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Deborah Ellis’ trilogy has been a phenomenal success, both critically and commercially. Now young readers can experience this entire epic story in one volume. The Breadwinner is set in Afghanistan, where 11-year-old Parvana lives with her family in a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul. When her father is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, the family is left with no money or resources. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy and become the breadwinner. In Parvana's Journey, her father has died and the family has scattered. Parvana, now 13 years old, is determined to find them. Again masquerading as a boy, she joins a group of wandering children, all refugees from war, who exist mainly on courage. In Mud City, the focus shifts to 14-year-old Shauzia, who lives in the Widows' Compound in Pakistan and dreams of escaping to a new life in France. Deborah Ellis uses simple, compelling language, memorable characters, and a wealth of imaginative detail in this wrenching look at the human cost of war that is also a surprisingly hopeful story of survival.

Editor review

1 review
Excellent choice for study or pleasure reading
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
I'm thrilled to have all three of these slim volumes gathered into one paperback-- students at my library who read the first book always want to read the next one, so it makes sense to have them together. The note at the beginning of the book is helpful in pointing out that this book is now historical fiction, since ten years have passed since it was first published, and things have changed.
Good Points
The Breadwinner is used as a sixth grade novel in my middle school, and it says a lot about a book when it is assigned and students still really like it. This book offers such a vivid description of what it was like to live under the Taliban in Afghanistan, and points out how difficult things were for girls like Parvana, who want and need to provide for their families but have to go to extraordinary lengths to do so.
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