Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Madness: The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Monday Madness is a new bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it?

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
The Breadwinner #1
Published: October 25th 2001 by Groundwood Books

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 11-year-old Parvana has rarely been outdoors. Barred from attending school, shopping at the market, or even playing in the streets of Kabul, the heroine of Deborah Ellis's engrossing children's novel The Breadwinner is trapped inside her family's one-room home. That is, until the Taliban hauls away her father and Parvana realizes that it's up to her to become the "breadwinner" and disguise herself as a boy to support her mother, two sisters, and baby brother. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, this topical novel for middle readers explores the harsh realities of life for girls and women in modern-day Afghanistan. A political activist whose first book for children, Looking for X, dealt with poverty in Toronto, Ellis based The Breadwinner on the true-life stories of women in Afghan refugee camps.

In the wily Parvana, Ellis creates a character to whom North American children will have no difficulty relating. The daughter of university-educated parents, Parvana is thoroughly westernized in her outlook and responses. A pint-sized version of Offred from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Parvana conceals her critique of the repressive Muslim state behind the veil of her chador. Although the dialogue is occasionally stilted and the ending disappointingly sketchy, The Breadwinner is essential reading for any child curious about ordinary Afghans. Like so many books and movies on the subject, it is also eerily prophetic. "Maybe someone should drop a big bomb on the country and start again," says a friend of Parvana's. "'They've tried that,' Parvana said, 'It only made things worse.'" (Ages 9 to 12) --Lisa Alward

This is a pretty unconventional pick for me but it's a pretty special book to me. I have read it already in my own language (Dutch) but that was years ago when I was about ten years old. This book left a pretty big impression on me even after all these years. I thought it was a wonderful story and I've always wanted to read it again in English. And what also came as a surprise to me was that in this series there are actually four books. I never even knew that. So I definitely want to read this book again someday soon. 

Don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥


  1. Always good to re-discover books, reading them when you're older gives a whole new view of things :)

  2. If a book touches you that long ago then rereading it again older will be quite an experience. I hope you will still enjoy it and be able to discover the book in a new way too.

    I tagged you in a tag!


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