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The Breadwinner
Cover of The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner
A Graphic Novel: A Graphic Novel

Deborah Ellis's bestselling novel The Breadwinner, now available as a stunningly illustrated graphic novel.

This beautiful graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana, who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan.

Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. Parvana's father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for having forbidden books, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.

As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

Readers will want to linger over this powerful graphic novel with its striking art and inspiring story.

Key Text Features
speech bubbles
captions
historical note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Deborah Ellis's bestselling novel The Breadwinner, now available as a stunningly illustrated graphic novel.

This beautiful graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana, who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan.

Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. Parvana's father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for having forbidden books, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.

As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

Readers will want to linger over this powerful graphic novel with its striking art and inspiring story.

Key Text Features
speech bubbles
captions
historical note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    2.5
  • Lexile:
    710
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 3

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 1, 2001
    Ellis (Looking for X) bases her contemporary novel on refugee stories about the oppressive rule of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Eleven-year-old Parvana must masquerade as a boy to gain access to the outside world and support her dwindling family. Parvana's brother was killed years earlier by a land mine explosion and, for much of the story, her father is imprisoned, leaving only her mother, older sister and two very young siblings. The Taliban laws require women to sheathe themselves fully and ban girls from attending school or going out unescorted; thus, Parvana's disguise provides her a measure of freedom and the means to support her family by providing a reading service for illiterates. There are some sympathetic moments, as when Parvana sees the effect on her mother when she wears her dead brother's clothes and realizes, while reading a letter for a recently widowed Taliban soldier, that even the enemy can have feelings. However, the story's tensions sometimes seem forced (e.g., Parvana's own fear of stepping on land mines). In addition, the narrative voice often feels removed "After the Soviets left, the people who had been shooting at the Soviets decided they wanted to keep shooting at something, so they shot at each other" taking on a tone more akin to a disquisition than compelling fiction. However, the topical issues introduced, coupled with this strong heroine, will make this novel of interest to many conscientious teens. Ages 10-12. (Apr.) FYI: All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to Women for Women in Afghanistan, dedicated to the education of Afghan girls in refugee camps in Pakistan.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2018
    Grades 6-9 Adapted from the animated film of the same name (itself adapted from Deborah Ellis' 2000 novel), this slim graphic novel packs quite a punch. It's May 2001, in Afghanistan, and Parvana spends her days accompanying her father to the market, even though restrictive laws forbid women from being outside. All that changes when her father is arrested, leaving Parvana stuck at home with her mother, older sister, and baby brother. In a desperate gambit to take care of her family, Parvana dresses as a boy, and with newfound, albeit limited, freedom, she takes on odd jobs and tries to find a way to free her father from prison. The artwork, composed of stills from the animated film, makes beautiful work of the rocky desert setting, and scenes of Parvana's family are weighty with expressive emotion. Parvana's story is a heartbreaking one, but the resilience of the characters is moving, and a note about the slowly improving current state of affairs in Afghanistan, particularly concerning the education of girls, ends the story with a glimmer of hope.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner
A Graphic Novel: A Graphic Novel
Deborah Ellis
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