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The Breadwinner.

Deborah Ellis. 2000/2002. Read by Rita Wolf. 2 tapes. 3 hours. Listening Library, Random House Audio. 0-8072-0973-2. $18.00. JSA*

Cardboard; author, reader, plot notes.

Refugee Afghan women and girls told the activist author that some young girls disguised themselves as boys in order to feed their homebound families who suffered intensely under the Taliban regime. Read convincingly, this is the story of such a girl, Parvana, who bravely established a station on a Kabul street, read letters aloud to the unschooled, and sold the last of her family's goods. Then, poverty compelled her to join others in gathering human bones. Finally, she was able to become an assertive seller of small items throughout the area. The novel is labeled as appealing to middle school children, although it is not for very sensitive ones. The listener is not spared news of beatings, imprisonments, amputations and mass killing. High school students and even adults will learn much about another culture in war, although Islam itself is not discussed. An author note and glossary complete the tapes. (Editor's Note: The sequel, Parvana's Journey, is reviewed in hardcover in this issue.) Maureen K. Griffin, Research, Everett, MA
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Author:Griffin, Maureen K.
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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