Book Review: The Breadwinner By Deborah Ellis

In this historical fiction trilogy, ‘The Breadwinner’ by Deborah Ellis, eleven year old Parvana poses as a boy to help her family survive, while her father is in prison. She must earn money to feed her family. Parvana sells items that belong to the family, with their permission. Before the Taliban began ruling, she went to school and lived a normal life in Afghanistan. After the war broke out, many places got bombed including Parvana’s school and home. Her father used to be a history teacher until the school he worked in got bombed and lost his health as well as the lower part of his leg.

Ever since the Taliban started ruling over Kabul, they created rules that were unfair to women. Some examples are: women had to wear burqas when they home, they couldn’t leave their house without a man, and girls weren’t allowed to go to school. They even arrested Parvana’s father for going to a college in England! On account of Father being in jail, Parvana had to be courageous and become a boy without getting caught by the Taliban. She wore her older brother’s clothes and cut her hair. Parvana even lies to her mother, but for a good cause. But is it really good to lie to your parents? Through her journey she meets her old school friend and gets to know someone new. She finally understands how boys feel, to be free.

‘The Breadwinner’ takes place in 1996. It explains how Afghanistan is and used to be. I think that this book is adventurous. It is adventurous because she has to dress up as a boy and go around earning money in the oddest ways and places. Parvana even went with her mother on this horribly long walk to get her father out of jail. Deborah Ellis has a clear description of how the setting is. I didn’t appreciate it when the Talib hit Mother. I admire the writer’s style, but I just wish that the book was a little funnier. The book was easy to follow, though.

I feel that Deborah Ellis achieved what she was going for. She expressed all that she needed to say. I believe that she was also trying to say how unfairly women are treated in certain parts of the world. This book feels complete but also incomplete because of the cliffhanger at the end of it. Deborah Ellis engaged a lot of my emotions. All in all, I enjoyed the book. It was very detailed in setting and explained a lot about Afghanistan, including the people in it. I can’t wait to read the next book. I definitely recommend this book to everyone. 

16 August 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now