About The Breadwinner by tyndale


									                                 About The Breadwinner
"Imagine living in a country in which women and girls are not allowed to leave the house without a man. Imagine having to
                                   wear clothes that cover every part of your body, including your face, whenever you go
                                   out. This is life in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, members of an extreme religious
                                   group, run most of the country."

                                    That's the publisher's blurb on an extraordinary novel for young adults by Canadian
                                    author Deborah Ellis. The book is The Breadwinner and was first published in fall, 2000.
                                    It now is available in paperback. Dedicated "To the children of war," the book is even
                                    more painfully relevant after the terrorist attacks of September and the US bombing in

                                   The novel unfolds quickly, Parvana "wasn't really supposed to be outside at all," Ellis
                                   writes on the first page. "The Taliban had ordered all the girls and women in Afghanistan
                                   to stay inside their homes. They even forbade girls to go to school. Parvana had had to
                                   leave her sixth grade class, and her sister Nooria was not allowed to go to her high
                                   school. Their mother had been kicked out of her job as a writer for a Kabul radio station.
                                   For more than a year now, they had all been stuck inside one room, along with five year-
                                   old Maryam and two year old Ali." I can imagine many families reading this passionate
book out loud together, stopping every so often to talk about the choices faced by the family in this story.

A long-time worker for peace and women's issues, Ellis wrote her book after trips to Afghan refugee camps in Russia and
Pakistan. During one of her visits she met the mother and sister of a girl who had lived in Kabul much like Parvana. The
girl was one of many who cut her hair and dressed as a boy in order to move freely in the Afghan marketplace.

Ellis writes, "For most of Parvana's life, the city had been in ruins, and it was hard for her to imagine it another way. It hurt
her to hear stories of old Kabul before the bombing. She didn't want to think about everything the bombs had taken away,
including her father's health and their beautiful home. It made her angry, and since she could do nothing with her anger, it
made her sad."

Afghani females were forced to live behind black-painted windows, required to dress in
full-length burquas, and could only venture outside when accompanied by a male. Still, the
women in this novel manage strategies for survival. They take care of each other, at one
point Parvana's best friend says, "We will still go hungry. My family still argues all the
time. Nothing is better."
"What's the answer?" Parvana asked.
"Maybe somebody should drop a big bomb on the country and start again."
"They've tried that," Parvana said. "It only makes things worse."

Royalties from sales of The Breadwinner will be donated to Women for Women in
Afghanistan, a grass-roots organization founded by the author that works toward the
education of Afghan girls in refugee camps in Pakistan.

  1. The author uses the quote in the first paragraph to describe…
        a) how women dress in Afghanistan
        b) how the Taliban came to power
        c) how horribly women are treated in Afghanistan
        d) who the Taliban are

  2. The second paragraph describes the book as being very powerful because…
        a) it is dedicated to the children of war
        b) it is about people dying in Afghanistan
        c) it relates to September 11th and the bombing of Afghanistan
        d) it is made for young adults
3. From the statement in paragraph three, “I can imagine many families reading this passionate book out loud
   together, stopping every so often to talk about the choices faced by the family in this story,” you can infer
   that the book is about…
       a) choices
       b) war
       c) Afghanistan
       d) emotion

4. How did the author’s life experience effect the writing of
   the book…
       a) she is from Afghanistan
       b) she visited many Afghan refugee camps
       c) her daughter is named Parvana
       d) she visited Kabul during the bombings

5. In paragraph five, Parvana is using this literary technique…
       a) exposition
       b) comparison
       c) metaphor
       d) informational writing

   6. In the space below, describe how you would feel as a woman living in Afghanistan. Use information
   from the text to build your response…

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