Drawing © by Olivier Ansari, 5Bf, June 2017

Drawing © by Olivier Ansari, 5Bf, June 2017

Ellis, Deborah: Breadwinner

Buchtipps | Englische Bücher

The book titled ”The Breadwinner’’ was written by Deborah Ellis, a Canadian author and activist. She wrote this book for both children and adults who are not well informed about Afghanistan culture and the current difficult living conditions in this country. It has been published by Groundwood Books in 2001. 

”The Breadwinner’’ is a novel based on interviews made by the author with several Afghan women and girls living in Pakistan’s refugee camps. The plot describes the daily lives of local people in Afghanistan at the beginning of 21st century when the Taliban, a military police, enforce a strict Islamic law.

The main character in this book is Parvana, an eleven year old girl, whose life changes dramatically for the worse. The Taliban – primitive and mostly illiterate people – rule in Kabul with hate and cruelty, especially towards women. Working women lose their jobs, they cannot leave their homes without chaperones and they have to wear burqas covering their bodies. Parvana’s family gets into trouble after her father, who was educated in England, is arrested without a reason and her mother cannot earn enough money to survive with her four children. The only way to survive is to cut Parvana’s hair, dress her like a boy and send her out to the dangerous streets of Kabul to earn the money for food. 11 year old Parvana must risk her life to become the breadwinner of her family.  There are many dramatic scenes in the book describing the cruelty of the Taliban. For example, the scene of the Taliban cutting off hands of thieves, or the scene in which Parvana’s father heavily beaten. Another shocking scene describes Parvana digging out human bones in the cemetery and selling them for a good price. Actually, the whole book focuses on describing the difficult life of women having a very restricted life and being discriminated against and humiliated by the Taliban ruling the city.
“The Breadwinner” is not a pleasant book to read, but I would recommend reading this book; because it truly shows how hard life was and is for Afghan citizens. Most people do not realize that small kids have to grow up in such a dangerous environment, where the girls are not allowed to go to school and women are imprisoned in their homes and treated without respect.

The book is also suitable for people who do not read a lot because it is slim and easy to understand.

Deborah Ellis: Breadwinner

Systematik: FE.J / ELL

Review and Drawing © by Olivier Ansari, 5Bf, June 2017