A war is raging in Afghanistan as a coalition of Western forces tries to oust the Taliban by bombing the country. Parvana’s father has died, and her mother, sister and brother have gone to a faraway wedding, not knowing what has happened to the father. Parvana doesn’t know where they are. She just knows she has to find them.
She sets out alone, masquerading as a boy, her journey becoming more perilous as the bombs begin to fall. Making her way across the desolate Afghan countryside, she meets other children who are strays from the war — an infant boy in a bombed-out village, a nine-year-old girl who believes she has magical powers over land mines, and a boy with one leg who is so obnoxious that Parvana can hardly stand him. The children travel together because it is easier than being alone. And, as they forge their own family in the war zone that Afghanistan has become, their resilience, imagination and luck help them to survive.
The reissue includes a new cover and map, an updated author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.
DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of more than two dozen books, including The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages and was recently adapted into a feature-length animated film and a graphic novel. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She has received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Canada. She has donated almost $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Women for Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF and Street Kids International.