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by Deborah Ellis  |  Grades:  4-7  |  Ages: 10-14  |  Lexile Level: 700

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis Teacher Guide, Novel Unit, Lesson Plans, Instructional GuideAbout The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

The first book in Deborah Ellis's riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families, and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan.

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. Parvana's father -- a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed -- works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. 

One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner. 


"A great kids' book . . . a graphic geopolitical brief that's also a girl-power parable." --Newsweek

Biographical Note About Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis, best known for her Breadwinner series, has donated more than $1 million in royalties to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won many awards, including the Governor General's Award and Sweden's Peter Pan Prize.

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis: