"All girls [should read] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis." ― Malala Yousafzai, New York Times
The Breadwinner, also known as Parvana, is a children's novel by Deborah Ellis, first published in 2000. As of October 2013, the English-language edition of the book has had a run of 39 editions and has solf over two million copies of sold worldwide.
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.
The Breadwinner is a novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances. A map, glossary and author's note provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan.