Kids of Kabul
Written by Deborah Ellis
Publication Date May 01, 2012
Joint winner of the South Asia Book Award, longlisted for the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award, selected for the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society List, the Bankstreet College of Education's Best Children’s Books of the Year 2013, the USBBY Outstanding International Book List, and the CCBC Choices List
Since its publication in 2000, hundreds of thousands of children all over the world have read and loved The Breadwinner. By reading the story of eleven-year-old Parvana and her struggles living under the terror of the Taliban, young readers came to know the plight of children in Afghanistan.
But what has happened to Afghanistan's children since the fall of the Taliban in 2001? In 2011, Deborah Ellis went to Kabul to find out. She interviewed children who spoke about their lives now. They are still living in a country torn apart by war. Violence and oppression still exist, particularly affecting the lives of girls, but the kids are weathering their lives with courage and optimism: "I was incredibly impressed by the sense of urgency these kids have -- needing to get as much education and life experience and fun as they can, because they never know when the boom is going to be lowered on them again."
The two dozen or so children featured in the book range in age from ten to seventeen. Many are girls Deb met through projects funded by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (www.cw4wafghan.ca), the organization that is supported by royalties from The Breadwinner Trilogy. Parvana’s Fund provides grants toward education projects for Afghan women and children, including schools, libraries and literacy programs.
All royalties from the sale of Kids of Kabul will also go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
Deborah Ellis is best known for her Breadwinner series, which has been published in twenty-five languages and has earned more than $1 million in royalties to benefit Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International. She has won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, 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.
"This nuanced portrayal of adolescence in a struggling nation refrains, refreshingly, from wallowing in tragedy tourism and overwrought handwringing." Kirkus Reviews
""...sufficient historical context enriches the readers' understanding of the situation in Afghanistan. "" CM Magazine
"It's a gritty, poignant, and intensely personal glimpse into the effects of war and poverty." Publishers Weekly
"Each of their stories is introduced with relevant, contextual, cultural details from Ellis' sharp observations." Smithsonian
"With a succinctly written opening for each interview, Ellis provides valuable historical, social, political and cultural context. A beautifully written introduction, thorough glossary and a list of organizations and books for additional information further round out the book. A must have for most libraries." CCBN
"Young readers will likely appreciate Ellis’s approach, which renders social and political trends in one of the world’s most volatile regions accessible by focusing on the experiences of kids their own age." Quill & Quire