Groundwood Books

The Breadwinner

Written by Deborah Ellis

For readers 10 - 14 years old | Published September 01, 2000 | ISBN 9781554980079
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Middle East

Cover of The Breadwinner

Regular price $9.95 CAD

176 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Breadwinner

Breadwinner Series: Book 1

Deborah Ellis

"All girls [should read] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis." — Malala Yousafzai, New York Times

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.

The fifteenth anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new 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.

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

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.

Awards and Praise
  • Long-listed SYRCA Diamond Willow Award, 2003
  • Short-listed Trillium Book Award, 2001
  • Winner Baia delle Favole Prize for ages 9-12, 2003
  • Winner Hackmatack Award, 2003
  • Long-listed Young Jury Awards, 2004
  • Winner Middle East Book Award, 2002
  • Winner Swedish Peter Pan Prize, 2003
  • Long-listed OLA Red Maple Award, 2001
  • Commended Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Award, 2003
  • Commended YALSA PPYA, 2003