Rating: High Five!
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of I Am Malala and other books about women prevailing in extraordinarily terrible predicaments.
Synopsis (from Amazon):
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 the kind of book that really anyone can read. Your age doesn't necessarily matter, since this book is written in a way that can transcend from eight to sixty year olds. But the writing wasn't what made this book impressive; the sheer character of Parvana herself, and the story she takes us along, is completely mindblowing. Sometimes, I had to stop myself and reread a section because it thrust me into disbelief. The things women had to go through under the rule of the Taliban - and STILL have to go through -.... it's just heartbreaking. This book serves not only to make us, as kids, aware of this difficult topic, but also spurs us to want to get involved. I was completely gripped the entire time while reading this book, and by the end of it, I was speechless. While, at some points, this is not the most engaging book per se, it is still a fascinating story that kids of all ages will enjoy.