Parvana made her fictional debut in Deborah Ellis’s first novel, The Breadwinner, published in 2001. Readers got to know Parvana as a brave 11-year-old who disguised herself as a boy in order to earn food for her family. Two subsequent novels continued the stories of an Afghan community caught between the Taliban and Western coalition forces.
In this final novel, Parvana, now 15, is imprisoned by American soldiers who suspect that she is a terrorist. Before her arrest, she had been reunited with her mother and sisters and was living out her dream of teaching in a school for girls. The chapters alternate between her imprisonment and her life immediately prior to the arrest. Ellis does not shy away from giving readers a painful, yet hope-filled conclusion to this series. Ages 11 and up. (Groundwood)