I have been a big fan of The Breadwinner series, written by Deborah Ellis, for quite awhile. I've read the first book, The Breadwinner, aloud to my fifth grade class several times. The book tells the story of Parvana, an eleven year old Afghan girl who has to dress up as a boy in order to feed and support her family when her father is arrested and sent to prison. The second book, Parvana's Journey, follows Parvana as she gets separated from her family and travels the Afghanistan countryside in search of them. The third book, Mud City, follows Parvana's friend Shauzia as she, too, tries to navigate and survive in her own country.
After reading these books, my students and I always wondered what happened to Parvana. So, I was very happy to find out that there was a fourth book published last fall. My Name is Parvana is an outstanding addition to this series of books. In this book, fifteen year old Parvana is back with her mother helping to run a school in Afghanistan. Schools for girls are few and far between, and many people still think that they should not be operating. They are threatened many times and told that they need to shut it down. But Parvana's mother believes very strongly in educating girls for Afghanistan's future. Nothing in sugar-coated in these books. It's eye-opening to think about the kinds of things that are happening in other parts of the world while we sit in our classrooms on a daily basis. These books read like a true story, and for too many children, it is a true story.
Have you read books about Parvana? I'd love to hear what you think.