Christina lives in a big, old stone mansion on the edge of a dark forest surrounded by barbed wire. Deep within the forest is the laboratory where her father works—and where her mother was blown to bits years ago. Christina's father knows just how dangerous the world can be, so he keeps her safe at home, forbidding her from talking to the very interesting orphans down the road.
But when an orphan boy named Taft talks to her, she's thrilled to help him search for a secret tunnel. But soon she discovers there's more to the orphanage, the lab, and the mystery of her mother's accident than she ever suspected. Sinister things are in the works—and the secret of zoom is the most dangerous secret of all!
“This exciting tale, with just a touch of fantasy and humor, is a winner. ... Jonell displays pitch-perfect skills in an expertly crafted story that never flags and that includes plenty of heart-stopping situations to keep readers fully engaged.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review
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.