The BreadWinner

By. Deborah Ellis

Chapter 1

Today I was working with my father reading letters for money again. Even though I wasn't aloud in the market, father still took me to work with him. He uses the excuse I need her to help me walk. Life has been hard ever since the Taliban ordered all girls to stay inside. Although the rest of my family barely ever gets out, I still get to go with father. I get really scared when Taliban soldiers talk to father about me so I just try and stay even more unnoticeable. My sister Nooria was really mean today as always and yelled I am stupid and told me to leave her alone. We used to have a big house with a courtyard, a couple of servants and a car. It was a lot easier to leave people alone then but now were stuck in 1 room with 4 walls. Every time our house got bombed we would move to a smaller house and smaller and smaller.

Chapter 2

Mother and Nooria were cleaning again (as always). I never understand why they are cleaning so much but they always expect me to help. Mother and Nooria expecte me to get water, which was really unfair because she was younger than both of them, and all they do is sit in the room all day doing nothing. Me and father went to the market today to sell some stuff mother wanted us to, including my good shalwar kameez which mad me really mad. Nothing of Noorias stuff ever got sold it was so unfair, mother always took her side. Nooria wasn't always the oldest, I had an older brother, Hossain, who was blown up by a land mine when he was 14. We finished supper and were talking when all of the sudden 4 Taliban Soldiers burst through the door. Two of the soldiers grabbed father. They ran around our room smashing and hitting things and also hit father. Mother tried to save father but one of the soldiers hit her in the head with the back of his rifle.

Chapter 3

All of us were in shock and couldn't believe what had just happened. Mother suggested we start to clean up so that's what we did. Me and mother ached and moved slowly. When the room look kind of normal and was clean again we spread out the quilts and went to sleep. Every time they heard a noise they thought it was father or the Taliban soldiers coming back. In the morning mother and Parvana went to the prison to try and get father out but they got beaten.

Chapter 4

Mother was very depressed after father had left and laid on the couch where sho would not move.

Chapter 5

Parvana went to the marketplace all by herself because they needed food. She wasn't really supposed to be shopping so she would go up to the counters hand over money ask for what she wanted and not make eye contact. As she was walking a Taliban soldier saw her and started to chase her down the street. As she was running she ran into one of her teacher from school who was carrying a baby. Her teacher said she would go to her house and help mother. When Mrs. Weera got there she got everyone jobs to do and they were all started to help out. Parvana had to get water as always while Mrs. Weera and Nooria got Mother back to normal.

Chapter 6

They were going to turn her into a boy! As a boy you will be able to go into the market and buy food and work and the Taliban soldiers wont even notice you. Mother took her into the bathroom where mother started to cut off her hair. Slowly she started to see herself as a different person. She started to take off her own clothes. and put on her brother Hossain's clothes. She went outside to go and buy what she was unable to when the Taliban Soldier has chased her. She was hesitant at first but she did it she went inside and bought the groceries. When she got home Mrs. Weera had gone back home and mother was sad again from seeing her in Hossain's clothes.

Chapter 7

The next morning after breakfast Parvana took fathers writing tools and went out to try and make a little money today. When she spread out her blankets a Taliban soldier came buy and asked her to read a letter. She was scared at first but after she was done reading the letter the soldier began to cry. She got up at the end of the day proud of all the money she earned and ran the whole way home.

chapter 8

Mrs. Weera was back! She was moving in this afternoon and wanted Parvanas help. Mother and Mrs. Weera were going to start their own magazine. Parvana showed them the money she made and they were amazed. Parvana and Mrs. Weera went to Mrs. weeras house to move the rest of her stuff. When she got back she offered to go and get water and her little sister Maryam wanted to go with her so they did.

Chapter 9

One day when she was in the market she bumped into a boy she recognized, she realized it was one of her girl classmates from school also dressed as a boy. Seeing that made her realize that there were other girls like her. Parvana and her friend only made enough money for food for their family and they wished they made some extra money. They decide the best way for them to make money was to sell things off a tray, but they both needed to make money to buy a tray and things to sell of the tray. They decided the next day they would find another way to make money to buy the tray.

Chapter 10

They were going to dig up bones, they went to a blown up graveyard where a man pays for how many pounds of bones kids could dig up. They had made so much money, in fact even more money then they had made in the last 3 days, after there first trip to the bone broker they went back to digging for the rest of the day. They weren't going to tell their families what they had done when they got home. They didn't want there families to be suspicious so they handed over there regular amount of money and a little extra.

Chapter 11

When she got home mother was extremely worried because she didn't come home for lunch and she was dirty. Parvana tried to come up with a lie but she just couldn't she told her mom everything and handed over the money. After 2 weeks of working they saved the money to buys trays, straps to go around their necks and things to go on the trays. They decided not to carry anything heavy so they got cigarettes packs of gum and matches.

Chapter 12

The next day when she went to work she was talking with her friend. Her friend said she was saving a little bit each day and when she finally had enough she would leave and wanted Parvana to go with her. When she got home mother had some very surprising news, Nooria is getting married.

Chapter 13

She was getting married to a man she had never met before in a different part of Afghanistan where there were no Taliban soldiers and girls were still allowed to go to school. They were all going to go to Mazar for the wedding but Parvana did not want to go. She was worried that Father would get released while they were gone. She refused to go. They left the next day early morning.

Chapter 14

Parvana hard a loud cry coming from a building and decided she would enter. She lit one of the matches off her tray and went looking for the girl. She found the girl curled up in a ball in a corner. Parvana asked questions but the girl just kept crying. Parvana said what her name was and told her about the scret of being a fake boy. The girl did not respond. The woman did not have a burqa on, and if she was seen by a Taliban soldier that way she would be punished. They decided they would wait until it was really dark then Parvana would take her back to her house. When it got dark Parvana took the girl back to her house where mrs. weera was waiting. The girl told them her story f how she got to Kabul. The girls name was Homa. They talked a little more and then went to sleep.

Chapter 15

The man who came back from prison was barely recognizable but Parvana knew who he was. Father was back, he was in no condition to walk or talk. Two men found him outside the prison after the Taliban released him, he told they where he lived and the two men brought him here. It took days of care and rest but father was back to normal. Mrs. weera and homa were going to move to Pakistan. Parvana suggested her friend go with them considering the fact they don't have an escort and she wants to leave. Parvana and father had found out that Mazar had just been taken over by the Taliban so parvana and father were going to find them.