Synopses & Reviews
An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from veteran foreign news correspodent Atia Abawi
Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America's War in Afghanistan.
Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.
Praise for THE SECRET SKY
* "Disturbing depictions of physical, emotional, and sexual violence against women, men, and children, both within families and between different groups, contrast with extravagant acts of courage, kindness, and sacrifice....A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice."--Kirkus Reviews
"Abawi writes with a gentle hand" in "this heartbreaking rendering of forbidden love."--Booklist
"[A] fascinating, if disturbing, examination of what Abawi calls in her authors note a 'traditionally conservative society' faced with globalization and modernity."--BCCB
"[The Secret Sky is] a tale of the indomitable Afghan spirit of hope and love. Among the many novels set in Afghanistan for young people or for adults, The Secret Sky stands alone. Unputdownable. Unforgettable."--Trent Reedy, author of Words in the Dust
The Secret Sky brilliantly captures the magic and the heartbreak of Afghanistan as only someone rooted in its mystery can....This first novel by a top foreign correspondent has the authenticity of raw journalism and the poetry of a gifted writer. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the contradictions of the Afghan soul.”--Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and anchor of Andrea Mitchell Reports
A riveting tale written from the heart....This powerful love story will leave you angry at injustice, and awed by courage. It shocks and inspires.”--Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC
The Secret Sky is an amazing combination of utterly searing and beautifully romantic. It was like reading The Kite Runnera gripping story that gave insight to this brutal yet magical culture.”--Daphne Benedis-Grab, author of The Girl in the Wall
Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because Parvana's father has a foreign education, he is arrested by the Taliban. Women cannot appear in public unless covered head to toe, go to school, or work outside the home, so the family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan.
The Breadwinner brings to life an issue that has recently exploded in the international media the reality of life under the Taliban. Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because he has a foreign education, her father is arrested by the Taliban, the religious group that controls the country. Since women cannot appear in public unless covered head to toe, or go to school, or work outside the home, the family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan. She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy to earn money for her family. Parvanas determination to survive is the force that drives this novel set against the backdrop of an intolerable situation brought about by war and religious fanaticism. Deborah Ellis spent several months talking with women and girls in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and Russia. This suspenseful, timely novel is the result of those encounters. Royalties from the sale of The Breadwinner will go toward educating Afghan girls in Pakistani refugee camps. ...a potent portrait of life in contemporary Afghanistan, showing that powerful heroines can survive even in the most oppressive ... conditions.” Booklist
"All girls [should read] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis." Malala Yousafzai, New York Times
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 a novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances. A map, glossary and author's note provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Women for Women, an organization that supports health and education projects in Afghanistan.
About the Author
Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell. You can follow her on Twitter @AtiaAbawi.