Friday, June 5, 2009

book review

At our book club a few months ago, rather than discussing a book, we all brought books that we had read and really enjoyed. I loved this discussion and seeing the kinds of books that everyone has read and recommended. It's always nice to get another perspective and read a book you would have never thought to pick up otherwise. The only problem with this was that I came home with a list of 30+ books that I wanted to read. I ended up buying about 6 books that week, not all of which were on my list, but that caught my attention while I was looking for other books. I know, I could just go to the library, and I do, but I LOVE books and love having them in my home to read again and again. I did get some books out of the library...I love being able to look them up online, put them on hold, and pick them up when I take the kids to get their books (ever try looking for a book with 3 little kids running around??)
I read 3 books (a series) by Deborah Ellis. The lady that recommended them was reading them because her grandchildren are reading them in school. That said, they are junior fiction, and a very simple read. Simple read does not mean simple content...

The first in the series is the Breadwinner. All the books are based in Afganistan after the Taliban took over, they deal with how children survive, girls especially. the Breadwinner is about Parvana. "One day, Parvana's father is arrested by the Taliban -- the extreme religious faction that controls Afghanistan -- and the family is left without anyone to earn money and shop for food. Forbidden to work as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy to save her family. The Breadwinner is a novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances."

Parvana's Journey is about Parvana's search for her family after they are seperated. "Her father has just died and she has no idea where her mother and siblings are. As she crosses through the wilderness she bands together with other children and they all try to take care of each other as they search for her family."

Mud City is about Parvana's friend, Shauzia, and her quest to flee Afganistan and go to France. "We find fourteen year old Shauzia and her dog Jasper in a refugee camp in Pakistan having left her miserable life in Kabul, Afghanistan behind. She carries with her a magazine cutout of a field of lavender flowers and dreams of one day visiting France and seeing the ocean. She decides that the only way to make her dream come true is to leave the refugee camp and instead earn money on the streets. Living on the streets is dangerous, scary, adventurous, and she even spends a night at the local jail. She discovers that navigating her way through a country full of Afghan refugees is not easy and that her dream of escaping her miserable life may well be out of her hands."

I really enjoyed these books. They opened my eyes to some of the situations that the children in Afganistan find themselves in every day. I would recommend these books to anyone. It made me appreciate the quality of life that I have and the blessings I enjoy each day in a free country. I think that books like these are important for our children to read, they need to understand that life is not the same for all children around the world.

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