Children's Book Reviews
Parvana’s Journey by
Published by Oxford University Press, 2002
Reviewed by Kilmihil Library’s
Children’s Book Club
This story is part two of the Breadwinner
Trilogy of books about life in Afghanistan, during the Taliban rule.
Parvana is a twelve year old girl, who
is travelling across the country to try to find her family. She had started
the journey with her father, but this book begins at her father’s
Her father, who had been a teacher, always said ‘if we stop, we
die’. Parvana knew she had to keep going on her journey, even though
she was all alone.
She is desperate to find her mother and family. On her travels she finds
other children who are alone and need help too.
She meets Hassan, the small baby whose mother has been killed in a bomb
attack on their village. She finds food for them and brings him along
on her journey. She then meets Asif, a boy with one leg, who seems to
enjoy annoying her, but who is afraid on his own and is really good to
They also meet Leila, an eight year old girl. Her father and brother went
to war and her mother left one day to find them and never returned. She
lives with her grandmother near a minefield. The grandmother has given
up on life and just lies and sleeps all day. Leila feeds them by salvaging
the remains of the animals that get blown up in the minefield.
Leila’s grandmother is killed in a bombing and she also joins the
other children on their journey.
They eventually make it to a refugee camp and finally Parvana is reunited
with her family, after suffering the loss of one of her dear friends.
The children in Kilmihil book club enjoyed the story,
even though they found it very sad. They liked that it was based on true
life and found it an easy book to read. The short chapters and descriptive
language were a help when reading it.
The book made the children think of children whose lives are not happy,
as a result of war etc., and made them appreciate all they themselves
They were amazed at the children’s bravery to continue on their
Favourite characters: Parvana and Leila
Rating 10 out of 10