Friday, May 4, 2018

ReadItDaddy's Graphic Novel of the Week - Week ending 4th May 2018: "The Breadwinner" by Deborah Ellis, adapted from the animated movie by Nora Twomey (OUP / Oxford Children's Books)

Oh my, our Graphic Novel of the Week is quite a tough read - but its message is hugely important so let's dive in to "The Breadwinner"...
Based on the book by Deborah Ellis and adapted from the upcoming animated feature film by Nora Twomey, "The Breadwinner" is an emotionally charged and hugely affecting story brought into a graphic novel format, giving the story an entirely new audience amongst kids who want to find out more about the key issues in the news around the world.

The simple yet beautiful story of eleven-year-old Parvana takes place in Afghanistan during the Taliban's rule. 

Parvana lives in a patriarchal society where women are treated as second class citizens, and denied the freedoms that men enjoy. When her father is arrested for a minor infraction of the strict rules of their country, Parvana is forced to disguise herself as a boy in order to support her family - becoming the breadwinner. 

Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city. 

Parvana's father was a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed. Forced to work from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write or selling off family heirlooms and keepsakes in order to make ends meet, Parvana is forced to take over when he is arrested for having forbidden books.

Parvana meets another girl also disguising herself as a boy, and their firm friendship develops - and soon Parvana realises that there may be a way to visit her imprisoned father - something women are forbidden from - one last time. 

I let C read this first, as I wanted to know what her reaction would be to it (I'd previously encountered the story in development as an animated movie and knew that the issues it deals with would be important to her). It raised so many questions, tinged with sadness but it's such a powerful piece of work that it really should not be missed. 

Deborah Ellis's beloved novel has been adapted for film by Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions in association with Angelina Jolie's production company, jolie pas productions. The animated feature film, directed by Nora Twomey, will launch in the UK in 2018.

C's best bit: Parvana's bravery in the face of huge adversity in a patriarchal society.

Daddy's favourite bit: Emotional, affecting, tinged with sadness but above all full of hope and inspiration, Parvana's story absolutely must become a modern children's classic for sure.

"The Breadwinner" by Deborah Ellis and Nora Twomey is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).