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Deborah Ellis - Author

About the Author

Deborah Ellis works as a mental health residential counsellor in Toronto and is the winner of the Governor General’s Award in Canada (equivalent to the Carnegie Medal) for her first novel 'Looking for X'.

She was raised in Paris, Ontario and from the time she was 17 she has been a political activist, advocating non-violence. After high school she went to Toronto and worked in the Peace Movement. Later she got involved in the Women’s Movement, focusing on women’s rights and economic justice. She has spent a lot of time in Pakistan, in Afghan refugee camps, talking to women and documenting their lives under 20 years of war. Her main engagement continues to be anti-war politics.

Her books include 'The Breadwinner' and its sequel 'Parvana's Journey'. Both books are set in Afghanistan during and after the rule of the Taliban.

Featured books by Deborah Ellis

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

13+ readers

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. A compelling and engrossing story about a girl living in war-torn Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Parvana must disguise herself as a boy to save her mother and sisters from starvation. Every day, it is a fight for survival.

ebook of the month

Other books by Deborah Ellis

The Breadwinner Graphic Novel

The Breadwinner Graphic Novel

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

This beautiful graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan. 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 having forbidden books, 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. 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.

Afghanistan-Trilogie

Afghanistan-Trilogie

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: eBook Release Date: 25/03/2015

Jetzt endlich als Sammelband: Die Afghanistan-Romane der Erfolgsautorin Deborah Ellis!Parvana und ihre Freundin Shauzia erleben die Willkrherrschaft der Taliban, dann den Krieg gegen die Amerikaner. Familien mssen fliehen, werden auseinandergerissen, Kinder versuchen - vllig auf sich gestellt - irgendwie zu berleben. Jedes der beiden Mdchen muss seinen Weg allein gehen: Parvana schlgt sich in den Norden Afghanistans durch, weil sie hofft, dort ihre Mutter und ihre Geschwister wiederzufinden. Shauzia flieht nach Pakistan, um der geplanten Zwangsheirat zu entkommen. Trotz aller Rckschlge erreichen beide ihr Ziel und haben noch immer die Kraft, an ein besseres Leben und an ein Wiedersehen zu glauben. Die Trilogie ist eine Erfolgsgeschichte: Vor 10 Jahren erschien der erste Band, weltweit wurden 2 Millionen Bcher verkauft, knapp eine Million Dollar aus den Tantiemen von Deborah Ellis gingen als Spenden an Straenkinder und an Frauenorganisationen in Afghanistan.

Ich heie Parvana

Ich heie Parvana

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: eBook Release Date: 19/08/2014

Afghanistan nach den Taliban - ein von den Amerikanern befreites und gleichzeitig besetztes Land. Mit ihrer Schule fur Madchen stoen Parvana, ihre Mutter und einige andere Frauen auf den Widerstand der Manner aus der Umgebung. Die Drohungen nehmen zu. Als Parvanas Mutter entfuhrt und getotet wird, entschlieen sich die noch verbliebenen Kinder zur Flucht. Sie entkommen knapp, bevor die Amerikaner die Schule bombardieren. Parvana muss noch einmal zuruck, weil sie die Tasche ihres Vaters vergessen hat. Sie wird von den Amerikanern festgenommen und verhort und - weil sie schweigt - als Terroristin eingestuft. Erst einer fruheren Lehrerin, Mrs. Weera, gelingt es, Parvana zu befreien.

Rollercoasters: Rollercoasters: My Name is Parvana Reader

Rollercoasters: Rollercoasters: My Name is Parvana Reader

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/04/2014

In post-Taliban Afghanistan, fifteen-year-old Parvana waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate. Reunited with her mother and sisters, she has been living in a village where her mother has finally managed to open a school for girls. It's the life Parvan has been dreaming of. But this is Afghanistan, the war is far from over, and many continue to view the education of girls and women with suspicion and fear. And that means Parvana - and her family - are in danger.

My Name Is Parvana

My Name Is Parvana

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

She heard the woman's boots walk away down the hall. She stood and waited, listening hard to see if the boots would come back. When she was sure she was alone, the girl finally spoke. 'Yes,' she whispered. 'My name is Parvana.' Fifteen-year-old Parvana has built a new life with her family, and it's the life she's always dreamt of. She's learning in a real school, and teaching too. But this is Afghanistan, and the war is far from over. Many still view the education and freedom of women with suspicion and fear. And that means Parvana - and her family - are in danger. When she's taken away by American soldiers, suspected of being a terrorist, Parvana must find a way to protect her family, and keep her hope alive.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Afghanistan: Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own. Parvana, her mother, and sisters are prisoners in their own home. With no man to go out to buy food, they face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear, she goes out - and witnesses the horror of landmines, the brutality of the Taliban, and the desperation of a country trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope . . . Deborah Ellis has been to Afghan refugee camps and has listened to many stories like Parvana's.

Rollercoasters: Breadwinner Reader

Rollercoasters: Breadwinner Reader

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Part-work (fasciculo) Release Date: 24/06/2010

Rollercoasters are novels for Key Stage 3, selected by teachers, consultants and students, that really work in the classroom. The Breadwinner is a topical historical novel that explores fully the realities of life in Afghanistan.

Mud City

Mud City

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: eBook Release Date: 22/12/2009

That was where she needed to be, in a field of purple flowers, where no one could bother her. She would sit there until the confusion left her head and the stink of the camp left her nostrils.Shauzia has a dream. She dreams of getting away from the refugee camp in Pakistan and travelling to France. There she knows she would find a better life, away from the war in her home country of Afghanistan.But escape is not so easy. Once she leaves the camp, she has no money, no foodand only her dog Jasper for company. But Shauzia is determined to find a new future for herself.

Parvana's Journey

Parvana's Journey

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

My life is dust and rocks and rude boys and skinny babies, and long days of searching for my mother when I dont have the faintest idea where she might be.Parvana is alone. Her father is dead. A refugee in a land full of dangers, she must travel across Afghanistan to find her mother and sisters.As she travels, Parvana finds friends a starving, orphaned baby; a strange, hostile boy; a solitary girl who darts in and out of the minefields to find food. Perhaps, with their help, she may one day be reunited with her family...From the Compact Disc edition.

Beyond the Barricade

Beyond the Barricade

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2009

Diego has managed to get away from thugs who were forcing him to make cocaine paste in the jungle, but he doesn't know where he is or how he will find his parents. When he's taken in by the Ricardo family, he's eager to help them harvest their coca crop. Doing so reminds him of home because, like his family, the Ricardos need the harvest for survival. But the army doesn't want any coca getting into the hands of criminals who will turn it into cocaine for the western market and so destroys every leaf it can find. Every family in the area now faces devastation. In protest, the people organise a blockade of Bolivia's main road. Diego is swept along by the excitement of it all, and by the sense of belonging. He makes himself invaluable, running errands, helping out where he can, and making new friends. But the good humour soon sours. At first the army merely threatens to break the blockade, but then its threats become a violent reality. When Diego is given the chance to escape, he is tempted. And when he discovers that the person offering rescue could take him to his family, it's almost impossible to resist. But should he stay and fight, or leave silently and perhaps, finally, find his family?

The Prison Runner

The Prison Runner

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2008

'Diego had never been in the jungle before. He'd lived with his family high in the hills, and then he was a prison kid, a city kid. His nights were bare light bulbs burning, women and children crying, guards yelling and keys clanging. He hated it, but it was what he was used to . . .' A simple error of judgement hurls Diego into a nightmare. He's been living in prison with his mother and sister, looking after them and earning money whenever he can. Until the day he accidentally breaks the rules. Suddenly the family are in trouble, and Diego needs money to save them. So when one of his friends tells Diego that he knows a job that will make them both rich, Diego gives into temptation. But the job is far different from the one he'd imagined, and Diego soon finds himself in the heart of the Bolivian jungle and the clutches of men who produce drugs for a living . . .

Breadwinner

Breadwinner

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: eBook Release Date: 27/05/2008

Afghanistan: Parvanas father is arrested and taken away by the Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own. Parvana, her mother, and sisters are prisoners in their own home. With no man to go out to buy food, they face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear, she goes outand witnesses the horror of avoiding landmines, and the brutality of the Taliban.She suffers beatings and the desperation of trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope. . . .From the Compact Disc edition.

Three Wishes Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak

Three Wishes Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2007

This book is about the children of the war-torn Middle East. Deborah Ellis, author of the enormously popular Parvana, turns her attention to the children of Israel and Palestine, presenting their stories based on interviews done in the winter of 2002 while in Israel and Palestine. In a rehabilitation center for disabled children, twelve-year-old Nora says she loves the colour pink and chewing gum and explains that the wheels of her wheelchair are like her legs. Eleven-year-old Mohammad describes how his house was demolished by soldiers. And we meet twelve-year-old Salam, whose older sister walked into a shop in Jerusalem and blew herself up, killing herself and two people, and injuring twenty others. This simple and telling book allows children everywhere to see those caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as children just like themselves, but who are living far more difficult, dangerous lives. The text includes brief background information, black-and-white photographs taken by the author, a map, a glossary and suggestions for further reading.

The Breadwinner Collection

The Breadwinner Collection

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

The Breadwinner , Parvana's Journey and Mud City are already best-sellers. The three books tell the stories of children whose lives are unimaginable to most of us. Girls who can't go out, who see their families and friends beaten and starved, who are not allowed to go to school, simply because they live under Taliban rule. Alive with the sounds, smells and suffering of Afghanistan and the refugee camps of Pakistan, these three books are the inspiring stories of ordinary children with extraordinary courage.

Looking For X

Looking For X

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2006

Khyber's life is falling apart. Her mum is talking about sending her twin brothers to a Special School far away. The cool girls in class are picking on her more and more, and her teachers think she's a loser and troublemaker. The only thing that's working out is her friendship with X, a bag lady she meets in the park. But X is scared. She won't tell Khyber her name, saying that the Secret Police are out to get her. When someone smashes all of the school windows one night, everyone's convinced it was Khyber, even her mum - a betrayal that appalls Khyber. Only X can prove that Khyber wasn't anywhere near the school at the time, but X has disappeared. If Khyber is going to find her, she'll have to search Toronto's most dangerous streets at night ...

The Heaven Shop

The Heaven Shop

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2005

Binti's father is dying from AIDS, a disease that nobody in their town in Malawi dares name aloud. As Binti and her brother and sister slowly begin to understand what this means, they begin to realise too that not only is this what killed their mother, but that they could all be infected. But Binti's a fighter. She fought to become the child star in Malawi's most popular radio show and she's going to fight to overcome the fear and prejudice all around her. When the family are split up and sent to live with various scared and cruel relatives, Binti knows that it is up to her to reunite them. But her fight to do so means coming to a new understanding not only of herself but of human nature and realising that people are not always as they seem.

Mud City

Mud City

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2004

Shauzia is Parvana's friend from The Breadwinner. Now Shauzia has fled from Afghanistan, to a refugee camp in Pakistan. But Shauzia has a dream. She dreams of getting away from the refugee camp and travelling to France. There she knows she would find a better life, away from the war in her home country of Afghanistan. But escape is not so easy. Once she leaves the camp, she has no money, no food - and only her dog Jasper for company. But Shauzia is determined to find a new future for herself. This is another deeply moving story from Deborah Ellis, which casts light for readers on the ongoing human situation in Afghanistan.

Parvana's Journey

Parvana's Journey

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2004

This sequel by award-winning author, Deborah Ellis, tells the story of Parvana, travelling alone across a war-ridden Afghanistan in an attempt to find her family. *Deborah Ellis is the winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada, their equivalent to the Carnegie Medal

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Author: Deborah Ellis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2004

AFGHANISTAN: Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by the Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own. Parvana, her mother, and sisters must stay inside. Four days later, the food runs out. They face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear she goes out - and witnesses the horror of landmines, and the brutality of the Taliban. She suffers beatings and the desperation of trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope

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