Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis is my pick for Read Around the World 2019 is set in Afghanistan and is the second in the trilogy of three books. They are winners of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. I would consider this book Young Adult for ages 12-18. It is very sad as it deals with the reality of war. Four children band together during the story and one is able to find a parent by the end of the book. It is not light reading.

Last summer I wrote a post and reviewed The Breadwinner, the first book in the trilogy. Parvana’s Journey is the second book. The third book is entitled Mud City. The post for the Breadwinner has a free instant download PDF student work pages printable. I also made a student pages PDF free instant download for this book.

Parvana’s Journey is dedicated:

To children we force to be braver than they should have to be. 

True, and maybe even reading the book forces children to be braver than they should have to be. However, please consider the child or classroom. I would think some of the things the children go through in this book could be similar to the experiences of refugees today. Very sad. And if a very entitled or spoiled child needs to realize some people do not have it so good, this book should take care of such problems. When I was growing up, I always heard that children in China didn’t have food to eat, so therefore I should clean the plate. Remember the clean plate club? But it meant nothing that someone else might be hungry so then I should eat. This book really explains how difficult life can be for children.

And the book is true because the author interviewed refugees and what she learned is in this trilogy. Really true. She says:

 But I hadn’t planned to do a children’s book until I met the mother of a daughter who was still back in Afghanistan masquerading as a boy in order to feed her family. As a writer, sometimes you just get bolts of lightning through your brain that tell you that this is really important and you need to pay attention. I knew at that point that I’d write the book, The Breadwinner.

My work pages include sequencing, character traits not in my Breadwinner pack, and also discussion questions. This book is so memorable and unique work pages cannot do it justice but might be helpful for some teachers.

Students number the events in order of how they happened in the book. An answer key for the teacher is included.


The character traits page focuses on Asif, baby Hassan, and Leila.


The discussion questions page will hopefully help children think about the book and how difficult life can be for people.


Click on the next link for a free instant download:


Thank you for reading, Carolyn

You might like my 2020 book review and free novel companion.


Parvana’s Journey Read Around the World 2019
Parvana’s Journey Read Around the World 2019
Parvana’s Journey Read Around the World 2019