Can you imagine how it would be, to find yourself alone in a world at war?
I think it would be a terrifying experience. I think it is for Parvana in this story, but Parvana copes by thinking only of the problems that the day brings. She survives from one day to the next.
Parvana lives in Afghanistan. Her family became separated in the war, and after the death of her father, she finds herself alone, but not for long:
It was eerie standing by herself in the deserted village. She felt as though she were being watched, but there was no one left to see.
A thin wail drifted on the breeze. It sounded like a kitten. Parvana followed the sound.
The cry came from the last house. Parvana stood at the doorway. Part of the ceiling had fallen in, and she looked over the rubble for the source of the sound.
Then she saw it. It wasn't a kitten.
In a corner of the room was a baby, lying on its back. a piece of dirty cloth barely covered it, as if it had been blown there by the wind. The baby cried without energy. It cried as if it had been crying for a long time and no longer expected anyone to come.
Parvana went to it.
"Did they leave you all alone? Come on, you poor thing." She lifted the little creature into her arms. "Did your people get scared and forget about you?"
Then she heard the flies and saw the dead woman crushed under the rubble.
Of course, it is hard work for Parvana to look after a baby as well as herself, but it is good to have some company. She manages to feed them both from scraps of mouldy food scavenged from the wreck of the village, and then she moves on, carrying the baby with her.
Where is she going? Parvana has no idea, but she is looking for her mother and sisters and brother. She does not know where they are, but she keeps on walking. Because of the restrictive rules of the Taliban militia who are in power in Afghanistan, Parvana dresses herself in boys' clothes and wears her hair short. Women are not allowed outside unaccompanied.
This is a simply written story which will show you a world of pain and poverty, hunger and neglect. This is what war brings to the people of Afghanistan.
Angle_loz_xox, girl, age 13, from Sydney, Australia, on 22nd June 2008. Rating: 10/10
I loved this book soooooooooo much. The plot was great and the characters all had a different personality. The book was wrote with passion and it made me cry at the end of the book!! i recomend this book for people who would like a good read!
Ghazal, girl, age 16, from NSW, Australia, on 12th June 2008. Rating: 10/10
wow. this story blew me away, the depth the realistics the reaserch you must have work yoyr fingers down to the last scrape of bone. i am congratulating no more than that idolising you on the stupendous job you have done writing this heroic story of Parvana's journey to find her remaining family. i read Parvana at 3 times .i was in tears when i finished the stories. to know the pain people and children whent though and are still going though. if it wasn't for you i would be still feeling like the poorest, ill-treated and bravest child on this planet. but thanks to you i have realised that there are kids out there 100 times braver and poorer and ill-treated than me, many thanks to Deborah Ellis
Kate, girl, age 17, from Ontario, Canada, on 18th June 2007. Rating: 6/10
I didn't really like this book. The plot itself was good, but I found myself getting bored. None of the characters were interesting to keep my attention for long.
If you want to buy Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis and help readingmatters, please use these links
Parvana's Journey is a sequel. If you enjoy it, have a look at:
If you are interested in how children can survive in a war zone, you might like to look at this diary written by a young girl living in Sarajevo during the civil war:
If you really enjoyed the account of Parvana's journey across Afghanistan, you could try this one by Ian Seraillier, about a group of refugee children crossing Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War: