Mud City

by Deborah Ellis Book 3 of the Breadwinner Trilogy

The final book in Deborah Ellis’s Breadwinner trilogy is about young... read more

The final book in Deborah Ellis’s Breadwinner trilogy is about young teenager Shauzia, whose best friend, Parvana, was featured in the two previous novels, The Breadwinner (2001) and Parvana’s Journey (2002), both published by Groundwood. Shauzia is in a refugee camp in Pakistan, still dreaming of the lavendar field in France that she and Parvana once talked about. Bristling at the restrictions in the camp, she longs to get out and does manage to get to the nearby city—the first stop on her journey to France, she is certain. Barely supporting herself during the day, sleeping on the streets at night, Shauzia gets a brief respite—and what seems like a chance at a brighter future—when she is taken in by a well-meaning Western family. But the family’s good intentions go only so far, and when Shauzia innocently shares what they have with other refugees, she’s out on the street again. Several situations in the novel seem somewhat contrived, but with purpose—the contrast of the materialism of the West with the meager existence of Shauzia and other refugees is one example. As with the other books in this trilogy, Mud City sheds light on the deplorable and tragic situation of the Afghan people. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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