Parvana is a girl in war torn Afghanistan who is left to fend for herself. Dressed as a boy to escape the stipulations of the Taliban her father has recently died and she is in search for her mother and he rest of her family. With no food and scarce provisions she wanders around the countryside. First she finds a baby in an abandoned village and starts taking care of him. Next she finds a mysterious young boy who has lost a leg and is hiding in a cave. The three of them find a young girl in what seems to be a safe place. The four of them band together to survive. Will they make it in the end?
- Parvana’s father is buried and she is taken to stay with a family who thinks she is a boy
- At the urging of one of the young girls she flees for her life and ends up at an abandoned village where she comes across a small baby who has forsaken by all
- Parvana wants to stay in that village but signs of the Taliban warn her to flee with the baby
- They reach a cave where Parvana wants to take refuge but is startled by a young boy who she quickly discovers has a worse bark than his bite.
- Parvana and Asif continually fight and argue but Parvana decides to stay at the cave for a bit. She cleans up Asif and Hassan a bit and does the best that she knows to do with the provisions they have
- After Parvana runs out of food she decides it is time to move on, both of the boys come with her
- The children walk for days with no food
- They finally stumble upon a village but find little help and must work hard for only a little food
- The children steal a chicken and some eggs and quickly leave the village
- The children enjoy the food they have stolen but soon run out again and are left to fruitlessly wander
- They accidentally come upon a mine field but are miraculously spared from the explosions
- At this point the children meet Leila who lives in a canyon with her sickly grandmother
- Leila and the children live in canyon successfully for a while until bombs and explosions destroy it
- After their place is destroyed the children are back to wandering
- It seems like they may not make it but they come upon a refugee camp
- They get help to care for Hassan but the camp is crowded and it is hard to obtain supplies there as well
- Leila is killed by an explosion in a mine field but in the end Parvana finds her mother!
This book is a great story to help children understand and empathize with some current events that are happening in the world today. I think this would be a wonderful book for children to read because it helps them realize what is like for other children in the world today. Parvana teaches a story of hope in the direst of circumstances and shows what it is to have camaraderie with those that we are around. I think teachers could use this book in multiple contexts: for history, multicultural purposes etc. I would definitely recommend Parvana’s journey to any teacher or child, its very thought provoking and tugs on the heart strings. - JK