Wednesday, November 23, 2022

One More Mountain

Ellis, Deborah. One More Mountain (The Breadwinner #5)
October 4th 2022 by Groundwood Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Parvana, who as a tween had to take care of her family under the Taliban rule in the 1990s (in The Breadwinner), is now a mother of a college aged boy, Rafi. Her husband is Asif, whom she met in Parvana's Journey, and who repairs machinery. She has been running a shelter for abused girls and women called Green Valley, along with Shauzia, her best friend from Mud City, who is now a policewoman. When the Taliban start to take over Afghanistan again, Parvana is determined to get Rafi out of the country along with her sister and send him to New York City where he can live with an aunt (who ended up there in college in My Name is Parvana) and study ballet. Around this time, a fifteen year old girl, Damsa, is brought to Green Valley after she ran away from home rather than be married to a man of her father's choosing. As Asif and Rafi are waiting at the airport, they find out that commercial flights have ceased, and they try to get on a military one. After a tragedy, Rafi decides to stay in the country, and tries to get back to his mother. In the meantime, the Taliban come to Green Valley wanting to talk to Asif. They threaten to come back, so all of the residents leave in order to try to stay safe. This is all too familiar to Parvana, who has been through this all before, although this time there is a little more communication thanks to cell phone technology. Will things ever get better in Afghanistan?
Strengths: I admire Ellis' tenacity in supporting the women of Afghanistan by donating the proceeds of the Parvana series as well as Kids of Kabul to the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan where Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children. The Breadwinner is a book that we have used extensively with 6th grade classes, and I have even read aloud to a study hall. It was my first thought upon hearing that the Taliban had retaken Afghanistan, and it's beyond heartbreaking to know that there are real life women whose entire lives have been very much like Parvana's. The story is short, but packs quite a punch. It might be a bit much for elementary school students, but certainly shows older readers what is going on in Afghanistan today. 
Weaknesses: I should have gone back to reread the other books; I couldn't remember as much as I needed to about some of the characters, although this could be read as a stand alone title. 
What I really think: I will definitely purchase this book so that readers can continue to follow Parvana's story. 

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like I series that I should check out, thanks for the recommendation!