Veil of Tears

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is no place for children, especially young girls. That's why Parvana, the 11-year-old heroine of Deborah Ellis' children's novel The Breadwinner (Oxford University Press; 170 pages), has to make a choice: remain a girl, a virtual prisoner like all the women of Afghanistan, or cut her hair and try to pass as a boy. Parvana becomes "Kaseem."

As adults desperate to understand Afghanistan clear the shelves of Ahmed Rashid's book on the Taliban, they are also searching for ways to satisfy their children's curiosity. Ellis' starkly realistic novel, billed as the only children's book...

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