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In the novel ‘Parvana’s Journey’ by Deborah Ellis, a young girl named Parvana is forced to be braver than no 13 year old should have to be. After her mother and siblings went missing and after the recent death of her father, Parvana had to fend for herself during the effects of the war in Afghanistan. The author details each hardship and challenge the young Parvana is faced with and along the way has gained the undoubted attention of all that read it. Personally, at first I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy this book. Although because of Parvana’s inspirational story and the skilful writing of Deborah Ellis, I am beginning to have second thoughts. Parvana’s story is truly one of the most inspirational stories that another young women such as I could learn from.
During the time of the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban took over Afghanistan. They imposed extremely restrictive laws on girls and women that did not allow them to hold jobs and strict dress codes were made. They were not allowed to buy food from markets or to walk outside without a man. Schools for girls were also closed down. I feel sympathetic for all women who are treated in this way and frankly offended at how the Taliban soldiers think they can control women. This goes completely against women’s rights. It is quite saddening to hear that even today, many countries and cultures still continue to disregard gender equality. This idea in the text led me to think about my own experiences as a young women. I am fortunate enough to not have to experience situations as extreme as these. I am also grateful to have been raised by parents who treat each other as equals. I admire how the writer was honest about the situation in Afghanistan because often, many of us cannot imagine half the things that happen across the world.
Parvana demonstrated much courage throughout her journey in trying to find her mother and siblings. Even with the terrible circumstances that Parvana and her friends experienced, they were able to overcome their fears and get through their challenges. I could only hope to be able to possess half of Parvana’s courage. Her journey wasn’t so easy because unlike others who have a destination or a home, Parvana had none. She could only hope that along her path, she would find the rest of her family. It took courage for Parvana to set on a dangerous journey. It took courage for Parvana to take care of a baby all by herself. It took courage for Parvana to allow Asif, a crippled boy, to join her on her baby. It took great courage for someone as young as Parvana to believe that someday, she would find her family. And only through Parvana’s courage was she able to survive in war-torn Afghanistan and find her family.

In conclusion, although this book is not usually a book that I would prefer reading on my free time, I admit that this simple yet insightful novel has captivated me and along the way has taught me many important messages and lessons that you cannot find in any ordinary novel.

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