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“Shauzia enables Ellis to tell the story of Afghans living as refugees in Pakistan and surviving as beggars and scavengers in the mean streets of Peshawar…The episodic plotting of Mud City enables Deborah Ellis to show her young and mainly western readers what many have likely never read of or considered deeply before.” –Canadian Literature

Mud City (Breadwinner, Book 3)

Written by Deborah Ellis
Published by Groundwood Books

Fourteen-year-old Shauzia dreams of seeing the ocean and eventually making a new life in France, but it is hard to reconcile that dream with the terrible conditions of the Afghan refugee camp where she lives. Making things worse is the camp’s leader, Mrs. Weera, whose demands on Shauzia make her need to escape all the more urgent. Her decision to leave necessitates Shauzia dress like a boy, as her friend Parvana did, to earn money to buy passage out. But her journey becomes a struggle to survive as she’s forced to beg and pick through garbage, eventually landing in jail. An apparent rescue by a well-meaning American family gives her hope again, but will it last? And where will she end up? Mud City is the final book in the acclaimed trilogy that includes The Breadwinner (a best-seller) and Parvana’s Journey. It paints a devastating portrait of life in refugee camps, where so many children around the world are trapped, some for their whole lives. But it also tells movingly of these kids’ resourcefulness and strength, which help them survive these unimaginable circumstances.

Primary ISBN: 9781554987733

Available As: Paperback
Middle Grade, Age 11 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: ,

Setting: Pakistan (Peshawar)

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Refugee

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