Sierra DeMers

Shout Out

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With the @thebreadwinnermovie out, I’d like to share an important, rather long, shout out to my dad. When I was 11, my dad left Kentucky to go to Herat, Afghanistan for a year as part of the National Guard. It was terrifying; I didn’t understand at all where he was going or why. Coincidentally, that year in class, I was assigned the book The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. This book became a connection across continents for us. He taught me about the families, like Parvana’s, that he was interacting with everyday. We read the book, memorized Dari phrases and recited Quran verses together. When the kids at school laughed at the idea of a burqa, he sent me one so that I could explain to them the complexity of its relationship to the women who wear it. My dad and The Breadwinner helped me understand a different culture, a terrifying situation, and my role in my father’s absence. The story showed me who Dad was helping in Afghanistan, and she also showed me how to help him. Parvana put everything on the line to help her family after her father left, and was always compassionate toward those who needed her help. My dad encouraged me to be like Parvana: to be strong for my family when they needed me most, and to be kind to others who needed my help. His support through that difficult time, and all the difficult times that have followed, have helped me become who I want to be. I am forever grateful to him and to The Breadwinner for it. I am very excited to see Cartoon Saloon’s film version, as both an aspiring animator and a huge fan of the book. #thebreadwinner #fathersmatter #myally #breadwinnerstories

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