Mud City

by Deborah Ellis

Paperback, 2004



Local notes

PB Ell (c.1)


Groundwood Books (2004), Edition: Reprint, 176 pages


Fourteen-year-old Shauzia, an Afghan refugee living in a camp in Pakistan, determines to find a way to fulfill her dreams of seeing the ocean and beginning a new life in France.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 7.47 inches


0888995423 / 9780888995421



User reviews

LibraryThing member KatnissEverdeen
This book really gives the other side of what we see in Iraq, Baghdad, etc. We only see the war, but here a preteen girl (who pretends to be a boy) shows us what her dreams are, and how she plans to get to them. In the end, she walks in a circle, but has learned something along the way.
LibraryThing member dalzan
Companion novel to Parvana and Parvana’s Journey. Focuses on Parvana’s friend, Shauzia. In the first two novels, both of these girls dress as boys and sell tea in order to support their families.

In this novel, Shauzia and Parvana have separated. Shauzia is determined to earn enough money to go to France. At the start, she is in a refugee camp. She runs away with her dog Jasper, and survives on the streets doing odd jobs and begging. Shauzia is accused of stealing and ends up in jail. Her release is paid for by an American family who have befriended Jasper. She lives with them for a while until she is taken back to the refugee camp where she started. In the end, she decides to return to Afghanistan to help after America attacks.

Easy to read.
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LibraryThing member srssrs
Mud City is the third book chronicling the life a young girl struggling to survive on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The main character, Shauzia, is full of fight. A vibrant spirit, that isn't going to let her dire situation destroy her. She continues to fight to survive and over comes many difficult situations. Shauzia is introduced in the the first book of this series The Breadwinner. Deborah Ellis continues the story of Shauzia in Mud City. The plot of the third book is just as quick as the first, and she even leaves space for a possible fourth book. Mud City is a fast paced book with danger on every page turn!… (more)
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The third book in Deborah Ellis's much-heralded Breadwinner Trilogy, Mud City follows the story of fourteen-year-old Shauzia, whose friend Parvana's story is featured in The Breadwinner and Parvana's Journey. Restless and unhappy in the women's compound of an Afghani refugee camp, Shauzia disguises herself as boy and seeks employment in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. But after a brief incarceration and an unsuccessful sojourn with an American family, she finds herself back where she started, slowly realizing that for a refugee, there is no easy escape...

Although it offered some welcome insights into the difficulties faced by refugees, as well as the cultural misunderstandings that frequently occur between westerners and the people of Afghanistan/Pakistan, I did not find Mud City as powerful a reading experience as the previous two in the series. I am unsure whether this is owing to the slightly less traumatic nature of the events chronicled, to the high expectations generated by the excellence of the first two titles, or to the fact that Shauzia makes a less likable heroine than Parvana. However that may be, although I would not rate this as highly as the others, it is still a worthwhile read, particularly given the dearth of good reading material for young readers about that part of the world.
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LibraryThing member ferrisscottr
So heart wrenching sad that kids grow up like this but Shauzia restores some of my faith in humanity.

I really loved this book - highly recommended.
LibraryThing member Elliepoole
I really loved this book. It was so eye opening. And I would recommend it to anyone!!!
LibraryThing member achamb15
I really like this book, I feel that I have a better understanding of Middle Eastern culture with reading this story. The suffering of the young girl really connected with me throughout the novel. When Shauzia was attempting to collect money, she was caught in a scam and this really broke my heart. I also really liked the author’s voice throughout the novel, I would read any of her work. The overall message is that hard work and determination will get you through any tough situation, such as the main characters in this story.… (more)
LibraryThing member lizardferret
a good,enticing storyline about parvana's friend shauzia and where her adventures lead her

Other editions

Mud City by Deborah Ellis (Paperback)




(50 ratings; 3.7)
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