Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound

Book - 2018
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Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal's Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she's busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when--as the eldest daughter--she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn't lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens--after an accidental run-in with the son of her village's corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family's servant to pay off her own family's debt. Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal--especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal's growing awareness of the Khans' nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.
Publisher: New York, NY : Nancy Paulsen Books, [2018]
ISBN: 9780399544699
9780399544682
0399544682
Characteristics: 226 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Amal's loving home life in Pakistan is irrevocably shaken when she defends herself against the son of her village's corrupt landlord. Forced into indentured servitude, she must adjust to a harsh new life and new enemies, while longing for her family, her books and her freedom. Amal's resilient sp... Read More »


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Good book' just what i was looking for.

s
schmirtl
Nov 25, 2019

AR bookfind level 4.2

r
Ricegirl1959
Nov 11, 2019

I was looking for a book to read. I often like to read YA books, just because I find them more interesting and sometimes a little more creative. And lately I have been looking for books that include different cultures, family life in other countries, etc.

"Amal Unbound" was all that and more! I fell in love with the Amal and her family. I wanted to meet Amal, talk with her, meet her family, get to know them. This is a delightful book. I enjoyed the story and the message within.

I highly recommend "Amal Unbound" to anyone, not just young adult readers. I greatly appreciated the work and great care Aisha Saeed put into her book and look forward to reading more of her work.

a
Amithani
Jun 30, 2019

This book tells us about a 12 year old Pakistani girl. One day she is taken away from her family and taken to some unknown persons house. In the house she has to learn to survive on her own. I thought this was a entertaining and heartwarming book.

I would really recommend this book to grade 4 and up.

c
crayolabee
Mar 02, 2019

Amal is a girl swept up in circumstances, and though she is a little passive sometimes, she stands up when it counts. Her story tugs at the heartstrings and makes you want to cheer for her, too. The depictions of Pakistan's culture are rich in detail without over-explaining for the unfamiliar, which is actually pretty nice. It's not put on a pedestal to be the Interesting Other, it simply *is* Pakistan. (I do recommend a quick Google, if you run across terms you're not familiar with -- you will be rewarded with pictures of delicious foods and beautiful fashions, I found.)

Hand to students who need to know how good they have it, as well as to kids who might see similar struggles with poverty in their own lives. (This book pairs well with The Benefits of Being an Octopus for depictions of real-life poverty that don't get a lot of air time.) Bonus points if your intended reader knows of Malala Yousafzai's real-world struggle to promote education for girls.

a
ambersummers
Feb 08, 2019

It was lovely and culturally rich. Great for middle grade; my big issue is I kept waiting for the shoe to drop... and then it was done. Beautiful, but not a thrilling ride.

w
Wordsy
Jan 12, 2019

A unique novel about a 12-year old Pakistani girl who is forced into indentured servitude. Amal's grit and determination is to be admired, and it was a quick, easy read with an absolutely beautiful cover. However, I think making this a middle grade novel did it a slight disservice, as the trauma experienced by Amal (and her family) seemed a bit too "surface" for what was really happening to her, and some "side elements" (ie: the mother's deep depression and sadness over birthing another daughter; the true corruption and terror of the evil landlord, the willingness of seemingly decent people to overlook and abide by others' evil deeds, etc.) weren't really developed. A YA would have better been able to explore the harsher realities and the true terror with more honest introspection and detailed description. The writing itself was incredibly solid, so I do think it deserves high stars. I just think it would have gotten more stars from me if it had swum a little deeper into reality.

d
darladoodles
Jan 08, 2019

The cover of this book speaks volumes. Amal's story is at times heartbreaking and inspiring. Despite being forced into indentured servitude, she does not give up. The despair one might feel in such circumstances could be paralyzing, but Amal has had dreams of college and a career as a teacher. Even though those dreams seem to be crushed, she still finds ways to make the lives of those around her better. You can't help rooting for her and being so impressed by the things she accomplishes even while she is trapped by the feudal system that still exists in her village.

My sister-in-law has been reading this book to her 4th grade class. I know many other classes would be changed and enlightened by this book. Highly recommended!

OPL_AmyW Aug 29, 2018

Amal, a 12 year old Pakistani girl, dreams of finishing school and becoming a teacher one day, despite the obstacles in her path. After insulting a dangerous, wealthy landowner, Amal is forced to work for him as an indentured servant and fears she will never be able to return home or accomplish her dreams. Amal's ability to read, a rarity among Pakistani girls of limited means, may allow her save herself and even her entire village, if she is brave enough to tell the truth about the murderous landlord. Will Amal risk her life and her entire family for a chance to be free?

OPL_KrisC Apr 26, 2018

This is a heart-wrenching and compelling story of a young Pakistani girl who insults the wrong person in her village and is then forced serve that person's family. It kept my attention from the beginning to the very end. The cover is gorgeous and I found this a pretty quick read.

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OPL_KrisC Apr 26, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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