Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound

Book - 2018
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"Saeed's timely and stirring middle-grade debut is a celebration of resistance and justice."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The compelling story of a girl's fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

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]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780399544682
Branch Call Number: J FIC Saeed
Characteristics: 226 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In Pakistan, Amal dreams of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family's debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family. While there, she learns secrets about the Khans that could eventually lead her to freedom. This book is also available as an eBook through Ove... Read More »


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a
AMB_4
May 04, 2021

In this book, Amal, is punished by the son of her village's reigning lord when she insults the man's pride by refusing to give him a pomegranate they both reached for at the market.

Forced into a life of near-slavery at his house, Amal sees her dream of becoming a teacher evaporate, and there appears to be nothing she or anyone else in her family can do about it.

Then the man commits a murder, and she overhears where the body is hidden. Suddenly, Amal has something she has never had before -- power over the powerful -- and her dreams shimmer into existence.

Enjoy the read!

d
DK123bpl
Apr 21, 2021

This book was sooo good! It really teaches to be grateful for the little things and the people around you. It also teaches no matter what circumstance you are in, you can find a way to acheive your goals. 12 year old Amal is sent to work at a rich family's estate when she accidentally insults one of them. All the information was very clear, and I could not put this book down! I recommend 100%.

JCLBrittanyC Apr 14, 2021

Though the topics in Amal Unbound can be heavy, I think this makes the perfect family read. In this book, we follow Amal who must enter indentured servitude after upsetting her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal is the strong female lead we all live for. Readers are able to learn about a different culture while also learning about a reality of indentured servitude that many still face today. Get the conversations started and feel empowered after reading this one! Our tween book group seemed to enjoy the title as well and had many thoughts to share. That speaks volumes to its greatness, haha!

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.

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red_eel_251
Jun 17, 2021

red_eel_251 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 26, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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