Tuesday, August 14, 2018

AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed.  New York: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018.  240p.  ISBN 978-0399544682 hc. $ 17.99      Gr. 4-7     JUV

Although she lived in Pakistan, Amal led a normal life with the same dreams of children in all cultures.  She loved learning, reading books, talking with her friends and family, and she had hopes of becoming a teacher when she grew up.  Her life began to unravel when her mother had her fifth child and couldn't seem to return to her daily routine.  The chores and childcare fell to Amal as eldest child, causing her to drop out of school.  A fateful outing to the marketplace led to an unpleasant accident with the village's tyrannical landlord, Jawad Sahib, and resulted in Amal being sent to his house to live as a servant until her father's debt was paid off.  She soon discovered that the Khan family charged room and board to their servants and the debts were never paid off.  Amal would be a servant in the Khan household forever.  However, an overheard conversation and the courage to report it to outside authorities changed Amal's fortune once again and restored her faith in the justice system.  The story is inspired by the true story of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot while attending school in her Pakistan village, and now travels the world speaking out against violence while advocating for the  education of girls, as well as boys.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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