Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Amal Unbound Paperback – January 7, 2020
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
* “A Pakistani girl’s dreams of an education dissolve when she is forced into indentured servitude. . . . Amal narrates, her passion for learning, love for her family, and despair at her circumstance evoked with sympathy and clarity, as is the setting. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai and countless unknown girls like her, Saeed’s timely and stirring middle-grade debut is a celebration of resistance and justice.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “Saeed’s middle grade debut shares an empowering message about the importance of family, literacy, and cultural ties. The rich storytelling, nuanced characterization of an all-Pakistani cast, complex and layered look at the socioeconomics of the region, and richly described setting make this ultimately hopeful contemporary tale a good alternative to Gloria Whelan’s Homeless Bird and Patricia McCormick’s Sold. A strong choice for all middle grade shelves, especially where readers are seeking stories about young girls in non-Western countries overcoming adversity.”—School Library Journal, starred review
* "This beautifully crafted and moving story will encourage middle grade readers to ponder such issues as indentured servitude, class, and resistance. Saeed’s well-developed narrative will evoke empathy for all those around the world like Amal, who are not guaranteed freedom or education. An inspired read for all, particularly for those who have followed Malala Yousafzai’s story or enjoyed Deborah Ellis’ The Breadwinner or Tara Sullivan’s The Bitter Side of Sweet."—School Library Connection, starred review
“Readers will find that a little perseverance and a heart filled with hope can eventually surmount a harsh reality. Saeed fills her prose with lush descriptions of Pakistani life, while still managing to connect with readers whose surroundings and experiences will be starkly different. Hand to any reader who struggles with definitive gender roles, norms, and expectations held in place by societal structures.”—Booklist
“This simple yet lyrical novel paints an evocative picture of life in a small village in modern-day Pakistan, especially the limits placed on girls and women. . . . It may serve as a read-alike or a gateway to stories such as Yousafzai’s autobiography, I Am Malala; The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah; and Saeed’s debut novel, Written in the Stars.”—The Voice of Youth Advocates
“Amal’s narration is straightforward and direct, and her despair at losing her dreams is palpable, as is her unflagging determination to get them back. . . . There’s clear commentary on the marginalized lives of girls and women in Pakistan . . . and the fight for her education is already fraught even before she is taken from her home. An author’s note discusses the issues of indentured servitude, particularly among girls.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This heart-wrenching yet hopeful contemporary novel about class, gender, and literacy features a narrator who takes great risks in the name of justice and self-determination. . . . Short chapters and unadorned prose make the story accessible and direct, with Amal’s emotions, perspective, and strength anchoring the narrative. An author’s note asserts that Amal represents real women and girls who fight injustice across the globe, often without recognition.”—Horn Book
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book is written for children and is without bad language, sex, drugs, extreme violence (see note way below-- it is a spoiler). Absolutely suitable for older elementary. This one belongs on everyone's shelf.
“I’m not brave. I’m terrified. I just don’t have a choice.”
“You always have a choice. Making choices even when they scare you because you know it’s the right thing to do—that’s bravery.”
This is one of those books that stay with you for a while. Enough has been said by previous reviewers about the book lending itself to discussions about courage, determination, the power of education, modern day slavery, gender, economics (debts, loans, etc.), etc.
The book is written with a younger audience in mind as well.
Twelve -year-old Amal is the eldest child living in a present day Pakistani village. One day she is attending school, dreaming of becoming a teacher and the next she must stay home to take care of her family while her mother recovers from childbirth.
Frustrated by having to care for her two younger sisters, Amal goes to the market alone, enjoying her temporary reprieve from constant care taking.
She is nearly run over by the corrupt and ruthless overlord who rules the village with impossible financial demands. Amal could be killed, beaten, or forced to live and work in the overlord's household. Even as the car arrives to take her away, Amal and her family hold out hope that they will be able to raise the money to buy her freedom.
Amal soon learns that she has little chance of leaving the situation and despair nearly overtakes her. She must learn to negotiate the complex social system of the house staff and barely escapes the overlord's wrath after being set up by another servant. Worse, the Kahn family kills those who stand in their way.
Amal rises above her despair and risks all in a desperate plan to bring justice to her village and to win her freedom.
The story of Amal Unbound is as stunning and compelling as the book's cover. According to Saeed, most indentured servitude does not end with freedom and this odious practice is a world-wide problem, but readers will cheer Amal's determination and fortitude.
Perfect for a read aloud, book club, or gift for middle grade students and teachers.
Top international reviews
Wow! an excellent read for the youngsters, a beautiful story of resilience and perseverance dealing with a wide variety of difficult issues like gender bias, education for girls, servitude, feudal system, debt trap, etc being faced by many countries in the world. It is a great story which makes us aware that these evil practices still prevail in the society and equal access to education and opportunities is the only solution.
This book helps in understanding the importance of what we take for granted and others wish for, they have to fight for equality of opportunity and choices in life.