Amal Unbound (ebook)
by Aisha Saeed
Amal Unbound is about a girl named Amal living in a small community in Pakistan. She is the oldest of five girls. She realizes her parents desperately wanted her newest sister to be a boy after her mom falls into a postpartum depression, and Amal is left to run the household in her place. Because her father pulled her out of school to help with the family, Amal is angry. She gets herself into trouble when she talks back to a landlord, and is taken from her family to pay their debt as an indentured servant in his house. This makes her even more angry, and frightened she will never have her freedom, her family, or her education, which she so desperately longs for. Amal must find a way to continue her education and find the strength within herself to go on.
What I liked about this book was that Amal found a way to stay strong and find a way to go on, despite the most desperate of situations. When it seemed like she would never have what she desired- an education, her family, and her freedom- she found a way to stay positive and carry on. Readers will hopefully see that despite the hardships we face, including times where we cannot control what happens to us, we have to hold on to hope, as well as find inner strength to carry on and make the most of a situation. I also appreciate that Amal’s goal in life was to get an education and become a teacher. Finally, at the end of the book, there is a blurb on Malala, a role model and cheerleader for women everywhere, particularly in countries where educating women is not a priority.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it was a frustrating reality. Although Pakistan is a country that is changing, indentured servitude is something that exists. We take our freedom and right to education for granted here in America. I hope this opens the eyes of my students so they realize how lucky they are to have books at their fingertips and the opportunity to learn, despite being female or poor.
Book 53 of 40
(Book 19 of 2018)