by Aisha Saeed
First things first I have to say it the cover is so beautiful! I mean look at it. It is display worthy and I know if reader’s are like my middle grader and I they will grab this for the cover alone. Then the reader will be in for a treat because Amal’s story is one that will grab the reader and keep them reading till the very end. Amal’s character is a strong girl who has seen much in her life. She has a best friend that is a boy that she is forbidden to see, but does anyway. He is a her best friend has been since they were little and plus he is a boy so he get’s the best books at school. Her being a girl doesn’t have as many options as boys do. She is getting to where she has had enough and that might get her into trouble and it does. Things go terribly wrong and she is now a servant for the wealthy family lives in the village as well as frightens many of the villagers.
Amal Unbound is good it exposes the reader to the way of life in another part of the world. I had a very strong middle grade girl as the lead character. Middle grade girls will really like Amal and her story I know mine did. This book reminds me alot of one of my favorite children’s classics A Little Princess. I’d maybe display them together in a library in an: if you like this you might like this setting. Maybe that would get kids to pick up the classic if they haven’t already. Overall it was a solid 4 star rating. The only complaint my middle grade reader and I had been one that I can’t really say without spoiling the book but you’ll know it when you read it. It didn’t take away from the book or star rating just didn’t really seem possible in our minds.
About the book: 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.
Thank you Nancy Paulson books for sending us a copy of Amal Unbound for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own and not influenced by the free book.