Amal Unbound

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.


Baby Boo, I Love You

by Sheryl Haft

illustrated by Jane Massey

Baby Boo, I Love You enrichment guide




Little ones love playing with their dolls! Celebrate that love with Baby-Boo, I Love You, and follow one imaginative little girl who adores playing mommy. And as she bathes, feeds, and frolics with her doll, she emulates a nurturing parent-child relationship, showing the universal joys of being cared for and cherished. 



This picture book is perfect for all those little ones out there who have that special lovey whether it’s a doll or stuffed animal. They love, care for and nurture that sweet lovey and take it everywhere. The book explores this with a little girl and her special doll. I also think this might be a good picture book for a young toddler or early preschooler who is getting ready to become a big brother or sister soon. Pair Baby Boo, I Love You with a special lovey and you’ve got a great I’m a big brother/sister gift. For us we took our oldest to Build A Bear she picked out her special animal after we had her little sister (who isn’t so little anymore. Where do the years go). The author has come up with a great enrichment activity guide with some fun simple stuff to do. This would be a fun bonding time for the older sibling when sometimes they feel a little left out. Overall I really thought this picture book was sweet and will remember it when I have a baby shower or new baby gift to give.

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers and  Nancy Paulsen Books for sending me a copy of Baby Boo, I Love You. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.