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Amal Unbound

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  12,901 ratings  ·  2,128 reviews
The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

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 car
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Kelsey I would say yes. It deals with indentured servitude and some violence is involved, but nothing too outrageous. I'd probably say 5th grade and up.…moreI would say yes. It deals with indentured servitude and some violence is involved, but nothing too outrageous. I'd probably say 5th grade and up.(less)
Arimathea I think it's fairly close to the present. Since Amal's mother gives her a cellphone to keep in touch with her family (although the phone is confiscate…moreI think it's fairly close to the present. Since Amal's mother gives her a cellphone to keep in touch with her family (although the phone is confiscated the first day she is in the Khan home) and her employer is surprised that Amal isn't using a phone, that indicates that this is set in or after 2000; cellphones became much more common around 2000-2005.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,901 ratings  ·  2,128 reviews

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Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This middle grade story shines a light on so many issues that are worlds away from life in our cozy little suburb. The focus on education (and what others go through to have the privilege of attending a class) was fodder for some important conversations in my house. The strong, intelligent female main character was well drawn and seemed, as required by circumstance, older and wiser than her years. My daughter is a bit of a reluctant reader. She was challenged with the names throughout the story ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finally! A book that's set in Pakistan! I got real excited when I got my hands on this one. I just wish there were a bit more details of Pakistan but since that's not the main topic, it's quite understandable.
It's quite a short, fun read so I really recommend it.
Just look at the cover. It's so pretty.
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
The book cover is a piece of art, and this book is written for a younger audience, like kids between 9 and 13. I think Aisha Saeed's books should be put into every school curriculum.

In Pakistan, Amal holds on to her dream of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family's debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family.

The book as the previous one Aisha Saeed wrote burned me. I felt angry and I wanted to enter the book and save Amal from the tyrant monster who made
♛ may
this book was so inspirational 😭😭😭
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author
Probably closer to being 3.5 stars for the fact that it is extremely idealistic
See me talk about it briefly in my May wrap up:
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Discussed in my March Wrap Up Video

This book really tugged at my heartstrings.

Trigger warning: Post-partum depression
Jenny Baker
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
*One of my January selections for the Pick One For Me challenge with the group A Million More Pages*

I absolutely loved this and the cover is so beautiful! I was so engrossed in this story that I read it in one sitting. It’s a hard story to read since it deals with cruel people who force people into being their indentured servants for what we consider trivial matters. Amal is a young Pakistani girl and she talks back to a man at a local market not realizing he’s the son of village’s wealthy l
Sahil Javed
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amal Unbound tells the story of Amal, a young girl living in a small village in Pakistan, who unknowingly insults the corrupt landlord of her village and as a result, is forced to become a servant in order to pay off her family’s debt.
“Sometimes I wish I did not pay such careful attention. Maybe then I would not have learned that they thought being a girl was such a bad thing.”

I really enjoyed this book and I need to read more books like these, by Pakistani authors. It’s not even ju
kav (xreadingsolacex)
"If everyone decided nothing could change, nothing ever would."

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed is a beautiful and moving middle-grade novel about twelve-year-old Amal, a young girl living in a Pakistani village with dreams of becoming a teacher. Amal's dreams are soon crushed when she actually insults a member of the ruling family of her village, and she is then forced to work as a servant in his house.

Saeed's novel tackles many important themes in a way accessible to the audience it is
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review in my video:
Timestamps for titles in description!
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

I think this book has a very important story and I hope we will see more stories and characters like Amal in the future. I hope this book leads to many more important books.

My issue is reading this book as an adult, I was not convinced that Amal had the thoughts and actions of someone her own age. Granted she had different circumstances than most young girls, but she felt like a 30+ year old woman to me sometimes. That combined with flat characters and and average writing style I felt
Content Warnings: Violence towards children, off the page death

I'm not going to lie. I originally checked this book out because the cover was gorgeous not even aware of the gem of a story that would be contained inside. Amal Unbound takes place in Pakistan and focuses on the emotional journey Amal makes after being sold into servitude to the Khan family. While on the mild side in terms of the description of the experiences of children laborers, Amal Unbound is a story of hope, strength, and cour
Kate (GirlReading)
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A brilliantly written, powerful and moving story of bravery, the privilege of freedom and taking a stand against the ruthless powers that be. This middle grade will pull at the heartstrings of readers of all ages.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wrote the review a long time ago. But like my missing socks and hair ties, I don't know what happened to it. ...more
Anum S.
Malala Yousafzai, a globally-recognised Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, has inspired countless discussions, panels and articles. She now inspires Aisha Saeed’s latest novel, Amal Unbound.

However, while Yousafzai has spoken at international forums and been interviewed by multiple famous personalities, Saeed’s protagonist achieves none of that level of fame. That, explains Saeed, is precisely why she wrote about Amal, the eponymous heroine of our nove
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received a copy of Amal Unbound from the UK distributor. I’ve been anticipating this book for AGES! Especially because of its beautiful cover. Seriously, Amal Unbound‘s cover is one of my top favourite covers of 2018. What do you think of it?

It’s #ownvoices for Pakistani rep.


I loved this book. It’s an empowering read, and I think children can learn a lot about indentured servitude.

It tackles classism, sexism, and poverty, i
Kate Olson
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Penguin Kids for this review copy!

Hands-down the middle grade book of spring 2018. An eye-opening and riveting story, inspiring and cliff hanger chapter endings and accessible text make this a required read aloud for grades 4 and up. The author's note is fabulous and not to be missed.
Nov 25, 2016 marked it as to-read
Another Saeed book featuring a Pakistani heroine!!!! I need this in my life.
So good. Aisha is just so good. I really will read anything she writes, ever. I lent it to my 11-year-old niece and she loved it too.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A powerful story about freedom, bravery, and doing what is right in the face of terrifying odds and powerlessness.

- Set in Pakistan, the story follows Amal, a girl who lives in a small village, loves to read, and wants to become a teacher one day. Following a confrontation with the village's feudal landlord, Amal is sent to serve at the opulent Khan estate to pay off her debt as a servant.
- Saeed is an excellent storyteller. Her words may not be as floral as others may like, but her ability to
While not as horrifying as it could be, this story of a girl forced into indentured servitude by a local rich man (and bully), is disturbing. One small mistake, and Amal is taken from her family (her father owes the rich man money and Amal is taken to pay for this) and brought to the man’s home to work as a servant. What saves this from being horrifying is thankfully Amal’s story does not involve rape, though I imagine that is a daily risk for people forced into indentured servitude. Amal finds ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
CW: indentured servitude, child labor, car accident, post-partum depression.

This book. I don't even know how to talk about it, other than to say that it's heartbreaking and hopeful and brilliantly crafted and definitely worth a read.

It's about Amal, a little girl living in a small pakistani village where a tyranic landlord is keeping everyone under his thumb by indebting them and making the conditions and interests so bad that they're basically never able to get out of it. One day Amal crosses
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ikram by: vivienne
- Off-page murder
- Sexist comment
- Child labor
- Violence

I will not lie when I say this is a book you should read before the end of the year, heck even before you decide to stop reading. Not only middle grade students, but grown-up adult should read this book and learn from Amal and her enviroment. Even though it disscusses heavy topics, this book was so light to read.

The book follows Amal, a 12-year-old girl who lives in Nabay Chak, Paskitan. Aside from taking care of her family,
Laura (bbliophile)
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting and it was honestly one of the best middle grade books I've ever read. It's absolutely phenomenal and heart-wrenching. ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Amal is a young Pakistani girl, with dreams of becoming a teacher. Those hopes evaporate when she speaks her mind to the local big shot, and as pentinence, is forced to become an indentured servant in his household. Luckily, she is assigned to his mother, who seems to be a nicer person. At the heart of this book is Amal's perseverance, dealing with petty actions of the other servants, her isolation from her family, especially her younger sister, and the bad acts of the men running the household, ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
I just finished reading this gem of a book in one sitting, and am writing this review while the story is still fresh in my mind.

The book takes inspiration from Malala Yousafzai’s life. The story deals with the harsh realities that we still face in countries like India and Pakistan. Being an Indian, I know that there are still many rural areas where these sort of incidents do occur. Families wish to have only boys to avoid spending on dowry, carrying the family name after marriage, etc. Amal is l
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgasm, text
In the small farming province of Nabay Chak, Amal is an inquisitive young lady with a penchant for knowledge. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Amal is an intelligent and inspirational young lady, the eldest daughter who is reluctantly coerced to abandon her education, her mother overcome by postpartum depression.

Amal appreciates her education, acknowledging the ideology that female education is frivolous although vehem
Chelsea slytherink
Amal Unbound is the best middle grade novel I have ever read. Though this is aimed at a younger audience, I thoroughly enjoyed this as an adult. Just like Saeed's young adult novel Written in the Stars, the author managed to write a sad story that was nonetheless hopeful, heartwarming and important. The author's note is beautiful and stresses why Saeed chose to write a book about indentured servitude. The Pakistani representation is #OwnVoices.

I listened to the audiobook and I adored the narrat
Life is pleasant in the small Pakistani village where Amal lives with her parents and three sisters. She attends school, take trips to the market and helps her mother with her younger siblings. That all changes when Amal goes shopping alone and has a small accident with the son of the village's corrupt landlord. Amal is now indebted to the Kahn family to live as a servant. Sadly she is forced to leave the love and comfort of her home. This story embraces the Pakistani culture; the promising and ...more
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Mock Newbery 2022: October Read- Amal Unbound 21 146 Nov 28, 2018 01:43PM  

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