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Amal Unbound

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  5,696 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews
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 unimagin ...more
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.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,696 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews

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If everyone decided nothing could change, nothing ever would.

There’s no denying that this is an important book.

There’s no denying that the world is a better place with stories like this one being told.

This is the sort of book that I could see myself throwing at people because I certainly want a higher amount of the world population to understand how essential education is in a girl’s life. I want us all to stop taking it for granted. Just yesterday I was looking at my unofficial transcript, t
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.
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:
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 😭😭😭
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
Anum Shaharyar
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text, bookgasm
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
Text Publishing
2018 Goodreads Choice Awards semifinal nominee

‘A beautifully written and extraordinary narrative of one young girl and her determination to invoke change. Essential reading.’
Diva Booknerd

‘Full of character and interest and written with a lovely balanced clarity, it celebrates the power of the gutsy individual.’
Magpies Magazine

‘Saeed’s eloquent, suspenseful, eye-opening tale offers a window into the contemporary practice of indentured servitude and makes a compelling case for the power of girl
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this if you like: strong young heroines,
questioning the status quo, modern feudalism, justice, freedom, independence, the right to education, power struggles, indebtedness

"My new life is simply about making choices, none of which I actually wished to make."

2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge #32—A book about a family
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is so wonderful to see diverse books that reveal to readers the stories of children and teens so very different from their own. It is difficult to believe that in the 21st century that in some countries of the world the lives of men, women and children are still controlled by the powerful landowners of an area. Amal is a clever girl living in Pakistan but life is difficult for her, especially when her mother gives birth to yet another daughter. She is forced to leave school and give up her dr ...more
Kayla Edwards
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book released yesterday. It was waiting on my doorstep when I got home. I read it in just a few hours. Engrossing, wonderfully written - I couldn't put it down. I love Amal and my heart breaks for her. This would be a great fiction/non-fiction pairing for I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World. Beautiful story, highly recommended.
Carol (Reading Ladies)
4.5 stars.......A story honoring brave girls everywhere.

This riveting story of a brave girl adapting to and affecting change in her circumstances is an inspiring story for all middle grade students and adults alike, and it serves as an introduction to the topic of indentured servitude as we experience forced labor through Amal’s circumstances. Nothing accomplishes building compassion and promoting understanding better than quality literature. Other themes include class structure, sexism, poverty
Taryn (Taryn and Her Books)
This was a heart-wrenching yet hopeful middle-grade novel set in Pakistan. Amal Unbound is such a beautifully written novel exploring indentured servitude, and it is such an important book. Amal's determination is inspiring and her journey to invoke change and get justice is a must-read. Although aimed at younger readers, I feel this story is just objectively good and can be enjoyed by all ages.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone of Pakistani heritage it was really great reading a book set in Pakistan. Especially one addressing such a serious and ongoing problem people still face.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Amal loves to go to school and help out her teacher, unlike her friend Hafsa who gets miffed when class lets out late. Hafsa and Amal plan to leave their small town near Lahore and go to college some day, and Amal wants to be a teacher. However, when her mother has her fifth daughter, she falls into a depression and even with the help of the family housekeeper, Parvin, there is too much work to be down. Amal must stay home from school to do the laundry and cooking. When
Julie Kirchner
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute heart wrenching story if you consider the pieces that are based in reality around our world.

Amal is a Pakistani young girl who just wants to get an education and share her knowledge as a teacher. Her mother has a baby and while suffering from what appears to be postpartum depression, Amal is kept home to care for the family and help run the house. In a trip to the market, two impulsive actions lead to her indentured servitude with the village’s ruling family. She is ta
Kristen Picone
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amal loves learning, knows that freedom lies within the pages of books, and dreams of being a teacher. Those dreams are dashed when a run-in with the village’s most powerful landlord lands her confined to indentured servitude at his family’s estate. Amal hopes to return to her family one day, but the chances of that become slim as she learns of just how much power the Khan family has. How much is Amal willing to risk to ensure her own freedom and that of her fellow servants?

I could not put this
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Realistic contemporary novel set in a small village in Pakistan, from the point of view of Amal. Amal is an admirable heroine, likable, smart, brave, forgiving and determined.

After speaking back to the son a wealthy family, she is taken into servitude until her Father can repay his debts to the family. Cruel and unfair, especially for strong-willed, knowledge-hungry Amal, who slowly realizes that her freedom and possible future as a teacher has been stolen away from her.

I read this in one sitti
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Amal Unbound Book review 1 1 Apr 08, 2019 07:25PM  
The Bee's Bookshelf: Amal Unbound Discussion Board 1 9 Jan 07, 2019 06:34AM  
Mock Newbery 2020: October Read- Amal Unbound 21 141 Nov 28, 2018 01:43PM  
Lit CelebrAsian B...: Character Interview: Amal (from Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed) 1 7 Jun 10, 2018 10:05PM  
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“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.” 5 likes
“If everyone decided nothing could change, nothing ever would.” 2 likes
More quotes…