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.
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, in an accessible manner, making it simple and understandable for young middle grade readers to understand.
The most heart-breaking scene for me was when Amal realised how her society felt about girls. The most beautiful scene is the one where she starts to teach a younger girl how to read.
The ending is a happy ending, and I’m aware that some critics may consider it unrealistic. However, this ending is not unrealistic. It has happened before and it can happen again.
Amal Unbound was a lovely short read. I definitely recommend this book to all MG readers, and also recommend that teachers teach it in their classrooms. It’s worth reading, and can be used in an educational format.
Trigger warning: rape threats, murder (off-page), violence, indentured servitude.
Have you read Amal Unbound? What do you think of it?