Amal Unbound

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Amal Unbound

Aisha Saeed's middle-grade debut tells 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 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.--from the publisher

240 pages    978-0399544682   Ages 10 and up  (Grades 5 and up)

********

The car door closes and Amal watches as her family, her home her village disappear behind her.  Maybe forever.  But her abu will find the money to set her free, won't he?

One visit to her local Pakistani marketplace, one car that knocked her down and one man who picked up the precious mango she was taking home to share have dropped like dominos to change her life possibly forever.  If only she didn't stand up to him.  If only she hadn't said a word the way her parents taught her.  She wouldn't be trapped in this new home, by this new life, with the powerful man who holds the debts of so many families in her own village and beyond.

Has she given up her dreams forever?

Great book to pair with Night Diary.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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