Today we're excited to be a part of the blog tour for Amal UnBound by Aisha Saeed!
Read on for more about Aisha, plus a guest post, and giveaway!
Meet Aisha Saeed!
Aisha Saeed also wrote Written in the Stars, and is a Pakistani-American writer, teacher, and attorney. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel. As one of the founding members of the much talked about We Need Diverse Books Campaign, she is helping change the conversation about diverse books. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and sons.
Meet 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.
~ Guest Post ~
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AMAL UNBOUND
Amal is the oldest of five daughters and lives in a village in Punjab where she dreams of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are shattered when she talks back to the evil local landlord who rules their village. As punishment for her rudeness, he takes her in as his indentured servant. Everyone in her life tells her there’s no use in trying to fight this man and his family because they’ve ruled their village for centuries. But Amal is one of the first to question this hold and to try to challenge the status quo anyway. For me this book is about the power of hope and how holding on to hope can lead to change even when such a thing feels impossible.
I began writing this story seven years ago. I could never have imagined then how timely a story about hope and justice and resistance would feel in 2018 but I am thankful that this story may give young people inspiration and hope during turbulent times
The setting of Amal’s village is completely fictional but parts of it were inspired by my own ancestral village in Punjab. I have fond childhood memories of the sugar cane fields and the orange groves and it was a wonderful experience to relive and connect with my ancestral roots in writing parts of this story.
The artist who created the cover for AMAL UNBOUND is Shehzil Malik. She is an artist who lives in Pakistan and she read the book before she began sketching cover ideas. After you read the book it might be fun to look back at the cover to see just how much care and detail she put into the cover and the symbolism of the drawings she chose.
The name Amal is an Arabic name and it means hope so the title AMAL UNBOUND has a dual meaning. This was unintentional but lovely all the same.
By: Aisha Saeed
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Release Date: May 8th, 2018
One winner will receive a copy of Amal Unbound (Aisha Saeed) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*