adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.00

Buy for $21.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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 has 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.

©2018 Aisha Saeed (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“A Pakistani girl’s dreams of an education dissolve when she is forced into indentured servitude.... Amal narrates, her passion for learning, love for her family, and despair at her circumstance evoked with sympathy and clarity, as is the setting. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai and countless unknown girls like her, Saeed’s timely and stirring middle-grade debut is a celebration of resistance and justice.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Readers will find that a little perseverance and a heart filled with hope can eventually surmount a harsh reality. Saeed fills her prose with lush descriptions of Pakistani life, while still managing to connect with readers whose surroundings and experiences will be starkly different. Hand to any reader who struggles with definitive gender roles, norms, and expectations held in place by societal structures.” (Booklist)

“This simple yet lyrical novel paints an evocative picture of life in a small village in modern-day Pakistan, especially the limits placed on girls and women.... It may serve as a read-alike or a gateway to stories such as Yousafzai’s autobiography, I Am Malala; The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah; and Saeed’s debut novel, Written in the Stars.” (The Voice of Youth Advocates)

Featured Article: Best Audiobooks for Middle Schoolers


There’s nothing quite like middle school. It’s a time of major change, anxiety, and lots of awkwardness. Luckily for the middle schooler in your life, there are some great stories about navigating the ups and downs of friendships, family, first crushes, big changes, and so much more. We’ve collected 15 of the best audiobooks that focus on the unique experience of being a kid in middle school to help young listeners feel less alone during this exciting and confusing time.

What listeners say about Amal Unbound

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    196
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Suitable for young readers

Tells a compelling story of a young girl that is practically being enslaved, but without going into descriptions of bloody horrors

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Global Read Aloud 2018

I purchased this title to see if it would be a good fit for my students during the Global Read Aloud. I am so glad I choose the narrated version. Priya Ayyar brought life to the characters the Aisha Saeed created. This is a story that all middle grade students should hear. The themes presented in this book will lead to deep discussions. I can't wait to share this gift with my students.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LL
  • 05-21-18

A Story for All Ages

I heard Aisha Saeed speak about her first book Written in the Stars years ago at a bookstore event. Since then I have followed her on Twitter. When she announced Amal Unbound, she explained that it was a book about a girl but for all genders and was geared towards middle grades but a story for all ages. I took a chance and was not disappointed. The story is just as lush and hopeful as the gorgeous cover and Priya Ayyar's narration was perfect.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Grace Burk's

This is an awesome book.
I liked that she stood up for herself.
I recommend this book for 6th grade & up.
I love this book and it is a very very very good book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A New Cinderella

This story is a unique, worldly retelling of Cinderella. Saeed writes, and Ayyar narrates, the story of Amal, a girl with big dreams forced to work off her family's debts.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book I read in 2020

This is a middle grade age book that adults would also find fascinating. It talks about the injustices a young girl lives through in her small Pakistani village run by a man who tries to control those around them. She eventually is sold into child labor trafficking through bonded labor and servitude situations. All the while, she has a love for books and those she interacts with. While she lives in an unfair environment, she wants to make a difference to those around her and have a chance for freedom. This is such a well written and engaging book that you will feel completely sucked into once you begin.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story if resilience and courage!

I loved this book! The story kept me interested and the reader was fantastic! Highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book!

This book was very inspiring and showed girls that they can do anything. The story was also very interesting to read and was definitely a page turner.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

it's a beautiful story

I loved this book it made me realize that you should never give up no matter how impossible or hard it seems .

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good message, but not very climatic

I enjoyed this book and agree with the message that it portrays. However, the storyline was a little flat and could have used more conflict. I would still recommend it to my students.