Most readers will find Amal’s world utterly different from their own, and I think this is a good thing. Growing up in Pakistan, Amal is not unhappy with her life. She fights to get schooling when family tradition dictates that the eldest daughter stay home and take care of her siblings. But when she crosses the all-powerful landlord of her village, Amal’s destiny becomes both smaller and larger. Will she find a crack in the walls that keep her trapped? Will she become a teacher, as she dreams of? Eye-opening and uplifting, this story continued to resonate long after I read it. Grades 5–8.— Tera
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