Over the past two weeks, the Stone Soup Book Club has been reading and discussing the book Amal Unbound, by Aisha Saeed. The novel, which is seemingly inspired by Malala Yousafzai’s story, is about a girl in Pakistan who wants to become a teacher.
First, before I launch into the Book Club’s discussions, I must say, on behalf of all of our participants, thank you to Lucy Rados (13), who attends Book Club, and who, in the past two weeks, has done a brilliant job leading some of our conversations! Thank you, Lucy!
One of the main themes in Amal Unbound is the concept of happiness and freedom. Over the two weeks in which we read this book, we discussed this, brainstorming what happiness and freedom meant to the characters in the book, and then thinking about what happiness and freedom meant to us, and whether our opinions differed. We talked about the characters and setting in the story, thinking about the complexity of the characters (no one was really drawn in black and white), and how the setting played a major role in the book. We also discussed what the themes in Amal Unbound were (such as Education, Friendship, Family, Perseverance, and Gender Equality) and thought more deeply into the cover art of the book, and all that it symbolizes.
One of the unique activities we did while reading this book was to think and write about social justice, and which social justice matters we feel are the most important to us. It was really fascinating to hear what everyone had to say! Finally, we also had a conversation about culture. We learned a little bit about Pakistani culture and thought about how the world around us impacts what we think of other cultures, in general. All together, these past two weeks have been full of really fascinating conversations!
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
The Stone Soup Book Club is open to all Stone Soup contributors and subscribers, age 9-13, throughout the summer. We meet every Wednesday at 1pm PST (4pm EST) for one hour via Zoom to discuss our chosen book. Join us!