I am absolutely blown away by this fast paced, thought provoking, middle grade book. I buddy read this book with my 10 year old daughter. We had several important conversations along the way. I was able to bring up a few incidents from my past to give her a taste of my own experiences as a young girl being raised in a patriarchal culture. It was very rewarding to me as a parent to connect with my daughter at this level and to get insights into her own thoughts on the subject. I believe that teaching girls to read and making books available to them is the most efficient way to fight patriarchy. Amal’s story drives this point home efficiently.
The experience of reading this book was, in some ways, therapeutic for me. I feel like Amal is my soul twin. She is outspoken, smart and has an insatiable curiosity. I have not faced such dire circumstances as her in my own life, but I could relate to her natural inclination to question things that have been accepted by the majority of people around her. I could also relate to her strong desire to follow her instincts and do the right thing, even if it made her stand out more. Amal is a character who is going to stay with me for a long time.
Another character that I liked is Amal’s employer (owner?), Nasreen Baji. She is rich and has the financial freedom to buy the things that she desires but she is also imprisoned in her own golden cage. I loved how the author tried to show a different manifestation of patriarchy among those who are at the higher end of a hierarchical society via Nasreen Baji’s character.
This is a very important book in my opinion. I really enjoyed this author and will be checking out more of her books in future. ⭐️⭐️⭐⭐️⭐️
Last but not the least, a word on the art on the cover of this book. I absolutely love the creativity and the symbolism involved in it. I had to look at it for several minutes trying to take in all of the meaning behind it ❤️
“You always have a choice. Making choices even when they scare you because you know it’s the right thing to do – that’s bravery.”
“I knew now that one person could hold many different dreams and see them all come true.”
“We don’t have to make headlines to help change the world for the better. Everything we do in our communities and beyond to impart good is important and matters.” – Author’s Note