Main Street School students, who read “Amal Unbound” as part of their Global School Read Aloud activities, connected with the book’s author, Aisha Saeed, during a virtual meeting on Dec. 2.
During her visit, the author recounted her writing journey and shared that the book’s main character, Amal, was inspired by Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. Saeed’s novel tells the story of a young Pakistani girl who is forced into indentured servitude.
“The most meaningful part of the author visit to me was that the students had the opportunity to visit with an author of a book they loved,” said librarian Gayle Pulley, who organized the meeting. “Many students had an opportunity to ask questions of her to learn more about her life as an author. Very seldom do we get to ask an author a question about why they wrote their story a certain way, including specific characters, or the meaning behind the cover art of the book.”
Saeed encouraged the students to read widely, keep a journal of their ideas and work every day to improve their writing skills.
Principal Joyce Chapnick explained that Saeed’s message directly connects to Main Street School’s efforts of teaching students how to make a difference in the world and be good global citizens.
“In November, students spotlighted veterans from their families who have demonstrated themselves to be heroes, global citizens and makers of change,” Chapnick said. “They also highlighted global citizens from around the world, including Malala Yousafzai and her work with the Malala Fund.”
As a follow up, the students are holding two pajama days this week to raise money for the Malala Fund, whose goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive changemakers in their families and communities.