Pakistani-American Author Visits Pocantico for the 2018 Global Read Aloud

Children’s book author Aisha Saeed visited the Pocantico Hills School on November 6 (she also visited Main Street School in Irvington – see December’s Education Round-Up) as part of this year’s Global Read Aloud. Amal Unbound is about a Pakistani girl who has to leave school to help out at home. After a run-in with a powerful member of the community, she is forced into indentured servitude to pay off a family debt. Saeed, who is Pakistani-American, was inspired to write the book by the courage of young people, particularly that of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani advocate for girls’ and women’s education who was shot in retaliation for her activism and received a Nobel Peace Prize. Fourth-grader Swara Ketkar said, “I want everyone to have a chance to make the world better.” Saeed told students about the importance of perseverance. Her first book, Written in the Stars, was rejected by 29 publishers before being accepted. “Just remember that you can’t get something if you don’t try for it and anything is possible,” she said.

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