Character Interview: Amal (from Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed)

asian lit bingo interview_guest post
Amal is a character in Aisha Saeed’s novel, Amal Unbound.

Aisha Saeed is a New York Times bestselling author. She wrote WRITTEN IN THE STARS (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015) which was listed as a best book of 2015 by Bank Street Books and a 2016 YALSA Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers. She is also the author of the middle grade novel AMAL UNBOUND (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018) a Summer 2018 Indie Next Pick, An Amazon Best Book of the Month, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus and is a Global Read Aloud for 2018. She also has a forthcoming picture book BILAL COOKS DAAL (Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads, 2019). Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books™. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC, and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel.

Aisha is represented by Taylor Martindale at Full Circle Literary Agency and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three sons.

Hi Amal! I’ve been looking forward to talking to you. What have you been up to? How are you?

Amal: Hi Sinead, thanks for having me here. I’m doing pretty good. With four younger sisters and my best friends, life keeps me pretty busy. But I can’t complain.

What’s your favourite animal, and why?

Amal: I love the freedom of flight that birds have. There is a weightlessness to them I admire. All sorts of birds are wonderful but if I had to pick a favorite it would be the common sparrow.

What would you like to do when you’re older?

Amal: I want to be a teacher but I’m not sure what grade I’d like to teach. Sometimes I want to teach children my own age, but I also love younger children so maybe I’ll be a primary teacher. I have time to decide!

Who do you look up to?

Amal: I look up to my teacher, Miss Sadia. She is smart and wonderful and warm. She treats me like an equal and lets me ask her any questions I’d like about all sorts of things. When I become a teacher, I hope to be like her.

What is your favourite book?

Amal: Any book of poetry will make me happy, but Rumi and Hafiz are my top two favorite poets. I could read anything by them and have so many of their works memorized.

What makes you happy?

Amal: Books! I love to read. I wish my school library had more books than it does but I’ll take what I can get. I hope one day when I’m all grown up I can have a library with all sorts of books to call my own.

Amal Unbound

Thank you so much for participating Aisha!

Readers can find Aisha Saeed on her website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Interview conducted by Lit CelebrAsian team member: Sinead.


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