Discussion Notes for Students: Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

Discussion Notes for Students: Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aisha Saeed, the Pakistani-American author of the New York Times bestseller Amal Unbound, is also a teacher and attorney. As one of the founding members of the We Need Diverse Books Campaign, she is helping to change the conversation about diversity in literature. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and sons.

BEFORE READING
  1. Does everyone have access to the same education? Discuss the factors that determine the education people receive, including where they’re from, how much money they have, their gender, their family, or their intelligence. Why do you think that access to education is considered to be a human right?
  2. Write about what a normal school day looks like for you—think about where you go to school, which parts of the day are your favourite and least favourite, how you get there and the kinds of lessons you have. Then, as you read, compare your day to one of Omar’s days. How are they the same, and how are they different?
  3. Read the blurb of the book as a class. What is a ‘rigged system’, and why do you think it is so impossible to change? Come up with examples of systems that are, or could be, rigged, and discuss who they benefit and who they don’t. Make some predictions about where you think that Omar will t into this system.
WHILE READING
  1. How do Omar’s friends feel about him getting a scholarship? What does this tell you about the kind of friendship they have?
  2. What kind of school is Ghalib Academy? How does Omar’s school compare with yours?

Download the printable teaching notes here.

Buy a copy of Omar Rising here.

Reviews

Authentic and Motivating: Read an Extract from Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

Review | Extract

24 February 2022

Authentic and Motivating: Read an Extract from Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

Compelling and Inspiring: Read Our Review of Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

Review | Our Review

22 February 2022

Compelling and Inspiring: Read Our Review of Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

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Publisher details

Omar Rising
Author
Aisha Saeed
Publisher
Text Publishing
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
01 February, 2022
ISBN
9781911231400

Synopsis

Recommended for ages 9+.

In this compelling companion to the New York Times bestseller Amal Unbound, Omar finds a way to change the corrupt system in his new school.

Omar, the son of a servant, is thrilled when he gets a scholarship to an elite school. But he’s not so thrilled when he finds out that the school weeds out kids like him by requiring them to get higher grades than fee-paying kids—so it’s almost impossible for scholarship students to graduate. On top of that, they aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams, and have to do menial chores. It’s a good thing Omar has learnt to hold on to his dreams. With the help of his friend Amal and his new school mates—and with the threat of expulsion looming over him—he sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system.

Omar Rising is an exciting middle-grade story about student activism, believing in yourself and fighting for justice.
Aisha Saeed
About the author

Aisha Saeed

Aisha Saeed is a Pakistani-American writer, teacher and attorney. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC and the BBC, and, as one of the founding members of the much talked about ‘We Need Diverse Books’ campaign, she is helping change the conversation about diverse books. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and sons.

Books by Aisha Saeed

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