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Guantanamo Boy
Cover of Guantanamo Boy
Guantanamo Boy
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Innocent until proven guilty? Not here, you're not.He's fifteen.He's hasn't done anything wrong.It was supposed to be just a trip to visit his mum's family in Pakistan. But for Khalid Ahmed, it was the...
Innocent until proven guilty? Not here, you're not.He's fifteen.He's hasn't done anything wrong.It was supposed to be just a trip to visit his mum's family in Pakistan. But for Khalid Ahmed, it was the...
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Description-

  • Innocent until proven guilty? Not here, you're not.

    He's fifteen.

    He's hasn't done anything wrong.

    It was supposed to be just a trip to visit his mum's family in Pakistan. But for Khalid Ahmed, it was the beginning of a living nightmare. He's kidnapped—then taken to a place thousands of miles from his home in the UK. A place where torture and terror are the daily routine. A place he may never be allowed to leave...

    A place called Guantanamo Bay.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Anna Perera was born in London to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan father. After spending a few years teaching English in secondary schools, she took a job running an alternative school program for teenage boys. Guantanamo Boy is her first young adult novel; her second, The Glass Collector, is forthcoming in Spring 2012. She lives in London, England.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 25, 2011
    Originally published in the U.K., this harrowing first novel, in which a 15-year-old British boy is apprehended as an enemy combatant while visiting family in Pakistan, focuses on the darker practices of the war on terror. "Six months after 9/11 and the world is getting madder by the day," observes Khalid's father, which foreshadows the insanity to come. Perera quickly establishes Khalid as a typical teenager who quarrels with his parents and likes to play soccer and roughhouse with friends, heightening the tragedy of what follows. After Khalid's father disappears in Karachi, Khalid's chance appearance at a protest and innocent computer gaming leads to his imprisonment for two years, first in Pakistan, then at a CIA camp in Afghanistan, and finally in Guantanamo Bay. Perera unflinchingly portrays the beating, sleep deprivation, isolation, and waterboarding that Khalid undergoes; in one section, she skillfully employs white space to demonstrate the confusion and madness caused by sleep deprivation. Readers will feel every ounce of Khalid's terror, frustration, and helplessness in this disturbing look at a sad, ongoing chapter in contemporary history. Ages 13–up.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2011

    This debut, published in 2009 in the UK, chronicles in devastating detail the kidnapping, incarceration and torture of an ordinary teenager six months after 9/11.

    Born in England to immigrant parents, Khalid, 15, is an avid soccer fan and fair-to-middling student. He enjoys online gaming with a Pakistani cousin, but he has no desire to visit Pakistan himself and resents having to join a family trip to Karachi, There, through a convoluted but plausible chain of events, he's mistaken for a terrorist, abducted and sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During Khalid's two-year ordeal under U.S. control, he encounters other innocent victims of the War on Terror who've been subjected to torture, including waterboarding. Their jailors range from sadistic to indifferent, though a few manifest detached compassion. Khalid's experience in "enemy combatant" limbo is equally harrowing, demonstrating that helplessness and boredom can be torture, too. However, in showing readers only innocent victims, Perera effectively narrows the argument against torture to its inefficiency and unreliability. The case for a total ban requires showing why torture is wrong even when victims aren't "pure."

    Nonetheless, this gripping look at a poorly defined war's unintended consequences uniquely challenges readers to reexamine common beliefs and ask searching questions about means and ends. (author's note, timeline, discussion guide) (Fiction. 13 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • The Times

    "An excellent novel ... superb"

  • The Guardian

    "Extremely powerful, and descriptions of torture are genuinely harrowing."

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    Albert Whitman & Company
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