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Guantanamo Boy Paperback – 5 Feb 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; 1st Edition edition (5 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141326077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141326078
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This powerful and humane book shows that hatred is never an answer, and proves the pointlessness of torture and the danger of thinking of anyone as 'other.' (Nicolette Jones Sunday Times)

One of her greatest achievements is to make the frightening monotony of the two years he suffers so full of suspense. (Kate Kellaway Observer)

An excellent novel . . . superb (Amanda Craig The Times)

Extremely powerful, and the descriptions of torture are genuinely harrowing. (The Guardian)

Timely, gritty fiction. (Times Review)

Could it happen? It has happened. That's why teenagers should read this book. (Irish Times)

Rising star: Anna Perera. Her novel highlights the teenagers sent to the camp as it tugs readers into its vivid nightmare journey. (The Independent)

From the Inside Flap

Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you're not. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
This is a coming of age story with a difference. Guantanamo Boy tells the story of Khalid, a young British teen who loves his mates, his computer games and is beginning to like girls. Khalid doesn't come of age with success on the football fields or with fumbles with the opposite sex but in a world of suspicion, terror and confusion. Retaining a simple, almost naïve dignity we experience with Khalid the horror of how an innocent boy ends up in Guantanamo Bay. The novel starts, like Khalid, with a simple and straightforward innocence. As Khalid's story develops you gain an affection for him and as you become caught up in his world to the point where, as the story takes its dramatic and horrifying turn, you feel protective of him and ashamed that a civilised world can treat a child in the ways so powerfully described.

I found Guantanamo Boy to be a difficult and uncomfortable read but this is not say that it was not an utterly compelling read. Some of the passages describing his `interrogation' are challenging to read - you almost want to cry out to make it stop. It tackles head on the horrors of humanity by dealing with a very emotive and topical subject . I would encourage young teens and adults to read this book and be prepared to travel with Khalid to the very dark heart of the `war on terror'.
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Format: Paperback
A very moving and inspirational read. Anna Perera pulls no punches with this highly emotive and descriptive teenager's novel. It isn't until you've read the novel that you can reflect on the serenity from the opening scene; the clash of images in the rest of the novel will unsettle most readers. It would be good if this appears either as a whole text or as extracts on future syllabuses across many departments in schools, it offers a wealth of information to explore.

I only know of Guantanamo Bay from what I see in the media and it was good to then read in The Times and The Guardian how Perara developed the concept for the novel. Acknowledging her main source, Perara admits not wanting to use detainees' stories as they are their stories to be told and not hers. This alone touched me but left me wondering how evocative her novel would then be; I didn't have to wonder for long; in my opinion she has been successful at becoming a 15 year old Muslim.

Khalid is like any other teenager until a family holiday to Pakistan. A holiday he didn't want to take and continually lets his family know this. I won't go in to how he is abducted or the actual circumstances but I really did feel Khalid's sense of confusion at the situation he was faced with. The narrative flows and I found it hard to put the novel down, in fact I didn't want to as I just wanted to keep on reading about Khalid's ordeal.

I think this book will haunt me for a long time and I will recommend it to everyone! I was reduced to tears towards the end, resulting in me needing a few moments of reflection once I'd reached the end. The novel is complete, I can't go into much more because I don't want to mention the outcome of the novel but I wasn't left with any questions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book surprising in many ways. When I read the blurb I thought it would be like any other book. I thought it would be a good read but just a book, not very believable, but I was pleasantly surprised. It begins with a teenager, Khalid Ahmed, whose life is fairly normal and you begin to get to know the character, how much he loves football and computer games, and find out about his slight reluctance to be around his family.

His reaction, therefore, when his mum tells him about the family holiday to Karachi, Pakistan to visit his dad's sisters, is not a good one. During the holiday he is kidnapped by a bunch of thugs and transported to several different places before finally ending up at Guantanamo Bay, and being unfairly interviewed at regular intervals.

I found the interviews quite hard to read sometimes because I could feel Khalid's stress at being asked the same questions over and over again and not being believed when he stated his innocence.

I found `Guantanamo Boy' a very interesting book, showing a boy's innocence in a time of war and paranoia. I could tell there was a lot of emotion put into writing it and I found I could easily empathise with Khalid as he went through the struggles of trying to show ignorant people that he has done nothing wrong. I would recommend it.
Ross MacFarlane 3S - Forres Academy
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Format: Paperback
I had no idea that children were ever kept in Guantanamo Bay until I picked up this terrific first teen novel by Anna Perera, which had me really hooked from the word go.

`Guantanamo Boy' kicks off in Rochdale shortly after the 9/11 attacks, where fifteen year-old Khalid enjoys a typical kid's lifestyle; hanging about with his mates, fancying girls and booting a football about. Pretty soon, though, it becomes clear that while we can see a pretty normal upbringing going on, political, racial and religious tensions are on the rise.

A set of circumstances at home and abroad take Khalid and his family to Karachi, and it is shortly after that, that Khalid continues his journey alone - unintentially so - as a guest of the Americans, spending time in Kandahar before finally being dumped at the end of the line in Cuba, in its notorious prison.

What's going on in Guantanamo Bay is a real talking point at the moment, which is exactly the right sort of contemporary issue that any writer would go for, and Perera leaps into the fray to tackle it. I thought this book was exceptionally good because it can be read in so many different ways and on so many different levels. I was really interested in what was going to happen to Khalid and the way events were out of his control, just like any teenager feels events are out of his or her control, despite the sometimes aggravated bravado.

Of course, in the real Guantanamo Bay, there's not a lot going on AT ALL except routine, and that could have been a real problem for the author, as exciting pages would make for an exciting prison, whereas the whole point is to emphasise the mind-invading tedium, routine and despair of the place.
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