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Guantanamo Boy

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from Rochdale, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruellest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when Western boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what's happeni ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Puffin (first published 2009)
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Katrina Davies It felt to be more of a realistic fiction. The events in the background of the story seemed vaguely familiar to me. Snippets of news stories, media…moreIt felt to be more of a realistic fiction. The events in the background of the story seemed vaguely familiar to me. Snippets of news stories, media sensation, adult gossip overheard when dancing around the dinner table all came back to me whilst reading this.(less)

Community Reviews

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از نظر نشان دادن احساسات یک زندانی و سختی زندانی بی گناه بودن خوب عمل کرده بود،اما ایرادش این بود که این زندان اصلا گوانتانامو نبود!چیزی که در این کتاب با محوریت زندان گوانتانامو آمده بود می توانست توصیف یک زندان محلی خیلی بی اهمیت هم باشد.چیزی که ما از گوانتانامو و زندانهای سیاسی جهان شنیدیم یک تصویر واقعا جهنمی پر از خون و شکنجه است ولی در این کتاب دقیقا برعکس است!یعنی توی زندان پاکستان خالد شکنجه می شود ولی وقتی به گوانتانامو برده می شود،دیگر نه شکنجه خاصی در کار است و نه آزار خاصی.رنج خالد ا ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Yasamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persian
خب. این کتاب.
درباره ی یه پسر پاکستانیه که تو انگلیس به دنیا اومده و همونجا بزرگ شده. وبه خاطر یه مشکلی با خانواده ش میرن پاکستان و اونجا دزدیده میشه و...
واقعا این کتاب نشون داد که آدما چقدر واقعا بدن. درواقع یه چیزی از بد اونور تر! با اون شکنجه ها و ..... امیدوارم که الان بهتر شده باشه اوضاع
اون شرایط روحی ای که پسره داشت تو زندان واقعا رو من هم اثر گذاشت. یعنی باید بگم نویسنده خوب توضیح داده و توصیف کرده
در کل کتاب خوبی بود!
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
I came into this book fully prepared for loving and was left disappointed. I do not take kindly to be disappointed. So I'm sorry if my bitterness shines through.

We start in the UK, where every effort is made to portray Khalid as an ordinary boy, with ordinary friends, who likes to play not-so-ordinary video games. Very elaborate misunderstandings with certain governments ensue, and already the reader is a little dazed by the backstory Perera throws at them. There are endless prison transfers and
Sep 02, 2011 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 14-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: list
Guantanamo Boy is a terrifyingly realistic novel. Khalid Ahmed, 15, was born in England. He only speaks English, rarely goes to mosque, never prays, never reads the Quran and dreams of playing professional soccer. When his parents decide to go to Pakistan to visit relatives, Ahmed is upset that he will not be spending his vacation partying with his friends. Khalid's idea of roughing it is going one day without getting on the computer. He is mortified his father wants to take the family to a thir ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This is a book I would never normally read. Luckily the bright orange cover sparked my interest enough to pick it up. When reading this author's note, "Although 'Guantanamo boy' is a work of fiction, it is inspired by real events", I bought it.

I found Khalid's story extremely eye opening and thought provoking. There was no holding back in regards to the acts of torture, the injustices and lack of basic human rights. I was horrified by it.

This book will hopefully make those of us who like to bur
May 26, 2010 Fiona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2010 April rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, ereader, multicultural
Khalid Ahmad is a 15 year old English boy. He watches and plays futbal, works hard at school, has strong family values and an affinity for computer games. He takes a trip to Pakistan with his family, as his father must clean up loose ends after his grandmother dies. Of course, Khalid is in Pakistan in the wake of 9/11 and is picked up for being a terrorist. He is then thrown in jail without a trail, his habeous corpus suspended -- however I don't know if England has habeous corpus. Right-o. Of c ...more
Meri L
Oct 05, 2011 Meri L rated it it was amazing
When I first started this book, I thought I might not like it, because I was getting annoyed with the authors style of writing. The words just didn't seem to flow, and the story was going very slowly, but after he went to Pakistan, I got more into the book and really felt that the story was getting better. There were not too many graphic details about the torture that Khalid went through during his stay at the prison, just enough to give you a glimpse of what he was feeling, but not enough for t ...more
The 15-year-old sounded like a 50-year-old lecturing 15 year olds about the importance of Culture. Unrealistic voice in conjunction with weak and awkward writing didn't help differentiate among the twenty characters tossed out in the first 50 pages who are all indistinguishable.

I have a hard time with books like this, where the goal is to educate young readers about A Very Important Topic. It comes off false. There's not a story but instead, a string of Lessons to Learn. You can write a story o
Aug 03, 2011 Julianne rated it did not like it
This book is mediocre at best. While the story idea was good, it was not executed very well. The political message was shoved down your throat, not weaved into the storyline gracefully. The storyline was predictable and also became tedious and repetitive toward the middle.

I was very much distracted by the writing style, which I found to be very lazy and amateurish. I've never seen so many sentence fragments in one book. The author and her editor both need some more writing courses before putting
This was simpy a fantastic read. I read it cover to cover in one sitting.

This book is so far out of what I normally read. I don't read a lot of these 'issues' books written for teens. I feel they are usually over-done to say the least. This story is not in the same league as anything like those. This book is about an English-born Pakistani boy who leads the life of most normal English boys. He very rarely has seen the hate that is directed at Muslims or Pakistanis until he visits his own homelan
seanat (elka)
Sep 15, 2010 seanat (elka) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-teen, kindle, 2012
An unexpected subject for a teen read but an important one.
Khalid an unexceptional and naive teen is mad about; football, computer games, girls and hanging out with mates. Born to liberal hardworking Pakistani muslim parents he rarely even experiences conflicts between his lifestyle and religion.

This all changes when he visits Pakistan for a family holiday and finds himself kidnapped, imprisoned without charge and then sent to Guantanamo as a suspected terrorist.
The torture and horrors of Guan
Feb 22, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
I came across this book as part of my pursuit to find young adult novels with characters whose lives stories may slightly coincide with the lives of my students. I was excited to find a book with a teenage character whose family is from Pakistan. I'm happy the book was written and understand why the author felt such passion about the topic. At the same time, I'd be hesitant to give this book to my immigrant students. The author obviously had many messages. Though there were parts about how we sh ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Isamlq rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-galley
It took five chapters for me to get into it. I'd heard it was a "harrowing" tale and such and such, but all I was reading was a story of young man, a boy really, whose just like any other: Khalid loves his mother, follows his father and is not as aware of the goings-on as I'd have liked him to be. When he and his family go on a vacation things change.

And harrowing things did become.

I can tell you precisely which line had me paying closer attention. When someones says, "You don't have any legal
Oct 13, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Read this in almost one sitting while on a long plane ride. Riveting telling of the tortures and humiliations suffered by an innocent teenager as "collateral damage" in this short-sighted "war on terror." At one point I was so engaged that if I hadn't been on a plane, I would have been on the phone to my congressman, demanding that something be done.

Unfortunately the ending is a bit too moralistic. It upsets me when authors seem to feel they have to spell out "The Meaning". Is this because it i
Book Review originally published here:

Story is eye-opening and thought-provoking. It’s not a book I’d normally pick up, but it’s an intriguing read all the same, and inspired by true events. At times, the realism was almost too much. The book was harsh, the torture sickening. The writing and characterization could’ve been a bit better though. It took a while to get into it though.
Jun 22, 2011 Ricki rated it really liked it
A harrowing tale of a 15-year-old boy who is accused of terrorism and tortured by American soldiers in Guantanamo Bay. Khalid is innocent, yet there is nothing he can say to convince the interrogators of this truth. This book was very enlightening. It made me want to get out and picket for a faster closure of Guantanamo Bay.
Andres Hudson
aaaaaaaaay que me costó leerlo por mi resaca literea :( pero pucha que me hizo sufrir. Un libro crudo, explicito y triste. La autora me hizo ponerme en el lugar del protagonista y era aun peor.
Un libro que todos deberian leer.
¿Porque 3 estrellas? por la sencilla razon que me aburrió al principio, pero despues se pone bastante bueno. Y no podia parar de leerlo.
3/5 estrellas
Sep 29, 2011 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, book-club, ya
A powerful and difficult book to get through, but written totally accessibly for kids of the age it's aimed toward. I could see this being taught in schools, except I don't think it would get past a school board. It probably SHOULD be taught in schools though.
Liz Janet
Mar 29, 2015 Liz Janet rated it it was ok
The message this book gives is very loud and clear, only a fool would not understand it.
Ashton J.
Oct 31, 2016 Ashton J. rated it liked it
In this book, I was very moved by a lot of the occurrences. When Khalid first got abducted and beaten, I never would've thought that those actions were under the Americans control, I thought those were terrorists. I also never would've thought that America would be so threatened by 12 and 13 year old's to the point where they are locking them up next to Osama Bin Laeden's fellow fighters. All of these things really irritated me and I felt real bad for each and every one of those poor kids especi ...more
Aug 25, 2011 SwensonBooks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: danielle
Guantanamo Boy (Albert Whitman, 2011 reprint) is the story of a teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time in a dangerous political climate. It’s a story of closed ears, fearful eyes and silent mouths. A story in which the small kindnesses buried deep in the heart have the power to keep a person alive, like the power of a good book (a Reader’s Digest copy of To Kill A Mockingbird read over and over again) or a piece of chocolate. Perera doesn’t just explore the fragility of individual rights ...more
Omkar K.
Feb 28, 2017 Omkar K. rated it it was amazing
This was a really good book, and it was very emotional. I found it very repulsive how the American's treated the prisoners, and more than half of the prisoners were innocent! It was interesting how something as bad as a prison will bring out the good in someone. Also I think that Khalid, should have been found innocent much earlier, and he is very lucky that he got a lawyer when he did. I am very very mad with the way Americans treated the Muslims, and that 11, and 12 year old boys were found gu ...more
Mar 22, 2017 Maryam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Readers
Shelves: england, favorites
داستانی که درد و رنج انسانهای تحت شکنجه را دلخراشانه و با جزییات به تصویر میکشد. فقط کاش درمورد سرنوشت طارق هم مطمئنمان میکرد. اتفاقی که در دنیای واقعی نیز در خیلی از موارد رخ نمیدهد و باید بابت این تمهید و باریکبینی به نویسنده دوچندان تبریک گفت.

حین خواندن به شکیبایی و دقت و تحمل بالای مترجم داستان فکر میکردم و همچنین به روح بزرگ نویسنده.

کتابی خوب برای نوجوانان و بزرگترها.
Ethan Albers
Feb 26, 2012 Ethan Albers rated it liked it
Guantanamo Boy

1. Genre-Historical Fiction
2. Awards-Puffin Award
3. Star Rating- Me (4 out of 5 star) reviews (3.5 out of 5 stars)
4. In the midst of his teenage years Khalid from the suburb of London enjoyed being a normal kid playing football on the school team. He has lots of friends and a crush on a girl and she doesn’t know yet. It is September 2003, and his family decides to take their fall break trip to see the relatives in Pakistan. The family has never been to their homeland and it is a ne
Andrew Duros
Dec 30, 2014 Andrew Duros rated it really liked it
Andrew Duros
1st Period
Ms. Young
Guantanamo Boy
By Anna Perera

Khalid, a British born fifteen year old Pakistani boy, went on a family holiday from his hometown of Rochdale, UK to Pakistan. In 2002, the year after the 9/11 bombings, almost all Muslims were looked on as suspects. It did not take more than the prejudice of being a Muslim and an unfounded accusation with flimsy “evidence” for Khalid to be kidnapped and imprisoned as a terrorist in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Even in Pakistan, the U.S. gover
Sandra Stiles
Jun 18, 2011 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 9-11
This is a powerful story. The author has taken the events of 9/11 and shown us how the events thereafter were just a horrific. Khalid is a fifteen-year-old boy in England. He and his family go to Pakistan to help his aunts find a place to move. His father ventures off to look at a rental and doesn’t return. His mother sends Khalid to the same address to look for his father. He doesn’t find him. On his way back to his aunt’s house he is caught up physically in a demonstration. He manages to make ...more
ARC review:

Khalid was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is a Muslim boy from England who is kidnapped and dragged to Guantanamo Bay. With no one to help him, and his family not knowing where he is, Khalid faces torture, mental and physical as images of his life flash before his eyes. And he holds onto the one thing they cannot take away from him. Hope.

Khalid is a great character. He's a teenage boy who thinks about soccer and girls. Having grown up in England, he is westernized and cannot
Brendan Keogh
Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perrera is a book everyone should read because it offers a perspective that those of us living in the United States rarely see. It helps to show the cruelty of the American government towards people in the arab world after 9/11. Often times when we read books or watch movies about a war the Americans are always the good guys and are always right. We see all the terrible things that other people do to our soldiers but, we are shielded from the terrible things our soldiers d ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 07, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it really liked it
Some things should never happen, but they do. Some things are too terrible to ever be forgotten. Some things demand that we stand together as humans in a fight to ensure they never happen again. Some things need to be written about so we never forget how terrible they are. Guantanamo Boy tells the tale of just such a thing.

Khalid is a 15-year-old from Rochdale spends his time doing what most boys his age do. He plays computer games and spends time with his friends. He also wishes that he was bra
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Anna was born in London to a Sri Lankan, Buddhist father and Irish, Catholic mother and grew up twenty miles away. After teaching English in two secondary schools in London, she ran a unit for teenage boys who were excluded from school and later did an MA in Writing For Children at Winchester University. She lives in London and has a grown-up son.

In 2006, she attended a gig for the charity, Repri
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