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Boys Without Names

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,670 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. So they must flee to the big city of Mumbai in hopes of finding work and a brighter future. Gopal is eager to help support his struggling family until school starts, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at t ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Balzer + Bray (first published December 31st 2009)
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Adil Farooq I think so, Gopal also thinks without speech marks or italics etc.
Iffah Pasha
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Oct 27, 2010 Reader rated it really liked it
My sole difficulty with this book was the fact that it may have caused me to grind me teeth into tiny nubs. Gopal has moved with his family from rural India to an unsanitary and rather packed area of Mumbai with a relative. Having lost his father along the way, Gopal is determined to set out and earn money for the family himself. Unfortunately his intrepid nature sets him up to be a perfect kidnapping object. Next thing he knows he's in a small attic with five other boys, forced to put beads on ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Amu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The subject matter of this novel had great potential. It tells the story of Gopal's family who are forced to flee their village and try to find work in Mumbai, to avoid usurious moneylenders. Whilst the protagonist is likeable, plot action is slow: the first eighty pages, for example, comprises only their trip to the city. Soon after their arrival Gopal is tricked into working in a sweatshop, which highlights the horrendous conditions experienced by children in this situation. At the end, a numb ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Tiffany rated it really liked it
My 11yo son & I read this book as part of his 6th grade reading challenge list. We both liked it very much. Dealing with the very real issue of child labor in countries like India, but in a way that is age appropriate, this book is well-written and enjoyable as middle grade literature. Slight spoiler on the ending: it ends in a "happy ending" as much as the subject matter can, and while as an adult it's not quite satisfying and seems a bit canned, for 6th graders it seems age appropriate, li ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Mathis rated it liked it
A simple fast read with a whole lot of heart. The premise is about a poor 13 year old Indian boy who gets kidnapped and sold into child labor making picture frames in India. The story is grim and heavy, but reads very quickly. The writing is vivid and tugs on the heart strings. I finished this novel in two sittings... very engaging. You can't help but to root for the protagonist to get out his dire situation. I would recommend this book if you enjoyed books such as Room by Emma Donoghue. I'll gi ...more
Sandra Stiles
Nov 26, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it really liked it
Living in the United States we often forget about the atrocities that go on around the world, such as child labor. Gopal and his family must sneak off in the middle of the night from their tiny village and go to Mumbai. The family has borrowed money and the interest is keeping them in debt. Gopal’s uncle has left them traveling money. On the way the family realizes they don’t have enough money. The father leaves them on the street alone while he tries to reach his brother’s house. He gets lost. ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Tami rated it liked it
Author Jacqueline Woodson described this book as “not a heartbreaking story, even if there are moments that break the heart.” This is absolutely true and one of the reasons I would consider this as a read-aloud selection in 3rd or 4th grade.

It tells the story of an 11yr old boy in India whose family has lost their farm and travels to Mumbai looking for jobs that will help sustain them as well as provide education for their children.

Gopal, thinking he has found a job to earn money for his family
Dec 02, 2014 Sunshinecoast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first the story was something where I wasn't sure how all of a sudden he was going to end up as a slave in a factory, when he was with his family for a majority of the book. But it took a turn about half way in and I believe that it was one of the best books that I have ever read.
Nov 18, 2014 Luke rated it it was amazing
Unfortunately for eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, his life in their poor Indian village is over. Gobal's family includes his Aai, Baba, and his twin brother and sister Naren and Sitta. They flee to the great city of Mumbai because of their poverty and great debt. They will stay with Gopal's uncle Jama. But on the way, they are faced with many problems. These include losing their beloved Baba and not enough money to travel all the way to Mumbai. Gopal, eager to find work to help Jama pay fo ...more
Debbie McNeil
Dec 22, 2011 Debbie McNeil rated it it was amazing
This haunting and relevant tale sheds light on children of poverty in the third world. The characters come so alive that when their story is resolved (albeit a a bit too quickly), I find myself still thinking about the boys and wondering about their future.
Dec 15, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it
***********************SPOILER ALERT***********************************
Have you ever thought what tomorrow could be like? Gopal didn't think his life would change completely in just one day. The genre of this book is Realistic Fiction because the events that happens in the book might actually be happening around the world. I thought the novel Boys Without Names was a great book it tells you information about what might be happening to someone around the world, while its making the reader actual
Feb 07, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit
Sometimes I buy books specifically to fit a curricular need. There's a local assignment that requires 5th or 6th grade students to read about contemporary children growing up in a foreign culture. When this ARC arrived in the mail, I pegged it as one to recommend for that assignment.

Fortunately, the book also happens to make compelling reading. I had to know what happened to Gopal, an optimistic, storyteller of a boy whose family is forced by a debt collector from their Indian farming village in
Something I like about Kashmira Sheth is that she can convey a different culture and a complex topic in a way that is understandable for children and enjoyable for older readers.

She uses the words that children in her country, India, use - 'Aai' for 'mother', 'Baba' for 'father', 'kahani' for 'story' -, and even though there is a list at the end of the book, you don't really need it, because the narrating child, Gopal, manages to tell us the meaning of words without lecturing.
Gopal also shows u
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Gopal and his family move from his village to the city of Mumbai to avoid the neverending cycle of debt his father has been drawn into. However, once in Mumbai, his father disappears while trying to find the way to his brother's house, leaving the rest of the family alone with very little money. After waiting a few days, they make it to Uncle Jama's house, but their father isn't there. Worried about money, Gopal decides to look for a job. What he finds is a world of child labor in an unhealthy, ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
I have found value in reading books that deal with the customs and culture of otber countries. As Americans, I think we generally fal to realize how luxurious our lives are compared to most other countries. This book is a great introduction for a late elementary reader of the harsh realities of child labor in India. There are some serious subjects for discussion, including extreme poverty, kidnapping, and physical abuse, but I believe this could be a good introductory book for 9+ year olds to le ...more
Alan Kussainov
Jun 11, 2014 Alan Kussainov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-just-right
I have just finished reading this book and I truly loved it. I liked the plot because it had many twists to it, and made everything seem easy while it really wasn't, characters were a little bit shady, which was great because that made me wonder and think a lot about those people really were, whether Gopal should trust them or avoid them, where they came from, how did they possibly ended up working on the factory with Gopal and etc. The ending was simply awesome, when the police arrived and save ...more
Apr 23, 2014 Will rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-comfort
About boys kidnapped and forced into child labour. Intense and puts you deep into thought. Recommend it
Jul 20, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
The story of a young boy who goes to Mumbai with his family to seek a better life but gets kidnapped into slavery instead. Through his story he is able to make a connection with the other boys, but how can they ever get free?

I found this book to be so powerful and beautiful. You explore the new sights and sounds as Gopal is introduced to Mumbai and you feel his excitement at being able to help his family. When he realizes he has been kidnapped your heart breaks with him and you continue to feel
Ally K.
May 20, 2016 Ally K. rated it really liked it
“How far will these frames will travel? [....] Who are the lucky people who will buy them and never know who worked on them? Maybe one will end up in a young girl's room. She will never know a young boy like her made the frame with his sweat and tears while his heart ached for his family." Gopal pg. 154. The book Boys Without Names by Kashirma Sheth is an okay book. It wasn’t great, but it wasn't bad. The book is told from a boy named Gopal’s perspective. Gopal lived in a small village, but his ...more
Shante' Polite
Title: Boys Without Names
Author: Kashmira Sheth
Publisher and Date: Balzer + Bray, 2011

Boys without names is a story with a very authenticl feel to it and it gives us insights into the very real work of child slavery. It is not a painful read, but suspense builds as Sheth skillfully uses Gopal’s voice to explore possibilities and plan for the future, something the boys had previously refused to do. Sheth conveys how adults can manipulate and control children and successfully describes the horrend
Tommy Kang
Dec 09, 2015 Tommy Kang rated it really liked it
Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth is a story about a young boy named Gopal and his family surviving in the big city, Mumbai. Gopal is eager to help his family, so when a stranger offers a job in a factory he accepts it. It turns out that there is no factory, and he is forced to work as a slave.

The plot action of this book is a bit slow, for example they talk about them moving to Mumbai for about 80 pages. This book can be a bit boring in the beginning, but after they move to Mumbai, the stor
Bhavana A
Sep 03, 2015 Bhavana A rated it really liked it
A vivid story about young Gopal, a boy who had gotten kidnapped in the loud city of Mumbai, India. Prior to that, his family had lived in a small village until his father could no longer afford to stay there. He had decided on moving to Mumbai, for more job opportunities. Unfortunately, Gopal’s father got split from the rest of his family in Mumbai. Gopal being the older sibling of his two twins, he decided to take the initiative and look for jobs to support the rest of his family. He was soon o ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Kunal rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort, childhood
It was a good book with a good concept. The story was brilliant and it was very emotional and heart gripping at times. The writing style was also very good. The only thing I disliked about it was the lack of time presence (as the author kept hopping back from the present to the past/future). I didn't expect the ending and it was something that I found was really interesting of how a small thing was used for such an important cause (the flashlight)
Vardhaman Lodha
Jan 04, 2016 Vardhaman Lodha rated it really liked it
I think that boys without names is an excellent book and even though it is slightly Long, the pace never slows down and it keeps on getting more and more mysterious and interesting. The middle is probably my favourite part because it shows us true friendship between these 6 children, despite the circumstances. Even though the ending is kind of predictable, on the whole it's a really good book.
Tanvi Singh
Apr 01, 2016 Tanvi Singh rated it it was amazing
This book was simply phenomenal.
Ismael Lopez
Jan 17, 2014 Ismael Lopez rated it it was amazing
Do you think you can work in a sweatshop with five random kids? The book “Boys without Names” is a realistic fiction that will keep you in suspense. I liked this book because it gave me an idea of what happens in a sweatshop and how terrible it is.

The setting of “Boys without Names” takes place in Mumbai, which is a city in India. The story is about a boy named Gopal and his family who owed debt on their village home. Since they owed debt and can’t repay, they decided to move to the city of Mu
Courtney Williams
Nov 11, 2015 Courtney Williams rated it it was amazing
Boys without names is a story with a very authenticl feel to it and it gives us insights into the very real work of child slavery. It is not a painful read, but suspense builds as Sheth skillfully uses Gopal’s voice to explore possibilities and plan for the future, something the boys had previously refused to do. Sheth conveys how adults can manipulate and control children and successfully describes the horrendous conditions the children live in. Nonetheless, the story remains hopeful as through ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Gopal and his family live in a village in India. Life is hard for this family and they decide to move to Mumbai to seek a better life. Gopal is an 11/12 year old boy who is bright. Since he will be unable to start school right away, he wants to earn money to help support his family. When he meets a boy who claims to have an uncle who owns a factory and can give him a job, Gopal willingly goes along. He ends up in an attic with 5 other boys who have been sold into the human trafficking network.

Aryaman Bharath
Nov 18, 2015 Aryaman Bharath rated it really liked it
This was a very good book and it gave me memories of when I lived in Mumbai in terms of setting but otherwise it was a great book and I defiantly recommend it
Kaitlyn Tankersley
Boys without names is a story that gives us insights into the very real world of child slavery. It is not a painful read, but suspense builds as Sheth skillfully uses Gopal’s voice to explore possibilities and plan for the future, something the boys had previously refused to do. Sheth conveys how adults can manipulate and control children and successfully describes the horrendous conditions the children live in. Nonetheless, the story remains hopeful as through Gopal’s eyes, we begin to see how ...more
Sewen Thy
This is a really really great book. The author really make the story flow very smoothly and you never get tired of reading it. The theme and the action is so interesting that I think I would join Blue Dragon GC!
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Did you like this book? 3 12 Jan 20, 2015 06:19AM  
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Kashmira Sheth grew up in Bhavangar, Gujarat, for eight years, when she was three she joined Montessori school. She lived with her grandparents, because her parents lived in Mumbai three hundred miles away from Bhavangar.
At eight years Sheth, left Bhavangar, for Mumbai.
She did her studying there until she was seventeen. She left Mumbai, to go to college, in Ames Iowa to do her BS at Iowa State Un
More about Kashmira Sheth...

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