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Guantanamo Boy

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,115 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you're not. Robbed of his childhood, this is one boy's fictional experience of the supposed war on terror. Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from England, 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 ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Albert Whitman Company (first published 2009)
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Katrina Charles 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)
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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
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Yasamin Seifaee
Feb 22, 2015 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
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
M Razavy
"رفیق، آنقدر آب روی صورتت می ریزیم تا غرق شوی. اشتباه نکن، ما آدمهای خوبی هستیم. بچه هایمان را کتک نمی زنیم اما از کتک زدن شما ناراحت نمی شویم."
نتیجه خوندن کتاب برام بیشتر شدن حس نفرت و تهوع از دموکراسی آمریکایی بود.
شکنجه هایی که شرح می داد وحشتناک بود، ولی فکر میکنم باز هم خیلی چیزها رو ننوشته.
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, multicultural, ereader
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Berkeley High School Library
Guantanamo Boy is a terrifying portrait of state terror acted out on the body of a 15 year old boy. Khalid, born and raised in England, is visiting family in Pakistan when he is kidnapped and detained for suspected terrorism. Passed into the hands of the United States military, Khalid is tortured and imprisoned, with no end in sight. His crime? Playing a video game that his cousin created.
This is the inside story of extraordinary rendition that has been carried out since the start of the War wi
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, ya-teen, kindle
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
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ncbla
It's hard for me to say that I love this book because it describes horrors, cruelties, and civil rights violations that are almost impossible to imagine in today's world. But they did happen, especially back in the early months after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York back in 2001. As I read it, I couldn't help wondering what it would take to survive and heal from being kidnapped at the age of 15 and then tortured in order to force out a confession. In the case of Khalid Ahmed, he ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Becerra
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The message this book gives is very loud and clear, only a fool would not understand it.
Meara Holden
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera is a rollercoaster of emotions.

Guantanamo Boy is a fiction novel that follows a young fifteen-year-old Muslim boy that lives in Rochdale England. The story takes place in 2001, shortly after the bombing of the Twin Towers, or 9/11. When the main character, Khalid Ahmed, and his family travel to Pakistan to visit their extended family, Khalid's life takes an interesting turn. When Khalid's father disappears not long after they arrive in Pakistan, Khalid takes the tas
SK Lim
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up thinking it would remind me of the middle school books I read. The way the whole book was covered in a bright orange made me first pick up the book and as I read the back, I realized it didn't seem like a shallow book. I was right.

The book tells a story of what it feels like to be living in another part of the world, a place where there was very little freedom. This book made me feel what it felt like to be living in racism, where the thoughts and feelings felt as if they
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-teens
Fictionalised account of a truly disturbing reality - adults and children wrongly accused of terrorist association/acts, and imprisoned and tortured without trial. A novel that shows the world as chilling, confronting and cruel - where the protectors have become the perpetrators. The love of family and the advocacy of strong-minded individuals is a saving grace.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title gives you a pretty clear indication of what this book is about - a teenage boy suspected of terrorism who ends up at Guantanamo Bay. There are (understandly) many dark aspects to the storyline but overall it is a reasonably good YA read.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Readers
Shelves: england, reviewed
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.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a very important topic and this didn’t seem like a horrible book but I had the hardest time getting through this book. The author just went over the same stuff multiple times and it was a very slow paced book. I can see why people like this book but it just wasn’t for me.
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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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