Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boys Without Names” as Want to Read:
Boys Without Names
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Boys Without Names

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,016 Ratings  ·  313 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. With the darkness of night as cover, they 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 ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Balzer + Bray (first published December 31st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boys Without Names, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Adil I think so, Gopal also thinks without speech marks or italics etc.
Iffah Pasha
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Andrew Munroe
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book a few years ago and didn't pick it up until now and wish I read it earlier. to be honest once i started I figured out what the ending would be like even without reading part of it. It was a fairly decent book and I want to read another book like it.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a part of summer reading, this is one of the two books I read over summer. This is an A-MA-ZING book that I highly recommend reading. This book's protagonist, 11 year-old Gopal, really reminded me that even though you are in a bad position, there is always a way to persevere. I mean this boy was kidnapped for over 3 months, yet he somehow managed to escape which is amazing. Read this book people!! Seriously.. it'll teach you so many things.
Mathis Bailey
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 enjoy books such as Room by Emma Donoghue. I'll give ...more
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandra Stiles
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 22, 2012 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
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2014 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Did you like this book? 3 12 Jan 19, 2015 09:19PM  
  • Bamboo People
  • Ghetto Cowboy
  • Words in the Dust
  • I, Emma Freke
  • Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
  • Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"
  • Camo Girl
  • The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
  • Ways to Live Forever
  • How They Croaked
  • Warriors in the Crossfire
  • A Diamond in the Desert
  • No Ordinary Day
  • Shooting Kabul
  • Never Say Die
  • Saving Sky
  • Close to Famous
  • Crunch
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...
“My name is Sahil,” he says as he looks up. “Someone told me it means leader.” 0 likes
More quotes…