Guantanamo Boy

Anna Perera. Albert Whitman, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8075-3077-1
Originally published in the U.K., this harrowing first novel, in which a 15-year-old British boy is apprehended as an enemy combatant while visiting family in Pakistan, focuses on the darker practices of the war on terror. "Six months after 9/11 and the world is getting madder by the day," observes Khalid's father, which foreshadows the insanity to come. Perera quickly establishes Khalid as a typical teenager who quarrels with his parents and likes to play soccer and roughhouse with friends, heightening the tragedy of what follows. After Khalid's father disappears in Karachi, Khalid's chance appearance at a protest and innocent computer gaming leads to his imprisonment for two years, first in Pakistan, then at a CIA camp in Afghanistan, and finally in Guantanamo Bay. Perera unflinchingly portrays the beating, sleep deprivation, isolation, and waterboarding that Khalid undergoes; in one section, she skillfully employs white space to demonstrate the confusion and madness caused by sleep deprivation. Readers will feel every ounce of Khalid's terror, frustration, and helplessness in this disturbing look at a sad, ongoing chapter in contemporary history. Ages 13–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-84-666-4465-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-132607-8
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4532-3240-8
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-8075-3078-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 352 pages - 978-1-4532-3704-5
Prebound-Glued - 339 pages - 978-1-61383-407-7
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