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Fifteen-year-old Khalid likes seeing his friends, playing football down the park, the normal things. He isn't too excited about going to visit his family in Pakistan, but his mum and dad want hime to come with them. So he goes. And a living nightmare begins. Khalid is kidnapped and forced to go to a place no teenager should ever see. A place where torture and terror are he normal things. Somewhere he doesn't know if he will ever escape from. Aplace called Guantanamo Bay.
GUANTANAMO BOY by Anna Perera
Anna Perera’s book, Guantanamo Boy, is a fictional story which introduces us to Khalid, six months after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Khalid leads the life of a normal 15-year-old Muslim boy from the United Kingdom who loves playing video games, hanging out with his mates, playing soccer and lusting after Niamh – but all that changes when he visits relatives in Pakistan.
He is abducted from his aunt’s home by the CIA who suspect him of terrorism. He is tortured and thrown into jail, then transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba without any notice to his family.
The book takes a frightening turn as we follow Khalid through his traumatic journey facing confusion and shock at the removal of his dignity and freedom. He is not formally charged with a crime, he does not know how long he will be imprisoned or whether he will ever see his family again.
Perera’s description of the experiences suffered by Khalid during his time in Guantanamo is quite challenging to read, and I would therefore only recommend this book to mature teenagers aged 14+. The book hints at the writer’s own views on America’s War on Terrorism and prompts a lot of thought about the basic human right to freedom and about tolerance of other races. It is not a pleasant book to read but it is my favourite book, probably due to the author’s passionate language which makes me feel like I am part of Khalid’s journey.
This is a great book! Infact it's the only book I have evr read more than once. The suspense and action of it draws you in until you can't stop reading. The fact that the main character is also a fifteen-year-old boy, just like me, was great because it helped me relate to the emotions he was feeling and how I would have felt if I was in his position.