Monday, April 25, 2016

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

Guantanamo boyMost Americans probably don't even give the prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba a second thought. Why should they? Supposedly it's filled with enemy combatants, men who, even if they aren't guilty of plotting against the U.S. and its allies probably know something.  They deserve whatever they get don't they.

What if there are teens at that prison however.  Teens who are innocent and are being held there while their rights are being denied. This is the premise of  Anna Perera's teen novel Guantanamo Boy in which Khalid a fifteen year old second generation Pakistani immigrant living in Rochdale is taken to Cuba in the most bizarre circumstances.

As you would imagine, Khalid's journey is a rough one and it is heartbreaking reading to see what he endures during his time in confinement. Perera spares no detail so be warned if you are easily grossed out or are faint of heart. Confinement, even under the best conditions is a trying experience for any being and that is definitely the case here. Guantanamo prison is in many ways a sort of limbo place both due to its location and due to the often extreme measures required to capture the folks that are housed there.

I definitely recommend this book for teens looking to broaden their view of the world. This book would also be an excellent read in high school social studies and current affairs classes. A read alike to this book in the sense of covering topics that force teens to think about the wider world is The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson.

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