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Guantanamo Boy


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About the Author

Anna Perera was born in London to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan father. She worked as an English teacher in two secondary schools in London, and later became responsible for a unit for excluded boys. She lives in Hampshire, England. Guantanamo Boy is her first teenage novel.


This powerful and humane book shows that hatred is never an answer, and proves the pointlessness of torture and the danger of thinking of anyone as 'other.' -- Nicolette Jones * Sunday Times *
One of her greatest achievements is to make the frightening monotony of the two years he suffers so full of suspense. -- Kate Kellaway * Observer *
An excellent novel . . . superb -- Amanda Craig * The Times *
Extremely powerful, and the descriptions of torture are genuinely harrowing. * The Guardian *
Timely, gritty fiction. * Times Review *
Could it happen? It has happened. That's why teenagers should read this book. * Irish Times *
Rising star: Anna Perera. Her novel highlights the teenagers sent to the camp as it tugs readers into its vivid nightmare journey. * The Independent *

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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