Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

Guantanamo Boy

Written by Anna Perera

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Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2010

Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "An important and moving story of an ordinary teenage boy innocently caught up in a modern-day nightmare which exposes the shortcomings of contemporary justice."


Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from Rochdale, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruellest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when Western boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what's happening to him and cannot fail to be a changed young man.


'This book will challenge you to evaluate the world around you ... Once you've started, this book is really hard to put down!' - Elizabeth Horne, Waterstone's Brentford, 'Illuminating the unthinkable, the so utterly terrifying, Anna Perera's Guantanamo Boy brings the plight of one English teenager vividly to life ... What Anna Perera does so well is to deliver a politically and socially important lesson which can't help but make an impact on the reader ... Few novels combine astute political awareness with page-turning fury yet Anna Perera has successfully bequeathed a novel which could change a whole generation's perception' - John Lloyd, Waterstone's Bath, 'A beautifully frank and strikingly inspiring novel, Guantanamo Boy is in many ways a voyage of discovery as Anna Perera bravely goes where many fear to tread. Expect to be wowed by this exceptional book.' 'Anna Perera's horrifying and moving novel for teenagers Guantanamo Boy ... is timely ... I've just read a review copy and can hardly stop thinking about it. Of course the story is fiction, but the background is hideously real ... Just thinking about how Khalid is treated and feels makes the soles of my feet go clammy. Read it and recommend it to students from year 9 upwards. Not only is it graphically informative, but it would be a splendid starting point for discussions about justice. At another level it's also a well-written page turner' - Susan Elkin, '[An] excellent novel ... superb' - Amanda Craig, The Times 'This powerful 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, Children's Book of the Week

About the Author

Anna Perera

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.

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Book Info


352 pages


Anna Perera
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Author's Website


Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

5th February 2009




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