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Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

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Teenage Book of the Month

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera
Published by Puffin Books 2009

Khalid is a normal fifteen-year-old British teenager who likes playing football and hanging out with his friends. Originally rebelling against visiting his muslim relations on a family visit to Pakistan, he dutifully goes along with it in the end.

Khalid hasn’t the slightest idea that his freedom could be at risk even though there are hints at impending hostilities. Guantanamo Boy quickly changes from a typical coming of age novel to an often disturbing and thought-provoking read. Khalid is transported both physically and mentally from a world of computer games, friends and beginning relationships with girls, to a world that is totally inconceivable to any teenager. He is faced with unbearable circumstances that he must endure as a detainee at the hands of the American government.

The plain but compelling orange cover will strike a chord with all of us who have come to associate it with the restricted media reports from Guantanamo and is sure to catch the eye of young adults searching for an interesting read on library and bookshop shelves.