Guantanamo Boy – Confronting and uplifting

Guantanamo BoyGuantanamo Boy by Anna Perera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Khalid is a 15-year-old growing up in Rochdale, Manchester. He goes with his parents to visit relatives in Pakistan. Pakistan is a dangerous place, and Khalid’s father goes missing, with no explanation. Khalid hits the streets of Karachi to find him.

Unable to locate his father, Khalid goes back to the home of his cousin, Tariq, where his family is staying and is confronted by men in black balaclavas. These men abduct him and take him to a secret location. This begins a nightmare for Khalid. His captors do not believe he is only 15. They accuse him of terrorism, of being a member of Al-Quaida, and after many abuses and indignities he ends up at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. What follows is a gruelling 2-year journey for Khalid, through torture and hopelessness. His family and his lawyer battle for months to secure his release and eventually he is reunited with his family, but with a very different view of the world.

Engrossing, affecting, harrowing and full of hope.

Recommended for ages 12 and up

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