BOYS WITHOUT NAMES by Kashmira Sheth

BOYS WITHOUT NAMES

Age Range: 11 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

The author returned to her native India to research this fictionalized exposé of child labor. Eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, deeply in debt, flee to Mumbai to find work. There, a slick older boy offers Gopal a factory job, then turns him over to a ruthless sweatshop operator. Locked inside a decrepit building with five other despairing boys, Gopal quickly learns the routine. Long days of gluing beads onto picture frames, little food, stifling heat and occasional severe beatings with a rubber hose all keep the boys intimidated. Determined to escape, Gopal befriends the others with his storytelling talents, building bonds that will be useful if an opportunity to flee arises. Gopal is a likable child, and insight into the others boys’ believable characters gradually evolves. Although the shocking conditions the boys endure are vividly and realistically depicted, this effort is overlong for the recommended audience of nine through 12, and many readers may give up before they reach the portion of the narrative where Gopal is imprisoned. An enlightening multicultural tale suggested for strong elementary readers and middle schoolers. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-185760-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2009




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