Boys Without Names

Boys Without Names
By Kashmira Sheth


For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. So they must flee to the big city of Mumbai in hopes of finding work and a brighter future. Gopal is eager to help support his struggling family until school starts, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer.

But Gopal has been deceived. There is no factory but, instead, a small, stuffy sweatshop, where he and five other boys are forced to make beaded frames for no money and little food. The boys are forbidden to talk or even to call one another by their real names. In this atmosphere of distrust and isolation, locked in a rundown building in an unknown part of the city, Gopal despairs of ever seeing his family again.

Then, late one night when Gopal decides to share kahanis, or stories, he realizes that storytelling might be the boys' key to holding on to their sense of self and their hope for any kind of future. If he can make them feel more like brothers than enemies, their lives will be more bearable in the shop—and they might even find a way to escape.

4/5 Stars

Wow. This book was quite the journey. This is far different than something that I would normally read, so it was really interesting to have something completely different. This book discusses the problem of child labor factories, and lets you see through the perspective of one of the child laborers. I gotta admit, I didn't even realize that some of this stuff was happening in the world. It really enlightened me on what its actually like to be a boy living in poverty in India. This is one of those books that I get really into and actually start thinking I was the character, and honestly I was getting really stressed out trying to think about how he was going to get out of that. And now that I'm finished I'm kind of freaked out that some sketchy guy is going to kidnap me. I mean, it's really sad how all these boys are getting forced into doing work, and there's no way out of it. But the ending AHHH. So I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, it was totally worth the read. 

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