Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

May 24, 2010

Boys Without Names

By Kashmira Sheth
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this wrenching story, Gopal's family is deeply in debt and when his uncle Jama offers to bring the family to the big city of Mumbai from their small village, they take him up on the offer with the hopes of finding work.  But almost immediately, disaster strikes when the family doesn't have enough money for train tickets to take them all the way to their uncle's neighborhood.  The family becomes separated when their father gets lost looking for Jama, but the rest of the family eventually makes it there.  Desperate to help out or find work in the poor neighborhood they are living in, Gopal talks to a boy who says his uncle has easy factory work.  But the boy drugs Gopal and brings him to a factory sweatshop where several other boys already live, and are enslaved by a man Gopal nicknames Scar to make patterns on picture frames.  Gopal immediately decides to escape, but Scar has taken good care to lock all means of exit.  He also has turned many of the boys against each other, so not only do they fear Scar, they also fear one another.  During Gopal's time of imprisonment, he slowly develops a plan for escape that just might work...but he needs to get the other boys in on it, too.  But how can one boy inspire other young slaves to revolt?   Sadly, this tale of sweatshops in Mumbai is not a fictional one, and is happening today.  An engrossing and very interesting story that will make many a reader grateful for what he or she does have.


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