In Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth, eleven-year-old Gopal and his family have just had to flee their rural village in India and now must adjust to the mean streets of the city of Mumbai, where they have gone to live with his uncle. The conditions they are living in are crowded and filthy. Gopal is determined to get a job and help contribute money to support his family. Unfortunately, he is tricked by a charming teenager into working as basically a slave in a sweatshop and not at a job in a factory as he was promised. Now Gopal must get to know and win over the other boys held captive there as well if he ever wants even the slightest hope of escaping.
I thought that this book was really well written, but parts of it were hard to read about and imagine. Even though this was a fictional story, there is a section at the end of the book that talks about the unfortunate fact that there really are children in situations like this in India every day.
Book reviewed by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison