Guantanamo Boy

Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you’re not. Robbed of his childhood, this is one boy’s fictional experience of the supposed war on terror. Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from England, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruelest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when most boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what’s happening to him.

  • 352 Pages
  • 5" x 7.75"
  • 9780807530788
  • September 2012

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • $9.99
  • This item is currently out of stock.
  • 9780807592762
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Set six months after 9/11, this unforgettable novel raises crucial headline issues through the story of teenage Khalid, born near Manchester, England in a secular Muslim family.

    - Booklist, starred review

  • Readers will feel every ounce of Khalid’s terror, frustration, and helplessness in this disturbing look at a sad, ongoing chapter in contemporary history.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • This gripping look at a poorly defined war’s unintended consequences uniquely challenges readers to examine common beliefs and ask searching questions about means and ends.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Khalid’s story, which is frighteningly based in fact, shocks the reader. This book puts a face on the prisoners of Guantanamo and the mentality of the world in the early years after 9/11. It is a must read for teens.

    - Library Media Connection, starred review

  • This absolutely gripping story will leave teens wanting to understand more and perhaps even want to do something about unjust imprisonment.

    - VOYA

  • Guantanamo Boy is one of those rare reads that bridges a fictitious story to that of a real time, place and event making the story so vividly real in its telling. Khalid is a normal 15-year-old English boy, who loves soccer, computer games and has a crush on a girl at school. Soon after 9/11, on a trip to Pakistan to visit family Khalid finds himself kidnapped, tortured and eventually incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists. Terrorism and its consequences on the innocent are brought into such focus that you are shocked beyond belief with the sheer reading of this story. This is a must read for young adult readers and a great crossover for adults. A book that will stay with you a very long while; a book you’ll want to tell others about, discuss and ruminate over.

    - Becky Anderson, Anderson's Bookshop

  • A chilling and horrifying story of an innocent 15-year-old London-born Pakistani boy who is captured by the U.S. government, taken to Guantanamo Prison and tortured until he collapses. The novel will raise important questions related to government profiling, human rights, and the use of ‘torture.’ This may well become one of the most important teen novels about social justice of the new century. It will be chewed up, debated, and hopefully digested.

    - Pat Scales, Librarian, Author, and member, National Coalition Against Censorship Council of Advisors

Awards & Accolades

  • A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book 2012 - Fiction for Teens
  • 2012 Notable Social Studies Trade Book, Children's Book Council and the National Council for the Social Studies
  • 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults, YALSA
  • Best Children's Books of the Year 2012, Bank Street College
  • 2011 Booklist Editors Choice
  • 2011 Distinguished Book of the Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California
  • Summer 2011 Children's Indie Next List

Guantanamo Boy Book Discussion

Common Core



  • Accelerated Reader Points: 13.00
  • ATOS Level: 5.50