Read Boys without Names by Kashmira Sheth Online


Trapped.For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. They 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, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer.?But thereTrapped.For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. They 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, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer.?But there is no factory, just a stuffy sweatshop where he and five other boys are forced to work for no money and little food. The boys are forbidden to talk or even to call one another by their real names. Locked away in a rundown building, Gopal despairs of ever seeing his family again.But late one night, when Gopal decides to share kahanis, or stories, he realizes that storytelling might be the boys' key to survival. 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....

Title : Boys without Names
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061857621
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Boys without Names Reviews

  • Andrew Munroe
    2019-04-02 14:24

    I got this book a few years ago and didn't pick it up until now and wish I read it earlier. to be honest once i started I figured out what the ending would be like even without reading part of it. It was a fairly decent book and I want to read another book like it.

  • Reader
    2019-04-02 10:57

    My sole difficulty with this book was the fact that it may have caused me to grind me teeth into tiny nubs. Gopal has moved with his family from rural India to an unsanitary and rather packed area of Mumbai with a relative. Having lost his father along the way, Gopal is determined to set out and earn money for the family himself. Unfortunately his intrepid nature sets him up to be a perfect kidnapping object. Next thing he knows he's in a small attic with five other boys, forced to put beads on frames. Gopal retains hope that he can rally the boys together to overthrow their captor, but how do learn to trust others when they won't even tell you their own names? Admittedly, Sheth indulges in some fairly long-winded sections in this book. There were times when I found myself wishing she'd just get on with it and allow Gopal to be kidnapped. Yet the minute he was I was on the edge of my seat. I literally had to flip to the end of the book to make certain he'd be okay. Sheth really makes you care about the characters here, and her storytelling is above par. An unpredictable, fascinating little realistic story. - B

  • Adji
    2019-04-15 17:03

    As a part of summer reading, this is one of the two books I read over summer. This is an A-MA-ZING book that I highly recommend reading. This book's protagonist, 11 year-old Gopal, really reminded me that even though you are in a bad position, there is always a way to persevere. I mean this boy was kidnapped for over 3 months, yet he somehow managed to escape which is amazing. Read this book people!! Seriously.. it'll teach you so many things.

  • Mathis Bailey
    2019-03-24 12:15

    A simple fast read with a whole lot of heart. The premise is about a poor 13 year old Indian boy who gets kidnapped and sold into child labor making picture frames in India. The story is grim and heavy, but reads very quickly. The writing is vivid and tugs on the heart strings. I finished this novel in two sittings... very engaging. You can't help but to root for the protagonist to get out his dire situation. I would recommend this book if you enjoy books such as Room by Emma Donoghue. I'll give this 3 stars. A good Read.

  • Tiffany
    2019-03-23 18:05

    My 11yo son & I read this book as part of his 6th grade reading challenge list. We both liked it very much. Dealing with the very real issue of child labor in countries like India, but in a way that is age appropriate, this book is well-written and enjoyable as middle grade literature. Slight spoiler on the ending: it ends in a "happy ending" as much as the subject matter can, and while as an adult it's not quite satisfying and seems a bit canned, for 6th graders it seems age appropriate, like justice has been served. The only negative my son identified was that he wished he could know a little more after the ending. An epilogue would have been nice.

  • Sandra Stiles
    2019-04-09 14:57

    Living in the United States we often forget about the atrocities that go on around the world, such as child labor. Gopal and his family must sneak off in the middle of the night from their tiny village and go to Mumbai. The family has borrowed money and the interest is keeping them in debt. Gopal’s uncle has left them traveling money. On the way the family realizes they don’t have enough money. The father leaves them on the street alone while he tries to reach his brother’s house. He gets lost. Gopal takes the lead and gets his mother and sisters to the uncles house, where the uncle will try to locate their missing father. Gopal wants to help his Uncle and family and he searches for work. He meets a young man who promises him work if they leave right then. Against better judgement he leaves with the boy where he is drugged and taken to live with five other boys making beaded picture frames. Gopal plans his escape as their captor starves and beats them. Gopal looks for the right opportunity to get help for all of them. This was a good book but one that was hard to read. The emotional impact when you realize this stuff still happens today is a bitter pill to swallow. One to recommend to my students.

  • Alexeena
    2019-04-01 19:11

    The subject matter of this novel had great potential. It tells the story of Gopal's family who are forced to flee their village and try to find work in Mumbai, to avoid usurious moneylenders. Whilst the protagonist is likeable, plot action is slow: the first eighty pages, for example, comprises only their trip to the city. Soon after their arrival Gopal is tricked into working in a sweatshop, which highlights the horrendous conditions experienced by children in this situation. At the end, a number of sub-plots are unresolved for the reader and I finished it feeling that it could have been told far more effectively and powerfully in half the number of words.With a front cover mimicking that of 'Trash', I felt this novel didn't deal as well or as engagingly with the issue of child poverty as 'Trash' did - even though the publishers seemed to be attempting to draw a connection between the two texts. A laudable topic but plot elements were a little weak.

  • Tami
    2019-03-29 17:19

    Author Jacqueline Woodson described this book as “not a heartbreaking story, even if there are moments that break the heart.” This is absolutely true and one of the reasons I would consider this as a read-aloud selection in 3rd or 4th grade.It tells the story of an 11yr old boy in India whose family has lost their farm and travels to Mumbai looking for jobs that will help sustain them as well as provide education for their children.Gopal, thinking he has found a job to earn money for his family is instead abducted and locked in a house with 5 other boys. They are forced to make beaded frames and are fed very little and beaten for any behavior their slave owner decides requires it.The cruelty is very clearly described without being as graphic as, for example, the story of Iqbal. Also, the end of Gopal’s story is a happy one, seeing him reunited with his family. For younger readers this is an appropriate choice: the book having introduced them to an important injustice does not then put them in a position of feeling hopeless about it.It’s an extraordinary story, well-written and plotted. It provides much material for discussion and could easily be a springboard for learning about a variety of child labor, Indian social strata, farming economics, etc.

  • Julie
    2019-04-07 14:10

    Sometimes I buy books specifically to fit a curricular need. There's a local assignment that requires 5th or 6th grade students to read about contemporary children growing up in a foreign culture. When this ARC arrived in the mail, I pegged it as one to recommend for that assignment.Fortunately, the book also happens to make compelling reading. I had to know what happened to Gopal, an optimistic, storyteller of a boy whose family is forced by a debt collector from their Indian farming village into Mumbai. Gopal wants to help his family by working, so he accepts what he thinks is a day job in a factory. Instead, Gopal becomes a child slave, imprisoned with 5 other boys in a shack. How they survive and if they will escape, along with the whole outrage of child labor, moves the plot along while also skillfully developing the characters.I'd have given this 5 stars if only a few changes of heart in the enslaved boys were just a little clearer to me. Overall extremely readable and highly recommended--whether you're assigned it or not.

  • Sunshinecoast
    2019-03-25 11:16

    At first the story was something where I wasn't sure how all of a sudden he was going to end up as a slave in a factory, when he was with his family for a majority of the book. But it took a turn about half way in and I believe that it was one of the best books that I have ever read.

  • Debbie McNeil
    2019-03-28 19:03

    This haunting and relevant tale sheds light on children of poverty in the third world. The characters come so alive that when their story is resolved (albeit a a bit too quickly), I find myself still thinking about the boys and wondering about their future.

  • Maria
    2019-03-30 17:04

    ***********************SPOILER ALERT*********************************** Have you ever thought what tomorrow could be like? Gopal didn't think his life would change completely in just one day. The genre of this book is Realistic Fiction because the events that happens in the book might actually be happening around the world. I thought the novel Boys Without Names was a great book it tells you information about what might be happening to someone around the world, while its making the reader actually stop and think about what tomorrow will be like. I was in shock what a person can do to young innocent people. Anyway I really had fun reading Boys Without Names because I learned some Indian language for example I learned that Aai means mother and Baba means father.Boys Without Names is about a family that lives in India, and economy had became tight and they lost their crop land and they either had to stay their and starve or flee the country to Mumbai. Gopal's mother was afraid because she didn't want to leave the country without paying their debt, but Gopals father tells her "we stay here we starve" so she agreed to flee to Mumbai. When Gopals family get there Gopals dad decides to go to Gopals uncle house and drive to where they were but days past and he wouldn't return and Gopal got tired of waiting and since they didn't have enough money so Gopal decided to try to get money and once he did the rest of them went to Mumbai to look for Gopals uncles house and when they did they were safer, but Gopal was still worried because his Baba wouldn't appear and he wanted him to come back. Gopals family needed money and without his baba around he thought he should get a job and earn money for his family, and one day he met a boy that tricked him into a factory and Gopal thought that was a great point that he had to earn money and once him and the boy arrived to the factory, Gopal realized there was no factory it was just a shabby old place where there was only a few kids there and they have to work with no breaks and a little food and they cant talk to each other or else they will get a punishment by the owner of the boys. Gopal hopes to run away from there but its hard to escape. The police com and inspects the building and once the police find the kids tied up they arrest the owner and they take the kids back to their parents. The setting is in Mumbai in India where its a place that gets hot and humid. Gopal wants to escape from the stuffy ware shop but the possibilities are to low because the owner locks all the doors and windows when the owner is in the ware-shop and when he isn't so Gopal cant escape and he will have to wait a=until someone comes. I think the conflict of the novel is Person vs Person because Gopal was tricked into the supposed factory and now that hes been locked in the stuffy warehouse he cant escape and he has to find a way to escape but he has no way out and now he has to wait until the boss lets him go make an errand and try to escape. Gopal is a young boy that just wants to help his family with money and he is very responsible and polite he helps his mother with chores, he also just wants his baba to come back and he wishes his family could return back to there old village. Naren (boy)and Sita (girl) are twins and they are very young to understand what is happening so when their baba disappears they are heartbroken and they cry because they want their dad to come back. Gopals mother is very brave because when her husband disappears she tries to stay strong for Gopal and even stronger for the twins Naren and Sita,, she tries to stay calm about the situation about baba being gone but she cant hold on to the bravery that much. Gopals uncle lives in Mumbai and he helps his sisters family and he was going to put Gopal, Naren,and Sita in school, and after he told Gopal not to trust strangers and not worry about looking for a job that Gopals uncle would take care of the money issue but of course Gopal didn't listen.I thought the book was a great book because when you read it it gives yoou information about around the world for example it tells how India is really like becuase they need money and now economy has been tight everywhere, but in some places people are starving and some could be dying, and it makes yoou stop and think how your life is really different and that you should appreciate what you have and what you are because other people would want to have what yyou are complaining about, for example we might complain aboout the food we dont lik while some other people are starving and would wnat that food you were complaing about. Next time you want to complain about something you have then maybe just stop and think about the other people who are starving to death. I was surprised when Gopal got tricked into working inn a stuffy old warehouse where 5 other boys had to work everyday without getting paid and they would get severely punished if they didn't please the boss and in their punishment was to not get food for a day and they would get hit by the boss very bad, the boys job was to create a picture frame with different styles. The them of this book that i think is bravery because when Gopal got tricked he had no other choice but to do what the boss ordered him and everyday he dreamed of escaping the warehouse and he never lost faith and he had to be brave for his family, for example when something went wrong in work somebody else messed up the frames and he said he did it when he actually didn't and he had to receive the punishment of not eating, that's why i think that one of the themes was bravery. I was angry when i found out that the guy from the soppose factory was so mean to those poor innocent boys and because stuff like this is/ might be happening in real life and thats sad because how could someone be so mean to a boy who is looking for a job to get paid so he can help his family. I liked the way the author ended the novel by having policeman arrived at the old warehouse and saving those kids was awesome because they didnt deserve to stay there and work their heads of when they received bad treatment, and when i read that Gopal got home and all his family was there even his dad that was a really good thing because i wanted to know if his dad appeared back or not. If I were the author I would have added where Gopals dad has been because now im curious to know what happened to his father while he was lost and gone. In conclusioin, I thought the book was a really good book because while reading it you are learning about India and Indian language and traditions and to think that alot of stuff from is actually happening in India and many other places. The author of Boys Without Names Kashmira Sheth actually went to India and she wrote a book about her experience. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 because i wanted to know were Gopals dad was, and i wanted to know what was Gopals family doing while Gopal was hone over 3 months but the author didn't do that. I recommend this book to anyone but if you like to learn other peoples traditions and if you would like to learn about India and Indian traditions then this is your book to read next. Next time you might want to think what tomorrow could be like.

  • Joy Kirr
    2019-04-04 12:14

    Oh, did I want Scar to be punished more than any other character I've ever read about... Gopal's family needs to leave their town without paying their debt, so they flee to Mumbai. While there, they get separated from his father, and so Gopal tries to find work. He gets stolen, instead, and becomes Scar's slave, with five other young boys who won't say a word to each other...

  • Sarah
    2019-03-28 14:58

    This book features a boy named Gopal in India as his family suffers the hardships of moving to the city for a better life. Gopal tries to help his family as best as he can through this difficult time and ends up in a even worse situation for himself. This book has so much emotion in it as you read of this poor boy going through so much, it really makes your value what an easy life we have here. I am more aware of India's poverty situations and their child labor. This is a book everyone should read! Not only is it a fantastic story, a quick read, but it is also educating on social situations happening throughout the world. The facts that that author put at the end of the book about how many children are thought to be used in child labor every day were just dumbfounding and can't be ignored.

  • Sovotchka
    2019-04-13 11:13

    Something I like about Kashmira Sheth is that she can convey a different culture and a complex topic in a way that is understandable for children and enjoyable for older readers. She uses the words that children in her country, India, use - 'Aai' for 'mother', 'Baba' for 'father', 'kahani' for 'story' -, and even though there is a list at the end of the book, you don't really need it, because the narrating child, Gopal, manages to tell us the meaning of words without lecturing.Gopal also shows us his culture - he talks about drinking 'chai', celebrating 'Diwali' and eating 'daal', and this helps to put the reader into the story. When you imagine what you yourself would eat or drink, or what you do to celebrate, there is an immediate connection, even though the culture is very different form your own. Gopal's story is one that happens far too often in developing countries - that of child labour and enslavement. But Gopal is a child, and so we see the story through a child's eyes. There's no graphic description of the beatigns he receives, there's no deep analysis of potential psychological problems. Gopal encounters a hardship, lives through it, and then focuses again on the family he misses or the new friends he manages to make.Through his friends we can also see how different children will react to the impossible situation they find themselves in, and how the bond between them can strengthen their resolve, even though it might put them under more pressure. They share stories of home, what they remember about the life before. These stories are full of smells and colours and hugs and light, compared to the dark place they've now found themselves in. And from these stories they take the energy to try to escape and experience happy days once more. As always, Kashmira Sheth ends her story when the story ends. There is no exploration of what will happen to the characters after that. But having gotten to know the boys, you can tell they will do their best to be alright. After all, this story is there to show you the difficult life of a child trying to earn money for the family and being mistreated by money-hungry people because of it. It does not lecture you not to buy cheap clothes anymore, although you might find yourself in a difficult position the next time you want to do it. But it says, these are the conditions and they are not alright. But they are strong children and they deserve better. -----Review can also be found at 238 books in 238 days.

  • nithi
    2019-04-01 15:11

    Realistic and captivating. Some scenes feel unneeded, such as the long intro, but other than that will have you thinking the entire time. Where Gopal lacks depth in character, the other boys make up for it entirely. Overall, a great read whilst being entertaining & informing.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-04-08 17:07

    Gopal and his family move from his village to the city of Mumbai to avoid the neverending cycle of debt his father has been drawn into. However, once in Mumbai, his father disappears while trying to find the way to his brother's house, leaving the rest of the family alone with very little money. After waiting a few days, they make it to Uncle Jama's house, but their father isn't there. Worried about money, Gopal decides to look for a job. What he finds is a world of child labor in an unhealthy, hot, airless building with little food and a cruel taskmaster. How will he ever escape? What I especially like about this story is the way Gopal is smart enough to realize that he and the other boys he works with need to join together for survival, and, one day, maybe, escape. But how can they do that, when the boys don't even speak to each other or know each others' real names? He cleverly uses stories, or kahanis, which he tells to the boys after their work for the day is done, to introduce them to his ideas. But will that be enough? Read and find out! Kashmira Sheth has written a vivid description of the cruelties of child labor in India--child labor that produces items that we Americans buy with no thought for the people who made them. I've been aware of this for some time, and wish there was an easy way to identify which items are made in sweatshops when I go shopping. Combine this book with Susan Kuklin's Iqbal Masih and the Crusaders Against Child Slavery abd Francesco Adamo's Iqbal. Highly recommended!

  • Luke
    2019-03-23 19:12

    Unfortunately for eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, his life in their poor Indian village is over. Gobal's family includes his Aai, Baba, and his twin brother and sister Naren and Sitta. They flee to the great city of Mumbai because of their poverty and great debt. They will stay with Gopal's uncle Jama. But on the way, they are faced with many problems. These include losing their beloved Baba and not enough money to travel all the way to Mumbai. Gopal, eager to find work to help Jama pay for the whole family, is promised work in a factory. When Gopal is drugged and taken to the "factory" it is nothing but small sweatshop where he and five other boys are forced to make beaded frames and they are not allowed to talk or say names. If they do not do so, they are punished. These punishments include no food for the day, getting beat up, or worse of all: getting whipped. But one night, Gopal decides to share stories with the 5 other boys. They become friends, rather than enemies. This is their only chance of hope to escape.

  • Alan Kussainov
    2019-04-05 17:59

    I have just finished reading this book and I truly loved it. I liked the plot because it had many twists to it, and made everything seem easy while it really wasn't, characters were a little bit shady, which was great because that made me wonder and think a lot about those people really were, whether Gopal should trust them or avoid them, where they came from, how did they possibly ended up working on the factory with Gopal and etc. The ending was simply awesome, when the police arrived and saved the boys from the hard journey of child labour, that is something I have been waiting for a long time! And when it finally came, I got the epic, "in your face!" kind of a feeling! This book really deserves a solid five!

  • Sarah
    2019-03-29 11:13

    I have found value in reading books that deal with the customs and culture of otber countries. As Americans, I think we generally fal to realize how luxurious our lives are compared to most other countries. This book is a great introduction for a late elementary reader of the harsh realities of child labor in India. There are some serious subjects for discussion, including extreme poverty, kidnapping, and physical abuse, but I believe this could be a good introductory book for 9+ year olds to learn about not taking what we have for granted. Quick read and well-written. Gopal is a great young hero, and I was impressed with his courage, compassion, and respect.

  • Heather
    2019-04-01 16:10

    The story of a young boy who goes to Mumbai with his family to seek a better life but gets kidnapped into slavery instead. Through his story he is able to make a connection with the other boys, but how can they ever get free?I found this book to be so powerful and beautiful. You explore the new sights and sounds as Gopal is introduced to Mumbai and you feel his excitement at being able to help his family. When he realizes he has been kidnapped your heart breaks with him and you continue to feel a part of him as you read his story.

  • Kunal
    2019-03-29 17:21

    It was a good book with a good concept. The story was brilliant and it was very emotional and heart gripping at times. The writing style was also very good. The only thing I disliked about it was the lack of time presence (as the author kept hopping back from the present to the past/future). I didn't expect the ending and it was something that I found was really interesting of how a small thing was used for such an important cause (the flashlight)

  • Vardhaman Lodha
    2019-03-27 15:07

    I think that boys without names is an excellent book and even though it is slightly Long, the pace never slows down and it keeps on getting more and more mysterious and interesting. The middle is probably my favourite part because it shows us true friendship between these 6 children, despite the circumstances. Even though the ending is kind of predictable, on the whole it's a really good book.

  • Sewen Thy
    2019-04-17 19:23

    This is a really really great book. The author really make the story flow very smoothly and you never get tired of reading it. The theme and the action is so interesting that I think I would join Blue Dragon GC!

  • Beth Baryon
    2019-04-18 16:09

    This was a super depressing book about Indian boys enslaved as child laborers. They tell each other stories to keep their spirits up and there's a lot of neat information about India, but it was hard to keep reading.

  • Agnes Lorraine
    2019-03-31 18:54

    Powerful and poignant book that sheds light on child labor in an accessible narrative.

  • Nikos Antipatis
    2019-03-29 16:23

    Loved this book! I would recommend it to anyone whom likes a nice book were you can really feel the characters emotions.

  • Gerry
    2019-04-19 15:20

    Good multi-cultural choice, although some in the middle-grade audience may find the kidnapping and violence unsettling.

  • Tanvi Singh
    2019-04-16 10:56

    This book was simply phenomenal.

  • Will
    2019-04-16 18:01

    About boys kidnapped and forced into child labour. Intense and puts you deep into thought. Recommend it