Booktalk for BOYS WITHOUT NAMES by Kashmira Sheth

boys-without-e1438624198313Gopal and his family have to leave their small village in India. They’ve lost their farm and have no way to live. “We stay, we starve,” his father says. Leaving before dawn one morning, they travel to the giant city of Mumbai, but Gopal’s father gets separated from the rest of the family and they can’t find him.

Especially with his father gone, Gopal wants to earn money to help his family. He thinks he’s had the best stroke of luck when a boy offers to get him a job in a factory. But it’s a trick. The boy drugs his tea, loads him into a taxi, and takes him deep into the city.

When he wakes up, a scar-faced man is standing over him. This is Gopal’s new boss. The boy won’t be earning any money and won’t be returning to his family. Gopal is expected to work long hours every day alongside five other boys. He has to find a way to help the boys trust one another if there’s going to be any chance of escape.


Genre: realistic fiction

Grades 4-7