Boys without names by kashmira sheth

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boys without names by kashmira sheth

Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth

For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. So they must 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 until school starts, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer.

But Gopal has been deceived. There is no factory but, instead, a small, stuffy sweatshop, where he and five other boys are forced to make beaded frames for no money and little food. The boys are forbidden to talk or even to call one another by their real names. In this atmosphere of distrust and isolation, locked in a rundown building in an unknown part of the city, Gopal despairs of ever seeing his family again.

Then, late one night when Gopal decides to share kahanis, or stories, he realizes that storytelling might be the boys key to holding on to their sense of self and their hope for any kind of future. 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.
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Published 15.06.2019

Boys Without Names, by Kashmira Sheth

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Thank you! Eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, deeply in debt, flee to Mumbai to find work. There, a slick older boy offers Gopal a factory job, then turns him over to a ruthless sweatshop operator. Locked inside a decrepit building with five other despairing boys, Gopal quickly learns the routine. Long days of gluing beads onto picture frames, little food, stifling heat and occasional severe beatings with a rubber hose all keep the boys intimidated.

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For eleven-year-old Gopal and his family, life in their rural Indian village is over: We stay, we starve, his baba has warned. So they must 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 until school starts, so when a stranger approaches him with the promise of a factory job, he jumps at the offer. But Gopal has been deceived. There is no factory but, instead, a small, stuffy sweatshop, where he and five other boys are forced to make beaded frames for no money and little food. The boys are forbidden to talk or even to call one another by their real names.

Eleven-year-old Gopal is torn. Gopal is a natural storyteller with a love for the details of his village life—the hills and forest, the pond and birds—and this skill will save his life. When they get to Mumbai, Gopal realizes that the city is being flooded with people from the rural states looking for a better life. When the family is separated from Baba and ends up sleeping on the streets, Gopal feels the need to earn money for his family and is soon conned by a man promising a job in a factory. Gopal ends up a slave with five other boys, locked in a little building and forced to make beaded frames in harsh conditions, for no money and little food.

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