Based on a true story this book raises an issue that everyone knows about but is afraid to discuss. Guantanamo Bay, where people are kept without any legal reason, is an appalling place where the inmates are humiliated and tortured – by a supposedly humane Western government. If you read this book be ready to stay up to the early morning, and be prepared to cry.
Recommended by Jonah Freud, age 12
- If you’re interested in what it’s like to be imprisoned, try Matt Whyman’s Inside the Cage, which is about a boy suspected of hacking into Fort Knox and who ends up in an American secure prison in the Arctic. Or try Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates, which is about the effects of false imprisonment on a teenage boy.
- Or there’s a new series about a boy sent to the harshest of all juvenile detention centres; The Furnace Penitentiary. The series looks interesting; the first one, Furnace: Lockdown, comes out in March.
- Or if you want to think about what the colour of our skin might mean, try Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses. The whole series is wonderful, but particularly of interest might be Checkmate, which is about what turns someone into a suicide bomber.