syndetics-lcGopal and his family have fled their village and come to Mubai in search of work and a better life. Now, abducted on the streets of a strange city, Gopal is forced to work in a sweatshop with five other boys so browbeaten and disheartened that they don’t even have names.

Boys without names has something of a Dickensian feel to it, although it takes place in present-day Mumbai. Gopal is a strong character, defiantly holding onto his self-worth and the hope of being reunited with his family, even in the face of interminable slavery. He’s clever and brave and a natural leader for the other boys, helping them to work together and outwitting the villainous boss of the sweatshop. The other boys are also well-developed characters with ineteresting stories of their own. It is a realistic story, though Mumbai will seem like a completely different world to most of the children who will read this book. And though the threats to Gopal and his new friends are exciting enough, our faith that all will work out in the end is rewarded.

Sheth has written an appealing adventure story which opens the door to a discussion of real-world issues such as sweatshops and child labour

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