Rising Star: Anna Perera, author

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The Independent Culture

Within a day of taking office, President Obama had ordered the closure of the Guantanamo camp, not to mention an end to "rendition" and torture.

So, with luck, Anna Perera's new novel for young readers will soon be read as a horrifying slice of history. 'Guantanamo Boy' (Puffin, £6.99) follows in pacy and visceral prose the ordeal of 15-year-old Khalid Ahmed from Rochdale.

Kidnapped on a family trip to Pakistan, he soon finds himself behind barbed wire in the sticky heat of Cuba. Born in London to Irish and Sri Lankan parents, Perera has published four other books and, as a teacher, ran a unit for boys excluded from school. Her novel highlights the teenagers sent to the camp as it tugs readers into its vivid nightmare journey.