Title: Golden Boy
Author: Tara Sullivan
Recommended for: 6th Grade and Up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Sullivan, T
Synopsis: Habo has always been different from everyone he knows. Light eyes, yellow hair, and white skin. Many in his African village call him a zeruzeru, a ghost boy, a nothing. It’s not until his family goes to live with his aunt in Mwanza that Habo learns zeruzeru has another meaning, albino. Of course, even in this new town, he finds out being a zeruzeru is bad. Here he won’t be ignored, instead he’ll be hunted because albino body parts are thought to bring new luck. And one hunter, Alasira, has gotten way too close and has already made one attempt on Habo’s life.
On the run, Habo finds himself in Dar es Salaam where albinos are supposed to be safe. The only problem is the city is HUGE and Habo doesn’t know where to go next. When hunger takes over, he tries to exchange an old man’s meal for money, but Kweli, a blind carver has other plans. Instead, he offers Habo a place to stay and food in exchange for helping him around the house. As Habo settles in, for the first time in his life, he finally feels at home! He even learns he has a talent for carver. But when a demon from his past returns, he realizes his running days may not be done after all.
Review: This is one of those “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” books. Even I was like, eh, when I had to read this one, but OMG it’s easily one of my favorites on the Caudill list. It was one I didn’t want to put down and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The beautiful thing about it is that while the situation is unique, there are emotions that everyone can relate to. Those feeling of belonging somewhere are universal.
The sad thing, is that albinos are truly hunted in Africa, so while it is fiction there is a spark of truth behind it. All in all a very good book that I recommend to all.