Aug 5, 2014

Golden Boy, by Tara Sullivan

This is the final selection of my bookstore's summer teen book club. It's about Habo, an thirteen-year-old African albino whose family is forced to leave their failing farm and move to a city to find work. Habo is the only albino he and his family and village have ever seen, and he has no idea that there are others like him. He only knows that he is different, though he knows he feels the same emotions and has the same needs as everyone else. Mwanza, the city his family first goes to, holds great danger for Habo: here, albinos are killed and their body parts harvested as tokens of good luck, much like a rabbit's foot. Habo tries to hide but is found out, and must escape the city, leaving his family and everything he knows behind.

"Golden Boy" is a bit of a stressful read; it's written in the first person, from Habo's perspective, so we feel very immediately all of his fears and anxieties. Since he's frightened for most of the book, this can make for some decidedly unrelaxed reading. But this is an issue well-worth bringing attention to, and I'm glad Sullivan is doing so with this book.

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