Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ghost Boy” as Want to Read:
Ghost Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ghost Boy

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  755 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
Harold Kline is an albino—an outcast. Folks stare and taunt, calling him Ghost Boy. It’s been that way for all of his 14 years. So when the circus comes to town, Harold runs off to join it.

Full of colorful performers, the circus seems like the answer to Harold’s loneliness. He’s eager to meet the Cannibal King, a sideshow attraction who’s an albino, too. He’s touched that
Paperback, 340 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Laurel Leaf (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ghost Boy, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternWater for Elephants by Sara GruenGeek Love by Katherine DunnSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyThe Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
Circus/Carnival Books
42nd out of 308 books — 715 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Teen Historical Fiction
442nd out of 1,006 books — 2,480 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,341)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 13, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes circus novels, anyone concerned with bullying
It's the close of World War II. Harold Kline is an albino and an outcast living with his mother, a disheartened widow, who's since remarried.

While she's trying to forget the husband and son she lost in the war, Harold misses his dead father and older loving brother who's been deemed MIA. Harold must now endure on his own the daily taunts of "Ghost" and "Maggot" and other names used by the normal people of his small home town of Liberty.

When a run-down circus comes to town, Harold seizes the ch
Riley Bower (period 2)
Mar 04, 2013 Riley Bower (period 2) rated it really liked it
Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence is a fictional novel about a fourteen year old boy named Harold. Unlike the other children of Liberty, the town in which Harold lives, he is an albino(a medical issue that causes lack of pigmentationin your eyes, skin, and hair), and all the children know him as Ghost Boy. One day Harold is fishing down by Rattlesnake creek, when he is approched by agroup of kids. They bully him all the way into the entrance of Hunter and Green's traveling circus, where he is given fre ...more
Caroline Englert
Aug 05, 2014 Caroline Englert rated it liked it
The story begins when Harold Kline, an albino teenager, is fishing at the Rattlesnake, a river on the outskirts of Liberty, USA. Next, he finds his way to the traveling circus, Hunter and Green’s. He meets Tina and Samuel, some of the sideshow acts, before he heads home. Also, Tina and Samuel give Harold a ticket to the circus, but when he asks his mother and step-father if he can go they say he can’t. That night he makes the hard decision to run away from home to join the circus. He misses the ...more
Sarah Boggs
Mar 05, 2013 Sarah Boggs rated it liked it
I liked the book ok because it did have a few boring parts, and the ending left me thinking there was going to be a sequel... The book is about an albino boy named Harold Kline. He runs away from his home in Liberty, USA to go to the circus. He meets Mr. Hunter, Tina (Princess Minikin), Samuel (the Fossil Man), the Gypsy Magda, Flip (the horse trainer), Roman (the rigger), and Wicks (the cook). When he meets Flip, he falls for her instantly. He does anything and everything for her, including aba ...more
Haven Fauble
May 25, 2015 Haven Fauble rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gloria Piper
Dec 10, 2015 Gloria Piper rated it it was amazing
Harold Kline's father died in WWII and his brother went missing. His mother changed and married the banker, whom Harold dislikes. If all that weren't bad enough, Harold faces daily taunts because he is an albino. So Harold avoids others by going off on his own with his dog, to fish, and to wish he were normal.

Eventually he runs off to join the circus. The first to welcome him are a gypsy fortune teller, a miniature woman, and a man covered with fur. He is soon drawn away from them by a beautiful
Malia Burch
May 25, 2015 Malia Burch rated it liked it

Ghost Boy is about a boy named,Harold. Harold is fifteen years old and he is an albino. Ever since he was little people have teased him about how white and pale he is. David, Harold's older brother, went to war but he never came back. So everyday Harold goes to the train station to see if he gets of the train, but he is never there. Also Harold's dad died in the war, and his mom hasn't been acting the same. Harold ran away from home to go to the circus to meet the Cannibal King, who is also an
Jun 14, 2011 Robbie rated it liked it
Ghost Boy
by Iain Lawrence
352 pages
Laurel Leaf

In Ghost Boy, everyone makes fun of Harold because he is albino so Harold decides to leave the town to find people who won’t make fun of him. Harold decides to join a circus that he travels with all over the place and he likes it at the circus because no one makes fun of him for being different. He gets a job at the circus cleaning up elephant pens but notices that no one in the circus does tricks/stunts using the elephants. Harold ends up
Mackenzie Goddard
Mar 04, 2013 Mackenzie Goddard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: montford
Harold Kline is a boy who is taunted by children because he is an albino. His brother David and his father went to go fight in the war and his father died and his brother went missing. Harold lived with his mother, Walter Beesley (his stepfather), and his dog Honey who was also his best friend. Harold and Honey were walking to the circus one day when some children started to tease Harold. He was pulled into the circus tent by a "living fossil" named Samuel. Samuel was with a small old woman who ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Sadie rated it really liked it
Summary: An albino boy named Harold is constantly taunted and teased. His father and his brother fought and WW2 and died. Since then, his mom has changed and has married another man, whom Harold does not like. One day, Harold sees the circus and meets friends (Samuel and Tina) there and decides to leave his only friend, his dog Honey, to travel with the circus. Harold gets permission to join the circus, but soon finds out the circus is running out of business. Harold teaches the circus's elephan ...more
Jager Vanweelden
Mar 03, 2013 Jager Vanweelden rated it it was ok
Harold Kline is and albino boy that is ridiculed by many people in his small town. He then joins the circus that passes through town because he wants to meet the Cannibal King. After meeting up with the "freaks", Harold reaches the circus and asks Flip if he could join them. She agrees and Harold meets the Pachyderms. Harold then begins to train with them so they can learn how to play baseball. Harold then begins to feel accepted in the circus. After falling in love with Flip, Harold meets Roman ...more
Ellie Becker
Mar 04, 2013 Ellie Becker rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2013 Marla rated it really liked it
I rated this book 4 stars because it was a nice story of Harold and his journey about becoming a circus freak. Although I was a little upset with the ending it was a good book. In the beginning of the book Harold ran away from his home because he was upset with his stepfather and mother. He also saw a circus poster with the Cannibal King on it. The Cannibal King is an albino just like Harold so he was destined to meet him. Also all of the kids in Liberty made fun of him because of his pale skin. ...more
Sean Smith
Mar 04, 2013 Sean Smith rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelby Merlau
Mar 04, 2013 Shelby Merlau rated it really liked it
In the beginning, you meet the main character, Harold, who is an albino and is constantly tormented by other kids. He is having to deal with his new stepdad and his MIA brother who went to war. Around this time, he meets Tina and Samuel, who are acts in a traveling circus. They give him a ticket to the circus and before long, Harold packed up all his belongings and left everything behind to go to the circus and live with "freaks" like him. After traveling for days, they finally make it to the ci ...more
Mallory Madden
Mar 05, 2013 Mallory Madden rated it liked it
Ghost Boy taught me a lot about acceptance and being able to accept yourself. I think everyone should read this book once even if its not the type of book you would read its some thing that needs to be read.
this book is about a boy named Harold who has been bullied for being a albino. One day the circus came to his little town called Liberty. he went and met Samuel ( the fossil) and Tina (Princess Minikin. later that night he ran away and left his dear dog Honey. He started riding with samuel
Mar 03, 2013 Anna rated it really liked it
Ghost Boy by, Ian Lawrence, was about an unaccepted albino boy who was picked on, made fun of, and felt unappreciated by his mom and step-dad. One day he went to go see a circus were he meet some circus freaks ,Tina & Samuel, who invite him to join the circus with them. He was intrigued by another albino in the circus called Cannibal King. So, he left his only friend Honey, a dog, and went off to join the circus. He traveled with the freaks he had met and a fortune teller, Gypsy Magda, who ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
This book is about a 14-year old albino boy named Harold. He frequently calls himself "the ghost". Harold was sitting at the Rattle Snake River when he met an Indian named Thunder Wakes Him, and who told him about a circus that was in town. He told Harold the circus was travelling to Oregon. While on a walk back home, Harold decides to go and check out the circus where he was teased by the children attening the circus, until he passed out. While at the circus he learned of a man called "the Cann ...more
Luke Ceci
Mar 05, 2013 Luke Ceci rated it did not like it

It all started when an albino boy, Harold Cline, went to the circus for something to do. When he arrived at the circus, he met Samuel, a big hairy man who is called The Human Fossil and Tina, a very small woman who is called Princess Minikin. Then, Harold meets a friend, Hop Along Jack. Hop Along Jack tells Harold he should meet the Cannibal King, who is also an albino. As Harold arrives at the circus, he sees that the circus is gone. A nice old Indian named Thunder Wakes Him gives Harold a lift
Mar 04, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it
Ghost Boy is about an albino boy who is constantly bullied by the kids of his hometown because of how he looks. One day the circus comes into town and Harold meets Tina, also known as Princess Minikin, and Samuel, also known as the Living Fossil who are both freaks from the circus 'Hunter and Greens'. He decides to follow the circus since they were going to Oregon, a place he and his brother had always talked about going to before his brother joined the war and was declared 'MIA'. He learns abou ...more
Eo-jin Kim
Mar 04, 2013 Eo-jin Kim rated it really liked it
Ghost boy is about an albino boy name Harold. Harold lives at Liberty USA, with his mom and step-father. In the beginning of the story, Harold was fishing at Rattlesnake. Later in the story, Harold meets Tina and Samuel. Tina and Samuel gives arold a circus ticket, but Harold's mom and step-dad doesn't let him go. At night, Harolg decides to live his home and join the circus group. During traveling, he meets Thunder Wakes Him, Gypsy Magda, who helps Harold throughout traveling. When the circus m ...more
Emma Kerwin
Mar 06, 2013 Emma Kerwin rated it it was ok
I would not recommend this book to students because I personally thought it was boring. The reason I thought it was boring is because the topic wasn't very interesting and the events that happend in the book were just very plain and not very exciting. If you are looking for an exciting book, this is not the book for you. I do have to say that this book did have a lot of events that happend in it, but they were not very exciting. And the ending kinda ruined the whole book.

Basically, the book is a
Collin Adkins
Mar 05, 2013 Collin Adkins rated it it was ok
This book started out as a story full of bullying and stayed that way for about two chapters. Then Harold, The main character, went to the circus and met two of the circus' sideshow freaks. Princess Minikin or Tina is an adult lady that is about the size of a 9 year old. But has the heart as big as the sea. On the other hand, The fossil or Samuel is larger than the average man, and is covered with fur like a sasquatch. Although they were very kind, he left but soon returned that night, only to f ...more
Emma Curry
Mar 05, 2013 Emma Curry rated it liked it
Harold Klien is a fourteen year old albino who is teased because of his skin. His father died at war, and his brother was pronounced MIA. He has a mother who has completley changed since when she married Walter Beesley, who isn't so nice himself. Basically, the only friend Harold has in the small Liberty county is Honey, his retriever dog. But when the circus comes to town, Harold meets a few "freaks" like him, that convince him to come along. He is not sure at first, until he sees a poster of t ...more
Madison Layfield
Mar 05, 2013 Madison Layfield rated it really liked it
Harold, an albino teenage boy, is introduced to the circus one day by Thunder Wakes Him, an old Indian. Thunder Wakes Him tells him all about it and about the Cannibal King, the albino in the circus. Harold becomes interested because he has finally found someone just like him. He decides to leave home to travel with the Circus with his new friends Tina, The petite princess, and Samuel, the living fossil. Once getting to the Circus he is introduced to Flip and Mr. Hunter. Flip debates whether Ha ...more
Elsa Meyer
Mar 04, 2013 Elsa Meyer rated it really liked it
I thought that Ghost Boy was a very exciting book. It teaches you about self acceptance and to be who you are. Ghost Boy starts out in a small town called Liberty, where a boy named Harold lives with his mom, stepfather, and dog. Harold is an albino dealing with a lot of trouble. For example, bullies mess with him by taking his stuff and call him names. In addition, his father died in war and his brother hasn’t come back.

One day, Harold is walking back from the Rattlesnake River and he meets
Kayla Barry
Mar 04, 2013 Kayla Barry marked it as to-read
Harold is bullied a lot. Harold calls himself Ghost Boy. Harold's dad died in the war and his brother is M.I.A. Harold's stepdad searches everywhere for Harold and when he gets home he gets in a world of trouble. Harold runs away that night and rides with "Thunder Wakes Him" to the circus. While riding through town people see Harold, Tina, and the others in the car and they all go oh it's the circus freaks. They go to a restaraunt and stands up for himself to the chef. Harold talks to the Gypsy ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Zoe rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Colvin
In Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence, Harold Kline is an albino 14 year-old in the town of Liberty. Throughout his whole life, Harold has been troubled by the other kids of Liberty, and called "The Ghost" because of his albinoism. After getting mugged by the children of his fishing pole and fish he caught recently at the Rattlesnake, Harold and Honey (his dog), wander near the circus in Liberty. There, they find peculiar people (freaks, the circus calls them), Samuel and Tina. Harold greets them very s ...more
Hunter Blackburn
Mar 04, 2013 Hunter Blackburn rated it liked it
In Ian Lawrence’s book Ghost Boy we are whisked away into a story of personal agendas and feelings. In the very beginning we meet Harold Kline; an albino who is constantly picked on by his fellow adolescents. He goes to the Saturday train to see if his brother, Dave, has come home from being MIA in the same war that took his father. Since the train doesn’t stop in his town he goes fishing with his dog Honey. He catches a “sucker”, but not before an old Native American named Thunder Wakes Him tel ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 44 45 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Floating Circus
  • Swear to Howdy
  • Step Right Up: Stories of Carnivals, Sideshows, and the Circus
  • Empire of Ruins (The Hunchback Assignments, #3)
  • A Place Called Ugly
  • The Oregon Trail Romance Collection: 9 Stories of Life on the Trail into the Western Frontier
  • Blind Voices
  • The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party
  • What's in a Name
  • Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus
  • The Road to Damietta
  • Cirkus
  • Blood Secret
  • What Would Joey Do? (Joey Pigza, #3)
  • The Troll King
  • Twisted Summer
  • Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year In Stuff
  • Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War

Share This Book