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Golden Boy

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,898 ratings  ·  366 reviews
A shocking human rights tragedy brought to light in a story of heartbreak and triumph.

Thirteen-year-old Habo has always been different— light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 27th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin
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Erin Winters It should be! Let's look when we go to the library on Friday!
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  1,898 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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Claire Caterer
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
How is it that a novel that illustrates a brutal practice can be one of triumph and hope? How can one recommend a book about human poaching to children?

Easy. Just read Tara Sullivan's GOLDEN BOY and you'll see.

In this stunning debut novel, Habo is a 13-year-old Tanzanian boy with albinism. As such, he is in constant danger, because witch doctors in that country pay top dollar for body parts of such people. And Habo is hunted by just such a poacher. Habo's journey from frightened child to a boy
That would be 5 stars times 2. This would be a 10 star book for me. Perhaps I should give less 5s and then a 5 would have more meaning. If reading a book was sinful then this book was tempting 24/7 until it was finished. So the question is why such a compelling read? There are some personal reading preferences factors:
Adventure/Survival is one of my favorite genres
Africa intrigues me as a setting

But what would this book mean for others?
Let's start with raising awareness of injustice. In this
Jaden Nelson
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow, can we just take a minute to appreciate these amazing 340(ish) pages full of heartbreaking sadness and betrayal, but also happiness and forgiveness that are golden boy? This is one of the few books that I have read that I had no hesitation to rating a 5/5- 10/10,for so many reasons. I will admit, starting this book was very hard for me. I got this book probably 2 or 3 years ago and quit after the first chapter. Also, DO NOT LET THE SUMMARY OF THIS BOOK MAKE YOU THINK THAT IT WILL BE BORING ...more
From a National Geographic article on 10/11/2013:Last month, a United Nations report on albino persecution put Tanzania at the top of a list of African nations -mostly in East Africa- where albinos are targeted for murder. "In most of the cases documented, the attacks involved dismembering the victim's limbs and resulted in death", the report said. "In a few other cases, the victims were beheaded; genitals, ears, and bits of skin were removed; tongues were cut out and the eyes and the heart ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
The book, or rather, the feeling of persecution remained with me long after I finished the book. A story of cruelty, discrimination, superstition, persecution and a story also of courage, humanity, kindness and finding oneself.
13-year-old Habo knows he is different: everyone in his family and village has dark skin, while Habo alone has pale skin that burns easily in the sun, blue eyes that don't see very well, and light hair. When his family is forced to abandon their farm in Tanzania to seek refuge with an aunt in Mwanza, Habo learns that there is a name for people like him: he is a zeruzeru, an albino. Habo has always felt like an outsider in his own family, but there is little comfort in knowing that there are ...more
Snigdha Thatikonda
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
3.75 out of 5 stars. The action element as well as the emotional element was flawless, I just found the rest to be less entertaining. Review to come!
Edward Sullivan
The fascinating, disturbing story of a thirteen-year-old Tanzanian albino boy.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everybody knows who is the albino. Everybody see the albino but did they really know their lives,what they endure?
In Africa we have been washed the brain by some myths and others.
To read GOLDEN BOY by TARA SULLIVAN make me see the other face of being albino even if I wasn’t totally unfamiliar with this subject.
GOLDEN BOY is a multicultural book wrote By TARA SULLIVAN.
The protagonist is Habo a thirteen year old born in a poor family lived in small Tanzanian village.
He is different from his
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The golden boy by Tara Sullivan is a multicultural book about an albino who name is Habo. Habo is thirteen years old his family is po5and people don't like him because of his skin color (unless his sister Asus).
Not having enough information about albino his father left because he taught that his wife cheated on him and give birth to a kid who has other skin color and they became poor more when his dad left. One day a landlord told them to leave their house because their are not paying the
Katie Melzer
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book blew me away! It was really surprising how one thing would dramatically lead to the next, and gave you a great point of view on what it’s like to be different. I can relate to Habo’s big sister in a huge way, we both tend to treat our little brothers like complete babies and are always worried about them. I would recommend this book to people who stand out, and can relate to Habo when he talks about people giving him weird looks. Overall, the book was a bit repetitive with Alasiri, but ...more
Ms. Folsoi
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The main character faces discrimination and danger because he is albino in a town where albinoes are often attacked and killed. He is very resourceful and has a resilient spirit. The novel is really a great adventure novel with twists and turns along with tension and tenderness.
Dillan 2-3
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really shows you the meaning to be afraid. Being hunted down through your every day life and watching everywhere as you live. This book brings awareness to how Albinos are hunted and slaughtered in this country and some people just can't live the normal lives like others.
Queen-Patricia Chiddix
It is a great book for people who want to know more about albinism.
Jazmin Arroyo
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
L.E. Fidler
oh, habo, i just want to hug you.

first, a disclaimer: this is young adult fiction in the purest sense of the word. geared toward the pre-twilight crowd (so, ideally, 6th-8th grade, i'm guessing), the narrative is constructed clearly with a burgeoning teenager in mind. i'd even say "pre-sexual" - it's not that kind of story.

this is, however, a story of transition - particularly poignant for those kids caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood, when the awkwardness and discomfort of
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Danielle Earnest 8/10/15
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan realistic fiction/action
He is a zeruseru, he is nothing, he, Habo, is an albino surviving the cruelty he gets being part of a Tanzanian family in Africa. Being an albino Habo has many everyday problems like the sun, being rejected by his own family except sister, Asu, which he can live with but now because of him the whole family is kicked out of their home and must leave immediately. Now Habo, sister, Asu, younger brother, Chui and their
Thirteen-year-old Habo is an albino who becomes the target of one man's desire for wealth once he and his Tanzanian family must leave their small village for his aunt's home in Mwanza. Habo has always known he was different because of his pale skin, yellow hair, and light eyes, and he has always blamed himself for his father's departure. But once the family arrives in Mwanza, he cannot appear on the street since there are many who consider his body parts to be worth their weight in goal since ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a slightly reluctant four, because the first 80 pages were pretty boring. It picked up, though, and I really enjoyed the latter part of the story.

Golden Boy is the story of an albino boy Habo. He has all sorts of trouble because of the superstitions surrounding albinos in Tanzania, where he lives. Some think the body parts of dead albinos bring luck, other call albinos "ghost people" or "zeru-zerus" (literally zero-zero, or nothing). First Habo's family has to leave their village and
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't read a lot of YA. Haven't really since I became an A. With a few notable strong exceptions -- The Hunger Games, Harry Potter -- the genre just doesn't do it for me, especially since Twilight came on the scene. After hearing so much positive press about Golden Boy, though, I happily dug into it, particularly after confirming there were no sparkly dragonfeywolves or insipid teen romances. I soon realized this was the type of YA book I LOVED when I was a kid: a story about kids dealing with ...more
Look. All I have to say about this one is this.

Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the book “Golden Boy”, Tara Sullivan tells an amazing multicultural book about an albino living in Africa. In the beginning of the book Habo, the albino, and his family has to move out of their house. They move to Habo’s Aunt's house in Mwanza, Tanzania. Along the way they meet a man named Alasari, who hunts elephants for their ivory. When they get to Mwanza, they find out that albinos like Habo get killed there. So then when they get to their aunt's house, he has to hide and try not to get ...more
Suzanne Loring
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Habo lives in a northern Tanzanian village with his family. He goes to school, he tends the family’s goats, but he is not like everyone else. Habo has yellow hair, light eyes and white skin, skin whiter than even that of the white man who often comes on safari through his village. Habo is an albino.

When his family is forced to leave their small village farm and travel to Mwanza to live with Habo’s aunt they have no idea the danger that surrounds them. In the big city, albinos
Carrie Gelson
When my students write book reviews, they don't stick to the rules of 5 stars. Sometimes they give the book 10 stars or even 1000. So I am going to borrow from their rule book in rating this book. I give it a hundred stars. Because, yes, I loved it. Yes, it was beautifully written. Yes, it made me cry. All of those things that typically make me eagerly assign 5 stars to a story. But this book also was SO much more. A story that is fictional but not at all. Because Habo's story could be, might be ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book brings to light such an important issue I didn't know albinos faced, but it also weaved together a story about a kid just trying to figured out life. For the most part, the story was about Habo finding family, a new one in Kweli, and a friend in Davu, but also discovering the love his family always had for him. The heart of the book was something some characters figured out and others could not : people who look differently than you do are still people. Humanity is the same regardless ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A perfect book to teach middle school age children about a world outside their own. Habo is a thirteen year old boy with Albinism, living in a small village in Tanzania. Children who read this book will absorb cultural differences as Tara Sullivan does a wonderful job weaving the culture of Tanzania into Habo's story. Habo encounters true evil for the first time when he witnesses the poaching of an elephant for its ivory, which foreshadows Habo being hunted for his body parts. Albinos in ...more
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Golden Boy is a story about an albino boy named Habo living in Tanzania. Nobody but his sister Asu accepts him including his father who left when he was born. Habo’s family is forced to move out of their house by tax collectors. They take a bus halfway to his aunt’s house in Mwanza but then must walk the rest of the way through the Serengeti. But in Mwanza Habo learns that albino body parts are used for luck medicine. Luck medicine is a potion made using albino hair or limbs and is believed to ...more
Gianna H5
My book was "Golden Boy". The author of my book was, Tara Sullivan. This book will capture your attention and make you never want to put it down.
13 year old Habo is the complete opposite of his family, they are dark skinned and he is albio like the tourist. No one excepts Habo in his family except for his aunt. Luckily that is where his family moved to live because of the conditions of the other house. To survive Habo must not only run, but find a way to except himself.
I can kind of relate to
Demitria Lunetta
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended for fans of: YA or MG Contemporary with Substance/ African Culture

This book is amazing. Sullivan has clearly done extensive research on Albinos living in Tanzania. You are immersed in African culture, but you always feel like you belong there. Everything feels very authentic and accurate. It speak from a place that is more than just intellectually though, GOLDEN BOY feels so genuine. You feel stricken when the family is forced to leave their home, just as Habo does. You also get to
Susan  Dunn
What a great book! Habo is an albino, which in his home country of Tanzania means that in many parts of the country he may be killed b/c of the color of his skin. Some believe that body parts of an albino can bring good luck. Pursued by just such a hunter, Habo must leave his family and escape to the city of Dar-es-Salaam on his own. Habo ultimately finds refuge and friendship with a blind sculptor - but his hunter is not far behind... I learned a lot and was on the edge of my seat the whole ...more
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Tara Sullivan was born in India and spent her childhood living in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic with her parents who were international aid workers. She received a BA in Spanish Literature and Cognitive Science from the University of Virginia, and a MA in Latin American Studies and an MPA in Non-Profit Management from Indiana University.
Her first book, GOLDEN BOY, was
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“Although Golden Boy is a work of fiction, the situations portrayed in it are real. The first materials that Habo and Davu read together in the library are all real. The children’s book they read aloud is a real book, True Friends: A Tale from Tanzania, by John Kilaka. All of the newspaper headlines they read came from real newspapers. Sadly, the stories of the people with albinism in Golden Boy are real as well. The two members of parliament that Habo sees on TV are real people, and so was Charlie Ngeleja. He died in Mwanza the way Auntie describes to Habo’s family. Charlie’s is just one story, but there are too many like his. When I came across a news story in 2009 that told about the kidnapping, mutilation, and murder of African albinos for use as good-luck talismans, I was upset that I had never heard about the tragedy before. I started looking for books on the subject and found none. The most I could find were a few articles from international newspapers and a documentary produced by Al Jazeera English: Africa Uncovered: Murder & Myth. This haunting documentary touched a nerve and sent me down the path of writing Golden Boy.” 1 likes
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