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Diamond Boy

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  566 ratings  ·  127 reviews
A high-stakes, harrowing adventure set in the diamond fields of Southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running.

"Diamonds for everyone."

That's what fifteen-year-old Patson Moyo hears when his family arrives in the Marange diamond fields. Soon Patson is working in the mines himself, hoping to find his girazi--the priceless stone that cou
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  566 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Amber Foxx
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while since I was so deeply moved by a novel. I’ve read a lot of good books, but few as emotionally intense this one. The narrator, a Zimbabwean teenager, goes from an ordinary life in which he attends high school, runs on the cross country team, and is getting involved with a girl for the first time, to the diamond mines of Marange, at the instigation of his stepmother. She shows contempt for Patson’s father, a teacher, and his quiet, intellectual ways. Her demand to move the family ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
wow, what a journey
Chris Hall
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book took me on a roller coaster of an emotional ride. The story is compelling and the characters are well-drawn and believable. There are thrills and excitement, fears and horrors, as we follow young Patson's journey from Bulawayo to the Marange diamond fields and ultimately to Cape Town. Tragedy strikes him at almost every turn, and the reader might wonder whether Patson's situation can get any worse, but there is timely resolution and the ultimate ending is satisfying.

Although a work of
Matas Andrikonis
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Diamond Boy," by Michael Williams is a book about a kid named Patson who worked in the mines and as you can by the title Patson mined diamonds. He was treated very unfairly in the mines he was beat and what he found was not his he was forced to give to the owners of the mines. He found a couple of friends on his journey that worked with him and they all agreed that they will not give their diamonds to the owners even though it is a huge risk they are willing to take it. One of Patsons friend ev ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Teenage Patson and his little sister Grace move with their father to the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe at their stepmother's insistence that there will be "diamonds for everyone" there. Their father expects to teach at the local school with the children attending as pupils, but the school has turned into something very different, and Patson becomes part of a crew of boy miners trying to smuggle out some of the bigger stones they find instead of giving them to the boss. But worse is to come ...more
Mel Raschke
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fast read and great characters. YA/Adult literature. Good for both audiences.
Bar Jor
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing

DIAMOND BOY by Michael Williams is a multicultural fiction story set in Zimbabwe and South Africa in modern time. It is an attractive book that tells the very compelling story about 15 years old Patson’s life. The story is told by the first person narrator and it appealingly tells about Patson’s family, mining in Marrange’s place and the power of the Zimbabwe soldiers.
An author Michael Williams is a writer of plays, musical and managing director of Cape Town in South Africa. He has written many
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone, anyone
Recommended to Veronica by: Library New YA Shelf
Rating: 4.5 stars

I actually think Matthew Quick's little blurb on the back cover is a pretty good summary of my review of Diamond Boy:
"Michael Williams astounds us with the moral dilemmas facing southern Africa; he also buoys us with a realistic sense of hope and triumph. A must-read."

After learning about corruption in the diamond business from various people, I've wanted to learn more about it. Since actually sitting down to watch Blood Diamond between the cracks of my fingers wasn't all that
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Diamond Boy is definitely a must read in my book. Michael Williams brings to light the dangers and corruption surrounding the diamond mines in Zimbabwe. If you want a book that can make you laugh, smile and cry within one page this is the one for you. The characters were realistic, and made the book memorable. Each character served a purpose and brought to light the dangers that would surround their gender or age group in the diamond mines, or southern Africa.

The novel successfully touches upo

Kathleen Dixon
This is a compelling story about a lad, Patson, whose family moves from the city to the diamond fields in 2008 Zimbabwe. His father has a job as a teacher, but the value of the money he's paid is so low that they are living in poverty. Patson's stepmother persuades them to go to her brother who says "there are diamonds for everyone".

Anyone who has followed world news knows about the terrible state of Zimbabwe's economy under Mugabe, and the dreadful conditions at various diamond mines (and othe
Rheetha Lawlor
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rarely have I ever been so caught off guard about something happening in the world today that I hear about, but never realize the true meaning. Blood diamonds, conflict diamonds. That's what they are called. I remember hearing about it, and I was appalled. And then it kind of went away. But it didn't. Patson, a 16 year old boy, is determined to help his father and sister by finding the girazi, a diamond large enough to earn a way back to school and for his father to continue his teaching. But th ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was really well written and would probably be on my list for my top 5 favorite books. It was about a boy having to mine diamonds because his father had lost his job. But when he starts mining, he keeps finding the most precious diamonds that people have been finding for years. Because of all the rare diamonds he finds, they lead to bigger problems that he has to face. I'm pretty sure this would be the perfect book for readers who like realistic fiction books and adventure books but I s ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this in galley form. Amazing! Chilling, nail biter! I had traveled to Zimbabwe and the setting was all too real. This is a companion novel to the author's earlier book, Running Out of Time. Proudly, this was inspired by a letter from one of our former NHS students. The author credits her in his book.
April Hoy
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written book about a topic often unknown to this age group. For 7th graders and up. All the African names and places may throw younger readers out of the book without the help of a teacher or background info, but besides that I have no complaints about this book. The action really gets going in the middle of the book. A great read for boys!
Edward Sullivan
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
A powerful, compelling story that is a worthy companion to Williams's excellent Now is the Time for Running (2011). ...more
Sandy Jones
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This will change the way you look at diamonds forever. Great realistic look at life in Africa and the sad and dangerous desire for mining diamonds.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Spoiler alert

This review is about Diamond Boy. Michael Williams is the author of this book. It is realistic fiction. It’s theme was to never give up hope. Patson, the main character, thought everything was lost; his sister, father, diamonds, and even his left foot. However, he got some of these things back.
Patson and his family moved to Marange so they could get rich working the diamond fields. They worked at Banda Hill, a diamond mine owned by his step-uncle, James Banda. He was working there
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Williams takes the reader to the diamond fields of Marange, after 15-year old Patson is uprooted by his teacher father, under pressure from his new wife, to bring in a higher income than his teaching job. The family then moves to Marange, to join the syndicate of Patson’s step-uncle James Banda who is a diamond tycoon. The story then describes Patson and his father learning the ropes in the diamond mine, while continuing lessons at night in hope that he would be able to return to school ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Diamond Boy, a historical fiction novel written by Michael Williams, is an intriguing story that describes the rough economical despair in Zimbabwe, and the risky encounters of a young boy, named Patson. The author’s narrative was rather confusing in certain parts of the novel, because the plot felt as if it was very choppy. I felt as if Williams’ use of syntax unintentionally made the storyline quite misleading, because in some sections of the novel, I was unsure of the main character’s goal.

Aiden Bradbury
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Massanutten Regional Library
Jessica, Grottoes patron, June 2017, 5 stars:

Diamond Boy tells the story of a teenage boy who is forced to move to the diamond mines of Marange, Zimbabwe by his evil stepmother. It exposes the brutality of diamond mines overrun by soldiers, and provides an enthralling story of a young boy, forced to become a man. This book lightly deals with the issue of HIV/AIDS and depicts violent scenes therefore, it is best suited for readers grades 9 and up; though I think mature 8th graders would also be a
Deb Sheridan
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Diamond Boy surprised me with the intense level of emotion I felt as I read the story. Although it began slowly, I immediately connected with the main character and was curious and worried about his fate. The story is told from the perspective of 15 year old Patson as he deals with his new life in the diamond mines of Zimbabwe. It beautifully encapsulates the thoughts of an average teenager thrown into a far more dangerous situation than he could have ever imagined.
The author continued to exper
Alan Malcore
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The main characters in the book are 15 year old Patson his dad Joseph his step mom, and his sister Grace. Since Patson’s dad makes about two dollars a week teaching they have no choice but to find a better job so they take what little they have and head to the diamond fields(more towards Southern Africa) . Here Patson thinks he sees his future and how great it could be to be a diamond miner, but he didn’t know how wrong he was. Over the days Patson finds three Garazis, or perfect diamonds (worth ...more
Johnson Fantor
In Diamond Boy, a teenager seeking a better life encounters many losses in a search for "priceless" diamonds; girazis. This book is full of action and appropriate amount of emotion throughout each part. The story has many plot twists, dilemmas, and symbols that make the characters and storyline more complex, enjoyable, and realistic. From basically the beginning to almost the end, the story plummets in dozens of problems the protagonist, Patson encounters, when finally the tables simply "flip ov ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: g8-semester-2
Diamond Boy is a really captivating story of how a young boy named Patson struggles to fight the dangers of living in poverty. The author describes how Patson had to relocate from his home town, go to diamond fields and do illegal mining and how the government took over the private farms since they don't have any income. The main theme of the story was how a failed state causes poverty which was shown quite clearly throughout the book. Overall, the book was really interesting because you never r ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome book! This book is realistic fiction and was extremely interesting to read. Diamond Boy intrigued me and made me curious as to how this book would end. It was also a very hooking book and was quite hard to put down. There were lots of vivid emotions and a rollercoaster plot, meaning that the plot kept me wondering what would happen next. In addition, I loved how real this book was, and how not everything was happy and perfect, but how there was sadness, anger, and a sense of ...more
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This books was amazing since the day I picked it up When I was a teenager and I wasn’t that into books this made me wanna keep reading and made me the book lover I am today I couldn’t stop reading it until I finished it words can express how this book made me feel. I thought about it today after YEARS of reading it. It came back to my mind today I wish I could delete my memories to relieve the way this book made me feel. I’m glad I got to experience this book in my life. If this book get ...more
Jeannie T.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I enjoyed the fast-paced plot and truly engaging characters. I loved how the reader was able to take this heart-wrenching journey through Patson’s eyes. The author did a wonderful job of opening the reader’s eye to a whole other culture and country. I believe it is a true reader’s experience for a middle school aged student who has lived in the Ashburn bubble their whole lives. Highly recommend this novel to any age group!
Edward G. Madsen
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Now is the Time for Running and was excited to read this companion book.

The story of Paxson and his escape from the mines of Zimbabwe is in some ways a more touching story than Now is the Time for Running. We meet the entire Moyo family, getting to know his amai and his father, caring for them and his sister Grace. His miner family also comes alive, especially Arives, his HIV positive friend.

The story moves quickly and keeps readers engaged. I loved this book!
Kathy Wivell
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A harrowing tale

This is a story that is full of suspense and action. It follows the life of a youth who is caught up in the injustices which befall many Africans who try to improve their lives. In doing so they can easily be caught up in dangerous situations that are difficult to extricate themselves from. This story is brutal at times and compassionate and loving at others. Luckily for the young Patson he finds courage and assistance to help him to a better life.
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Michael Williams is a writer of plays, musicals, operas, and novels and the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He began writing "radio plays" while studying at University of Cape Town and had his first novel published when he was twenty-five years old. He has written operas for young people based on African mythology as well as the libretti for symphonic operas that have premier ...more

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