Habo is a 13-year old Albino child living in a small Tanzanian village. When they are forced to move out of the farm, Habo and his family must move in with his Auntie in Mwanza. Once they run out of money for the bus they decide to continue their journey on foot. They travel together in a homeless state for days until a man named Alasiri gives them a ride. Habo and his youngest brother Chui discover that Alasiri is a hunter that kills animals for money as well as sells certain parts to a witch doctor who tips Alasiri that albinos bring good luck. Habo's auntie tells him his condition for the first time and tells him to flee to Dar es Salaam to avoid being killed by Alasiri and other hunters. He travels alone, scared for his life until he meets a blind man who gives him some guidance.
Golden Boy, by Tara Sullivan, covers many lessons that we should learn from. Such learning about your children's illnesses, but in this case being albino is more of a skin defect, they can still function like normal human beings. And upon learning about these, we must not abandon the child or make them feel lesser than others because of what they can't control. The book also touches on the very real problems of Tazmania killing albinos for money just because of their skin. It also mentions race but focuses more on Habo's life and condition than anything. This book is fiction, but has truth that we should all listen to.
Reviewed by K.V., Grade 12
Downtown Central Library