Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 9 - 12Grades 3 - 12Z5.189475
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 brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can't take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame.

Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run, but find a way to love and accept himself.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published on June 27, 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0399161120
ISBN-13: 9780399161124
7 Book Reviews
  • Just A Stranger10 months
    I read Golden Boy when I was 9-11, and even to this day, many, many years later, it is stall a wonderful read. To this day, even after tons of rereads, it can still make me cry.
    • Mover 1 year
      I have an albino classmate. I hate elephant poachers. I love elephants. My hero is Steve Fosset. Froompadoomples! My dog is named Strung Been (actually spelled like that). I have been bitten by a rattlesnake on a hike. Overall this is a good book. Haymaker Sauce is a book my brother is writing. Goodbye?
      • norzie452
        norzie452over 5 years55 starsFeatured
        Have you ever been the odd one out? Or to the point where because you so odd and weird looking, your life is in danger all the time? Welcome to the hard life of a thirteen-year-old Tanzanian boy, Habo short for Dhahabo, which means “golden”. In the realistic fiction book Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan, Habo is albino which is very rare. Unlike the rest of his dark-skinned family, he has yellow hair, light eyes, and pale white skin. All of his family, except for his sister Asu, has a very hard time accepting who he is. Habo has a hard time accepting who he is himself. A lot of times in the book his brother can't even look at him without making Habo very uncomfortable and not confident with his looks. A similar book to this is Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence. It is about an albino boy that sticks out as well. Tara Sullivan was born in India and spent her childhood living with her parents in Bolivia, Bangladesh, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. She went to Tanzania to interview many families which tells me that she got good information. I would definitely recommend this book to others, but more specifically ages eleven and up would enjoy the book. I would rate this book a 5/5. This book shows love, kindness, passion, and dedication. In the book Habo is so dedicated to travel for his safety. It also showed the overall thinking process of a boy with an incredibly tough life, which is something that I really enjoyed.
        • Mistakesalmost 6 years
          I live and love da book
          • cdardanes
            cdardanesabout 6 years
            The book that I read was Golden boy by Tara Sullivan. This book is about a albino boy named Habo. Habo and his family couldn't afford to live in there home so they were forced to move out. Habo and his family have to make enough money move out of mwanza, a place where people hunt and kill albinos and to travel to Dar es Salaam, a place where albinos are respected as normal people. I think that this book was very good. I think that it is good because it always kept me at the edge of my seat and I was always eager to find out what happens next. This book is full of crazy moments that will entertain anyone. For example, parts like when Alasiri is trying to kill Habo really surprised me and had my mouth hanging wide open. This book is realistic fiction because the characters are not real but the plot, settings and events could definitely happen. I believe that things like this may have happened before. The people that should read this book is anyone. It has scary and suspenseful moments and action but at the same time there is a lot of thoughtful and sentimental moments. One example of internal conflict in this book is when he is hiding under the boat in mwanza and is fighting in his head about what he should do, leave his family and temporary home or protect himself by going to Dar es Salaam. An example of external conflict is when Habo was being hunted by Alasiri.
            • jman926
              jman926about 6 years44 stars
              I read the book Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan. The book is about an albino child named Habo who lives in a farmhouse with his family in Africa. His father left his family after Habo was born because the dad thought that the mom had cheated with a white tourist because Habo is white, because that's because he's albino. One day, his family is evicted from their home. When this happens, they are forced to set out to a city called Mwanza to live with Habo's aunt. They hitch a ride with an elephant poacher called Alasiri. When they arrive at Habo's aunt's house, Habo's aunt tells Habo that he is an albino and that he should be careful of Alasiri as he might hunt Habo for his skin. Alasiri tries to get Habo alone and kill him but Habo runs away to a nearby town. He gets so hungry that he tries to steal food from a blind man. The blind man named Kweli doesn't yell at Habo, but makes Habo his apprentice. Habo lives at his house until Alasiri tracks Habo down to Kweli's house, knocks on the door and asks Kweli if he's seen Habo. Habo breaks down after Alasiri leaves and tells Kweli what happened. Kweli notifies the police and Alasiri gets put into jail. At the end of the book, Habo is reunited with his family and finally accepts that he is not a monster, but an albino. My opinion of the book is that it was good, but it lacked a couple of characteristics. The book was very detailed in describing things, but moved very slow. For instance, it described Habo's pale skin and red eyes very well, but it took a very long time for the family to make it to the aunt's house. I also felt like the author described some things that didn't need to be described, or was almost over-describing. This book was realistic fiction because everything that happened in the book could and still happens today, but this book was not taken from an actual story. Poachers still do hunt albinos for their skin as they think that it will bring them good luck. An audience that should read this book are people that like descriptive writing, with a setting that is very detailed and clear. The audience should like reading books with slow starts and not books that move very fast. The audience should also like a little bit of action, as there is some action at the end of the book. In this book, there was one internal conflict and one external conflict. The internal conflict that Habo faced was him thinking of himself as an outcast because of his skin color. This was because all of the kids in the city called him white boy, and made fun of him for his skin color. An external conflict that Habo faced is when he was being chased by Alasiri. Alasiri was trying to kill Habo for his skin and Habo barely managed to escape. Overall, this was a pretty good book and I would recommend it.
              • nuffs4
                nuffs4about 6 years44 stars
                I read Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan. This book is about a family being chased from their farm in Africa. They have an albino kid and he can't do anything because he gets burnt too easily. They travel to their aunt's house, where he is hunted to make good luck charms out of his body parts. I think this was a great book. It had a very deep and meaningful message and plot. It shows how different thing can be. Also, the struggles that different societies face. This is realistic fiction because this can happen. There have been things like this to happen, but this exact story is not real. Anyone would like this book. You would like it even better if you like reading about struggles in different societies. One internal conflict is when Habo is debating whether or not to leave his aunt's house. This is because it has nothing to do with anyone else. It is his decision alone. Also, what makes it a conflict is that he has trouble deciding whether or not he should go. An external conflict is man vs. man. This occurs when Alisiri is hunting Habo for his body parts. He chases him with a knife wherever he goes. Habo gets a long cut on his arm when he escapes.