By Michael Williams
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Survival, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Teen Life: Family, Teen Life: Jobs/Finances, Teen Life: Personal Development
Grades: 7 & Up
“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 along with four friends, pooling their profits for a chance at a better life. Each of them hopes to find a girazi, a priceless stone that could change their circumstances forever. But when the government’s soldiers come to Marange, Patson’s world is shattered.
Set against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s brutal recent history, Diamond Boy is the story of a young man who succumbs to greed but finds his way out through a transformative journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister, in search of freedom, and in search of himself.
A high-stakes, harrowing adventure in the blood-diamond fields of southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running.
★ “[A] riveting tale…Williams draws from real events to bring this harrowing story to life, infusing Patson’s narrative with terrifying accuracy. Along the way, the story crosses over with Williams’s 2011 novel, Now Is the Time for Running, though readers need not be familiar with that book to be gripped and horrified by the troubles facing Patson and his nation.” — Publishers Weekly
★ “This is a compelling novel that brings home the desperate lives of exploited poor, and Diamond Boy will give every civilized reader pause. Written in diary format, the story brings the reader into the mind and soul of a young refugee suffering in a hell created by the greed and violence of powerful adults. More than simply a good read, Diamond Boy is a multilayered, teachable novel with a variety of approaches and is highly recommended for middle and high school collections..” — VOYA, starred review
“Williams’ fast-paced, tension-packed story is filled with cliff-hangers, [and] perils…a satisfying and eminently readable novel.” —Booklist
“[A] compelling epic…operatic in scope and intensity…A haunting, harrowing tale guaranteed to give “bling” a whole new meaning.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Deft, unflinching prose. Teens will be left haunted by Patson’s harsh yet essentially hopeful journey, where greed, despair, luck, and wonder intertwine on the diamond fields of Marage.” — School Library Journal