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Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence

Ghost Boy (2002)

by Iain Lawrence

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044041668X, Mass Market Paperback)

Fourteen-year-old Harold Kline is an albino--white from head to toe, even his hair and his eyes that are like drops of water. His life is made unbearable by the other kids, who call him "snow" or "maggot," and ever since his father died and his brother was reported missing in Vietnam, his mother has become angry and withdrawn. And so Harold runs away, although it is a wrench to leave Honey, the elderly dog who has been his only comfort. And where would an albino kid on the run end up? In the circus, of course--in this case a down-at-the-heels road show where he is sheltered by a kindly lady midget and her huge man-beast companion and given hugs and unquestioning acceptance by the other "freaks." There he falls in love with the beautiful but duplicitous trick horseback rider and gains self-respect and the admiration of the other circus folks when he accomplishes the seemingly impossible feat of teaching the elephants to play baseball. But Gypsy Magda forecasts a "great harm" lurking in the future, and it has something to do with Harold's rejection of the "freaks" who have sheltered him as one of their own.

In this strange, moving novel, the author of sea adventures The Wreckers and The Smugglers has built a compelling metaphor for the universal teenage fear of being declared an outsider. With great emotional veracity, Iain Lawrence plays many intriguing variations on the theme of alienation in a work full of fascinating characters, marvelous scenes, and tragic surprises. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

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Unhappy in a home seemingly devoid of love, a fourteen-year-old albino boy who thinks of himself as Harold the Ghost runs away to join the circus, where he works with the elephants and searches for a sense of who he is.

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