Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: Diamond Boy, by Michael Williams

Diamond Boy is a compelling story about a really screwed up political situation.

Patson's family is moving to Marange, where his (evil) stepmother's brother owns a huge diamond field. They have no intention of working in the diamond mines. Patson's father will teach at the local school and Patson and his sister will attend the school.

First of all, they barely make it to Marange alive. They lose most of their belongings and only arrive safely due to the help of a guide, who also becomes a good friend. And, the school is closed, Patson and his father must work the mine fields. They live in an old barn, with a bunch of other families. Patson's stepmom moves in the main house with her brother.

The dream is to find the big diamond that will make you rich. Hundreds are trying to do so. But if they find anything, they must hide it from the owners of the mine.

Soldiers from the corrupt Zimbabwe government eventually take over the mine, and things get even worse.

The stepmom is totally wicked. It's entirely her fault that all this happened in the first place. I find it hard to believe Patson's sensible father would let her walk all over him like that. I find it hard to believe he ended up with her in the first place.

Diamond Boy is a heartbreaking story based on true events in Zimbabwe's recent history. The story definitely keeps your interest. Patson becomes very strong. He risks everything for his family, overcoming unbelievable odds.

There are several side characters that serve to make Diamond Boy a full and complete story. Boubacar, the guide, and Patson's friend, Arves, are both special characters.

I believe Diamond Boy will appeal to teens, and even young teens, who enjoy adventure and survival stories. You can't help but feel Patson's fears and anguish. Diamond Boy is also a slice of recent history that most you people are probably unaware of. I'll be happy to recommend this one.

Published by Little, Brown BFYR, December 2, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
400 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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