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Gr 9 Up—Patson Moyo's life is perfectly ordinary. He is on the cross-country team with his best friend, Sheena. His father, a teacher, is often a little dreamy but a wonderful storyteller. His perky little sister, Grace, loves to play games on his cell phone. Patson never would have guessed that his smart, university-graduate father, who had won the Outstanding Teacher Award four years in a row, can barely make ends meet, due to government corruption and the massive devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar. Egged on by Patson's stepmother, Sylvia, the Moyos decide to improve their situation by travelling to Marage where Sylvia's brother lives and it is claimed that there are "diamonds for everyone." The power of Patson's story is rooted in the very mundane rites of daily life that even modern American teenagers will find familiar—the emoticon-filled texting between Patson and his sister, the angst and anxiety of a kiss between friends—juxtaposed with the real and menacing danger of the brutal whims of corrupt army officers and traitorous fellow miners. Diamond Boy is a companion novel to Williams's other book about war-torn Zimbabwe, Now Is the Time for Running (Little Brown, 2013). Readers of his past work will find a few familiar characters here, but even readers new to Williams's fiction will be similarly engrossed by his 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.—Evelyn Khoo Schwartz, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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