Harold Kline is an albino—an outcast. Folks stare and taunt, calling him Ghost Boy. It’s been that way for all of his 14 years. So when the circus comes to town, Harold runs off to join it.
Full of colorful performers, the circus seems like the answer to Harold’s loneliness. He’s eager to meet the Cannibal King, a sideshow attraction who’s an albino, too. He’s touched that Princess Minikin and the Fossil Man, two other sideshow curiosities, embrace him like a son. He’s in love with Flip, the pretty and beguiling horse trainer, and awed by the all-knowing Gypsy Magda. Most of all, Harold is proud of training the elephants, and of earning respect and a sense of normalcy. Even at the circus, though, two groups exist—the freaks, and everyone else. Harold straddles both groups. But fitting in comes at a price, and Harold must recognize the truth beneath what seems apparent before he can find a place to call home.
“This touching novel, [set a few years after World War II], will speak especially to readers who consider themselves different, flawed, or misunderstood.”
—School Library Journal, Starred
WINNER 2002 - Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List
WINNER 2001 - ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER 2001 - ALA Notable Children's Book
Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, and avid sailor.
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