Wednesday, April 6, 2011

trash by andy mulligan

This gripping, grim, yet hopeful young adult novel is set in an unnamed developing country and tells the story of three 'dumpsite' boys in alternating voices. Raphael and Gardo are working, picking through the trash at the garbage dump they live in, when they find a small leather bag containing a wallet, a map, and a key. The wallet contains a month's worth of dumpsite wages, but Raph and Gardo realize there may be more to discover, and ask their friend Rat to stash their find until they can figure out what to do. When the police show up, they know they are on to something big. With nothing to lose, they decide to follow the trail, and are relentlessly pursued by a corrupt and violent police squad. Mulligan, who based the dumpsite loosely on a place he visited while living in Manila, paints a realistic portrait of dumpsite life and the inescapable cycle of poverty as it plays out daily for children born into it in developing countries. The fast-paced action and intricate plot details will keep you turning the pages. An excellent choice for young adult book clubs and/or as an addition to global issues curriculum. Click here for the author interview with the Guardian and here for the book trailer. Not to be missed. Grade 5+