Trash by Andy Mulligan

12:00 PM

Title: Trash
Author: Andy Mulligan
Release Date: October 12, 2010 (hardcover)
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Pages: 240
Source: ARC received from publisher through Bookurious 

Overall: 3.5 Stars 

In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three "dumpsite boys" make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city.

One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It's up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat-boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money-to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong.

Andy Mulligan has written a powerful story about unthinkable poverty-and the kind of hope and determination that can transcend it. With twists and turns, unrelenting action, and deep, raw emotion, Trash is a heart-pounding, breath-holding novel. 

My Thoughts: 
I began reading Trash not expecting too much because I'll admit, I'd never actually heard of the novel before I received a copy for review... but I was really pleasantly surprised by how good it was! I took my time reading Trash, never exactly feeling the rush to hurriedly complete it, but there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me engaged and coming back for more.

It was just like any other day for fourteen-year old dumpsite boy Raphael Fernandez. A long day trifling through the mounds of garbage outside the city, hoping to make enough money from whatever he found to help support his family among the many that live in the garbage site they call Behala. But one day, Raphael finds along with his best friend Gardo something very unusual- a small bag that contains a map, a wallet filled with money, and a key. Later that evening, policemen arrive searching for the bag and despite the fact they've offered a reward, Raphael and Gardo keep their mouths shut. And it's a decision that will change their fates forever. Also enlisting the help of the fellow dumpsite boy Rat, the three boys will have to work together if they're to stay one step ahead of the police who are trying to stop them while piecing together the mystery of the contents of the bag.  

Trash has this fun sort of narrating where it's like the events have already occurred so the characters are kind of telling their sides of the story and giving an account of the events as the novel progresses. It's mainly split between Raphael, Gardo, and Rat, but sometimes it would randomly switch to a minor character for a short period of time. You would think it would be confusing that way, but it really wasn't! In fact, I thought it made the story all the more better because we got to see events from different angles and learn what the characters thought of one another.

The novel is a relatively easy read, but the topics it addresses at times are hardly the case. It's a story of three boys living in poverty in a country with corrupt politicians and police, and their own subsequent rebelling against it in the hopes of a better future for themselves. You'll be rooting for these street-smart boys from the beginning, and admiring their courage and bravery to learn the truth when they could have just as easily given up. So while Trash isn't the type of novel I would usually read, I am most certainly glad I did! 

*Trash was also recently named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Children Books of the Year for Fiction (2010).* 

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  1. Sounds like a really interesting book! Thank you for posting this review :) I'll have to take a look into it :) haha my PTR pile is NEVERENDING at the moment haha :) & I just got a book in the mail from one of the authors who has contacted me yay!!! :D

  2. Sounds interesting...the sad thing is that children live like this now.

  3. Demitria- I know what you mean. Trash may be an entertaining story at times, but it also brings to light how there are children in the world who live in conditions that some of us could never fathom.