Author: Andy Mulligan
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: 10/11/2011
Read All About It:
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.
Trash had been on my to-read list for years. I saw it in stores when it first came out, but I kept pushing it aside to read the next bestseller or the next book in some of my favorite series. I am really glad I waited though! The writing style is simple and easy to read; younger teens would have no problem reading it, but the featured political and social crises in this book mean so much more the older you are because they can easily reflect the problems of third world countries. It made for an interesting afternoon read.
Raphael’s lifestyle as a boy living in third world poverty is depressingly realistic. The setting Mulligan depicts is easily imaginable as a shantytown that exists in a poor country today. It made me think of the people who actually live a similar lifestyle and caused me to appreciate my own. In the brief amount of time we have to get to know Raphael, it is hard not to root for such a resourceful, clever boy.
The plot development was a bit slow in my opinion, but it was still a quick read with plot twists that kept me entertained. It made me think of how corrupt the world is and how there is always hope for improvement as well.