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Trash by Andy Mulligan
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Trash (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Andy Mulligan

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6034116,217 (3.82)23
Member:attolia
Title:Trash
Authors:Andy Mulligan
Info:Ember (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2013, fiction, ya

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Trash by Andy Mulligan (2010)

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In Behala, poverty is so rampant that the poor scrape a living together by living near a trash dump, where they wait for the trucks to offload their garbage so they can scramble to salvage what they can and repurpose. The thought of a large group of people rushing to dig through a trash heap might sound appalling, but it isn't a fictional concept. I've seen it in a travel documentary*, and it's heartbreaking.

Trash tells the story of 3 boys who make their living this way, until one of them finds something unique. A bag with a lot of money and a coded message. When the police show up the next day demanding the bag to be returned, they know they've found something important, but instead of just giving it up, they decide to investigate, which leads to a treasure hunt of a sort.

Despite all the serious topic discussed in the book, it didn't pack the punch that it should have. This could be a serious, literary look at poverty and government corruption, but it feels more like The Goonies most of the time. The characters didn't feel substantial enough, so their predicament didn't have the impact it might have, and their personalities all felt the same, with the exception of Jun-Jun, on occasion.

The book isn't bad, but I guess it just didn't live up to my expectations.

*Nicaragua episode of No Reservations ( )
  Ape | Jun 4, 2016 |
14 yr old Raphael and Gardo team up with younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life sorting through trash mountains in a dump of an unnamed third-world country. Political corruption, police brutality and the crippling poverty of the people who make their living sorting others' refuse for a profit. Setting feels like the Philippines even though not specified, probably because author spent time there. Told through the voices of the boys, the priest and school volunteer, individual voices don't feel distinct and the writing lacks some of the immediacy of the situation. Nominated for an Edgar in 2011. ( )
  lillibrary | Jan 23, 2016 |
Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country's dump.
  lkmuir | Dec 2, 2015 |
This novel follows three poverty-stricken boys who spend their days rummaging through garbage heaps looking for items of use. However when they find a bag with some money. a mysterious note and a secret code inside, it sends them on a dangerous adventure. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
Inspired by the author seeing people living in dumps in the Philippines. ( )
  nickietravis | Jul 26, 2015 |
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My name is Raphael Fernandez and I am a dumpsite boy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385752148, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country's dump.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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