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Trash Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385752148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385752145
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10–Three young teens, trash-picker living in the city dump of an unnamed third-world country, discover a mysterious bag one morning, triggering a chain of events that will change their lives forever. Raphael, Gordo, and Rat take turns nar-rating the story of how they uncover a network of political corruption and abuse of the poor. Each puzzle the boys solve leads to yet a new riddle for them to work out. The chase leads them throughout the city, exposing the great disparity be-tween the “haves” and the “have nots,” and the huge injustice this represents. Several run-ins with the police make it clear that getting caught means death for the three boys. They face moral dilemmas throughout and, ultimately, make good deci-sions. Their intelligence and characters make the condition in which they live seem even more unfair. While on the surface the book reads like a fast-paced adventure title, it also makes a larger statement about the horrors of poverty and injustice in the world. Occasionally the alternating viewpoints of the book become confusing, particularly when they switch mid-chapter. In spite of this, Trash is a compelling read. The action is riveting and the secret codes throughout will appeal mys-tery fans. Readers will be drawn to this title, and hopefully learn a little about the world outside their own country. Teens who enjoyed the film Slumdog Millionaire (2008) will find much to enjoy here.Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In an unnamed Third World city, Rat, Raphael, and Gardo live with thousands of other kids like them in a garbage dump, where they dig through the detritus looking for anything that could be profitable. When an important person loses something valuable in the refuse, the three boys embark on an engrossing, sobering mystery characterized by stealing, lying, and police brutality as well as generosity, trust, and ingenuity. Multiple characters describe the adventure, and although the switch between narrators may initially seem disorienting (a priest, housemother, and tombstone maker also provide their integral perspectives), the story flows more smoothly as it progresses, bolstered by the young characters’ well-articulated, authentic thoughts, feelings, and voices. Throughout, the boys’ significant sense of devotion and morality leads them from lives of desperation to miraculous possibilities. The culminating scenes contribute important elements of Day of the Dead celebrations and Robin Hood themes, further increasing the novel’s usefulness for discussion and study. Grades 6-9. --Andrew Medlar

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Customer Reviews

Over all it was a good book to read.
robert tkoletz
The story is told from several different characters' viewpoints, which at first might slow the story for some readers.
Sharon Brown
Trash is marketed as a book for young adults, but it is a book that will be enjoyed by adults of all ages.
mummazappa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mum J on October 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's been 4 days since I read this book and I can't get it out of my mind. I'm not a regular reviewer, but I feel so compelled to write my thoughts after reading "Trash".

I have young kids and we are fortunate enough to be able to live a comfortable life. I've lived in Manila, Philippines where the author lives part-time and teaches. While I have traveled to many First World countries, I have also been to the Manila dumpsite, the one that is called Smokey Mountain which is the same name used by the author for his story's setting. Oh yes, there has been a real Smokey Mountain dumpsite.

Let me just share a bit of non-fiction to those who haven't been to this place yet to give you a sense of my perspective.

When I first visited the dumpsite, what first struck me was the enormity of this "mountain" of trash and the strong foul stench everywhere. As I walked, I noticed the springy feeling in my steps then realized I had not been walking on concrete pavement but on a very compact heap of trash thickened over the years. This dumpsite was literally a hill or a mountain and hundreds of families stay here. Adults and children walked about as if this was just an ordinary village. I wondered how these people ever manage to breathe, work and live healthily here 24/7. It is a scene one will not forget.

After interviewing a family for a project which was the reason I was there, the family insisted on cooking my group a meal. Being aware of their meager income, we did our best to politely refuse, but it came to a point that for us to refuse more would be deemed insulting to our host who surprisingly, had shown a sense of fierce dignity in their humble 3 meter x 3 meter home and in their work (i.e. picking trash).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Leigh on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read the little blurb for this book, and it said the book was aimed at 7-9 year old children*. Upon reading it to my children, I quickly realized that "Trash" is clearly targeted with preteens in mind, perhaps 12 or 13-year olds. There is a little bit of profanity, and there is a lot of subject matter that is very mature. My 4 and 9-year old children did not appreciate this book whatsoever, it went way over their heads.

However, I enjoyed it. Set in an unnamed country in a possible distant future, this heartbreaking novel about young children who live and scavenge in a dump is unlike many other books I've read in my lifetime. It's told from several perspectives, and some of the events that happen are really sad, much more so when you recall the main characters are young children. If you've got older children, I highly recommend it. It will a very unique exception to anything else they have probably read. It's a good read for adults as well.

*Clearly, I cannot be trusted to accurately comprehend anything on the Internet when I haven't had enough coffee OR sleep. The 7-9 wasn't an age demographic, it was a GRADE demographic. I stand way corrected. Carry on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Arnold on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I was 19, I knew someone whose father was the ambassador for a Caribbean island. I was invited to spend a week at the ambassador's residence, in their guest cottage. This was in the capital, not the vacation areas - which is what US citizens normally think of associated with the Caribbean. I had no idea it would be one of the biggest shocks of my life. It changed my view of poverty forever.

I witnessed first-hand extremely well-off people - people with mansions, servants, every luxury you could imagine - living within 15-20 minutes from families whose houses were an 8 by 12 foot living area for 6 - 8 people, with only corrugated tin or cardboard for walls and a dirt floor. No running water, no WC...hundreds and hundreds we drove by, and nobody commented. I was appalled. This was 1980. I have no doubt the problem there, and in the Philippines, as well as many other places, continues. The one good thing that happened is that I started becoming more active in both how I donate and who I elect.

Every child in this country who has a problem because their parent hasn't bought them the latest video game, computer, piece of clothing...they need to read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janette Skinner on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing short book which will appeal to adults and children alike. It is flawlessly written and well paced and the characters are endearing. The people in this story do not wallow in their misfortune and poverty but work constantly to earn small amounts of money by sifting trash from a very early age. When one boy finds money and other articles in a bag, his whole life changes and that of his friends and family. Corruption and dodgy politics are uncovered and there is a lot of excitement and danger in this adventure which keeps you reading right to the end. I have been to some very poor parts of the world and know first hand that children often have to live on their wits and not much more as depicted in this book. It is uplifting as the good triumphs over evil and there is a feel good ending. A very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie Pascoe on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son had to read this for summer homework. It was a pretty good book. Book came quickly and as described.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ebushman on April 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Just finished really liked this book. Loved the plot and intensity of the book. I don't know if it was just me but I found the middle section a little hard to follow. Other than that would recommend this book to a person of any age!
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