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Trash Hardcover – August 8, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (August 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763626244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763626242
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,329,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Darrow began this tale of poverty in rural Arkansas in The Painters of Lexieville (Candlewick, 2003). Abandoned by their mother, Sissy Lexie, 16, and her younger brother, Boy, are looking for a lot more beauty than they are finding. They lived with their older sister, Raynell, until her husband lost his job; endured several foster homes; and are currently residing with the Fowlers, who force the teens to collect trash for their business. Although unhappy, the siblings find comfort in being together. When Boy gives Sissy a specially designed tattoo, their enraged foster parents beat them and they run away to St. Louis to find Raynell, who can now care for them. Settled into high school, they become art bandits, roaming rooftops at night to spray their self-chosen tags-Skye and Atenz. When tragedy strikes, Sissy spirals downward into depression and self-destruction. Finally reconnecting with her belief in the importance of art in day-to-day life, she revives an old dream of attending art school and begins to face her grief. Sissy's poignant first-person narrative blends staccato verses with free-flowing prose. Readers will appreciate the characters' search for identity and efforts to find beauty in places not obvious. Suggest this title to readers who enjoyed Kathe Koja's The Blue Mirror (Farrar) or Martine Leavitt's Heck Superhero (Front St, both 2004), novels that also depict hope through art and self-expression on gritty urban streets.
Kelly Czarnecki, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg, NC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Opening in Vernal, Arkansas, this novel-in-verse speaks through 16-year-old Sissy Lexie, who, along with her younger brother, Boy, has been abandoned by their mother. The author reintroduces siblings who first made minor appearances in The Painters of Lexieville (2003). In this story, they want nothing more than to live with their older sister, Raynell, and her husband; instead, they are placed with an assortment of strangers, including religiously pious garbage collectors. When the garbage collectors take one too many swings at Boy, he and Lexie go on the lam. Upon finding their sister, they gain a stable and happy home, only to have it destroyed when one sibling dies and the other is thrown into a paralyzing grief. The story, which covers psychological, emotional, and physical territory, could have used more narrative muscle. However, the spare, rhythmic text is rich in imagery and intriguing in tone. Readers, especially fans of verse, will be attracted. Holly Koelling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
TRASH is a verse novel that continues the story of Boy and Sissy Lexie, first introduced in Sharon Darrow's novel The Painters of Lexieville. It's certainly not necessary to have read that first book (I haven't)--but I'm planning on it now that I've read this one. The best part of this book, I think, is the characters, and I'd love to read more about them.

Sure, the story is interesting, too: Boy and Sissy are teenagers now. They've been shipped around to various foster homes in a way that makes them feel like trash, especially since their mother discarded them like it. Now they're living with the town trash collectors, a placement that seems especially fit using that comparison. It'll never be home.

Boy says that home is where their big sister Raynell is, and Sissy thinks it's the truth. So what do they do? They run away and go to find her. They think she's in Little Rock, but it turns out that she moved to St. Louis and their foster parents didn't deliver the message. They don't know how to find her, so they start saving their money, and when they have enough, they go to St. Louis and search her out.

In St. Louis, they have a family with Raynell, her husband, Jobe, and their baby, Kylie. They also have new friends: Dolores and Tyrone. The four of them run around the city at night, climbing, jumping, and painting. They take new names with which to sign their graffiti: Boy and Sissy, who have always wanted real names, are now Atenz and Skye.

And then something unthinkable happens. Something terrible: Boy doesn't look where he's jumping, and in that split second of not looking, things change forever. Sissy's life will never, ever be the same.

Both the story and characters in TRASH are interesting. This is a story well worth reading.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
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Beautifully written poetic packs a lot of punch in a short read. Great for high school through adult but a must read for art educators
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Library on August 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If ever a case may be made for spare, TRASH is the book. The economical language keeps the reader focused along with the arrangement of that language on the page. Instead of cutesy manipulation of words, emotions drive their placement so hang onto your hat, so integrated are the action and the emotion with the format.

With artistic expression part of the theme, the author becomes illustrator as well with her original use of type, punctuation, paragraphs, lists: each compelling for its own raison d'etre.

I've not read a more exciting, intriguing novel in verse. Don't be deceived by the appearance of simplicity, the source of its power.
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