Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trash by Andy Mulligan - ADVISABLE

TrashMulligan Andy, Trash, pgs. 232 Random House 2010, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG, Language: PG (9 swears). Raphael, Gardo, and Jun-Jun are street boys who survive and provide for their families by picking through garbage for anything worth keeping.  One day, Raphael found something better than the usual trash, and when the police come looking for it, he knows he has something worth holding onto.  The only question is whether or not he and his friends will figure out how to use what has been found.  Mulligan tells the story through many different perspectives, which allows for insight and different parts of the story to be told--since the street boys offer only a limited perspective.  And while the book is told in such a way to make the reader want to find out what happens next, I found it is lacking heart.  Sure, it is intellectually gripping because it offers commentary on government and social classes and it has earned high praise from adolescent award groups, I found that when I was reading it I didn't care what happened to the characters.  As other books that I wanted to read were published, I set this one aside.  I am giving this book an "advisable" rating because it is an award winner and it will be made into a movie.  But I don't need social commentary when I read fiction; that's what I read nonfiction for.  But I'm sure many people will find this to be a good book--even if I think it lacks heart.  MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Brent Smith, Reading Teacher

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