Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (2)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (2)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

21 / 100 books. 21% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

59 / 165 books. 36% done!
Friday, August 09, 2013

Intense, Affecting Trash Leaves Me With Two Words: Read It

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

For the past eleven years, 14-year-old Raphael Fernández has spent his days picking through trash at the Behala dumpsite.  It's a stinky, smelly job.  A dangerous one, too.  If Raphael places his bare foot in the wrong spot, he could sink under the mounds of garbage and suffocate.  Or step on a dirty needle.  Or burst open a bag of stuppa (poop).  It's all happened to other trash boys.  Given a choice, Raphael would leave the reeking trash heaps far, far behind.  But he doesn't, so day after day, he crawls through piles of refuse, hoping to find something—plastic, metal, glass, clean paper, rubber, etc.—that can be traded for cash, which he can use to buy food for himself and his family.  

Then, one ordinary day, Raphael does find something.  Something that's not only mysterious, but also valuable.  So valuable, in fact, that the police are going to great lengths to find it.  Raphael knows he should turn over his find, but he can't quite make himself part with it.  If he can solve the treasure's riddles, he can get enough money to free himself, his family and his friends from a lifetime of trudging through garbage just to survive.  With the police on his trail, Raphael doesn't have much time, but he has to try.  It's the only chance he'll ever have to rise out of the desperate poverty that drags him down.  Racing against time and imminent capture, Raphael and two of his comrades embark on a frantic journey to find a treasure that can save them all.  If only they can survive long enough to enjoy it.

Although the squalor Andy Mulligan describes in his upper middle grade novel, Trash, seems like pure fiction, it's not.  It's a scene the author witnesses for himself every day.  Behala, itself, is a made-up dumpsite, but it's based on a real one in Manila, which sits next to the school where Mulligan teaches.  Makeshift homes really do rim the garbage dump.  Their occupants, says the writer, "really aren't extras in a movie, these people really are living there forever, sorting out the stuff that I put down my rubbish chute."  It's unfathomable, but reality for many in The Philippines and other countries in the developing world.  The book's thrilling plot and colorful characters, though, came straight out of Mulligan's imagination.  Those elements, coupled with the dramatic setting, make for an intense, exciting story that tugs at the heartstrings while celebrating courage and hope.  It's not an easy read, but it is a compelling and affecting one.  About a month has passed since I finished Trash and let me tell you, Raphael and his buddies are still very much on my mind.  That's how deep of an impression this novel makes.  Two words:  Read it.

But, first, watch this:


(Readalikes:  Reminds me of The Rent Collector by Camron Wright)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and intense situations   

To the FTC, with love:  I borrowed a copy of Trash from the library at my children's elementary school as part of my volunteer work with the school's reading program.  

0 bookworm(s) said...:

Post a Comment

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive