Friday, April 29, 2011

Review of Trash by Andy Mulligan

trashI loved this book!  The story is told in a number of different voices, as each person tells of their involvement and contribution to the development of the drama.  Behala is a rubbish-town, populated by dumpsite boys (and adults).  People live in boxes, stacked up high; of course no one has running water or toilets.  Dumpsite boys spend their days (and often their nights, too) picking through the trash, looking for plastic, paper, tin cans, cloth or rags.  There’s a Mission School, and even though most of the kids have to work instead of attend, Father Julliard and Olivia try to watch out for them, giving them the occasional bit of money or food.  The day everything changed started with Gardo and Raphael finding something unusual –a small leather bag containing a wallet, a folded-up map and a key.  They’re just happy to have the money, but when the police come to Behala questioning everyone about whether anyone has found anything unusual, they start to realize that there’s more to the story than just some lost money.  The boys can’t let it go until they find out what it’s all about, and they enlist the help of a boy named Rat who’s shunned by pretty much everyone in Behala to help them hide what they found.  There’s murder, political corruption, embezzlement, and a code that can only be cracked by visiting a dying man in prison.  It’s a great story, and uplifting to read about boys growing up such crushing poverty displaying such heart and courage.  Review by Stacy Church