|TRASH - Mystery book review|
Available: Hardcopy, paperback, Kindle & audio
Fourteen-year olds, Raphael Fernadez and his best friend Gardo, are dumpsite boys in the not-so-distant future. They survive by picking through other people's garbage looking for anything they can turn into cash. They live from day to day hoping they won't get sick. When Raphael finds a wallet with cash, a map and a key, it seems like their luck has changed for the better. That is until the police arrive looking for a lost black bag that was accidently put in the trash. A bag that sounds a lot like the one the boys found the wallet in. The police offer a huge finders reward and with a bonus payout to everyone who lives in the trash settlement. Raphael figures that what they've found has to be worth a lot more than what the police are offering. But what does it all mean? He and Gardo enlist the help of anther boy called Rat. Somehow the police learn the truth and now all three boys have targets on their backs. They have to rely on their survival skills to stay one step ahead of the men hunting them while trying to solve the mystery and set things right.
The story is told from several different characters' viewpoints, which at first might slow the story for some readers. But not for long. The vivid writing is stellar, pulling the reader into a foreign dumpsite world, like when Raphael explains, ". . . the trash comes alive at night. That's when the rats come out strong." It's a great read full of action, mystery, courage and a view of unthinkable poverty.
Target audience: Grades 7-10
Kid appeal: Definitely