Trash Andy Mulligan
Raphael is a trash sorter at a giant garbage dump outside Manila* when he finds a wallet full of cash and a key. That night, the cops come looking for it, saying that it's important evidence in a murder investigation. Raphael, his friend Gardo, and another dumpsite boy, Rat, are on an adventure through the city as they try to unravel a mystery and save their own skins from the police who don't want them to discover what's actually going on.
LOVE! It sounds depressing, and there are parts that actually are, but a lot like Slumdog Millionaire, it's a very uplifting, feel-good story despite all the police torture. Even better, I love all the different voices-- Raphael and Gardo narrate most of the chapters. Rat gets a few, as do some other characters, most importantly teachers at the Mission School attached to the dumpsite. Y'all know how much I love multiple narrators.
I also love how Mulligan sinks you into a place so well. He really can draw a setting without letting it bog down the narrative.
I like how it's not depressing but not sappy.
I like the suspense.
I love the scene at the end which really reminded me of another excellent scene in Goodbye Lenin (great movie!)
Our YA/J break is 7/8 grade. We have this in YA, but I would not have been surprised if we had put it in J. It's a great book for our in-between readers.
*Ok, so the book never says it takes place in the Philippines, although Mulligan has said that it's based on a real dump outside Manila. Also, my boss is Filipino-American and totally recognized the Filipino setting.
Book Provided by... my local library
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