Trash by Andy Mulligan

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In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city.

One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It’s up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat—boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money—to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong.

Andy Mulligan has written a powerful story about unthinkable poverty—and the kind of hope and determination that can transcend it. With twists and turns, unrelenting action, and deep, raw emotion, Trash is a heart-pounding, breath-holding novel.

About Andy Mulligan

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Andy Mulligan was brought up in South London. He worked as a theater director for ten years before travels in Asia prompted him to retrain as a teacher. He has taught English and drama in Britain, India, Brazil, and the Philippines. He now divides his time between London and Manila.
Published October 12, 2010 by David Fickling Books. 242 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Trash

Kirkus Reviews

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In an unnamed country (a thinly veiled Philippines), three teenage boys pick trash for a meager living.

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The Guardian

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Trash is a very controversial book, including when Blue Peter axed it from their shortlist for being too inappropriate.

Sep 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Trash

Publishers Weekly

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Fourteen-year-old "dumpsite boy" Raphael has never found anything valuable in the trash mounds he has combed over since age three.

Oct 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Trash


In the beginning of the story, when the police asked the dumpsite community whether anyone had found anything significant in the pile that day, Raphael reacted strongly to his aunt's answer: "I couldn't believe Auntie had said what she said.

Jun 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Trash


In the not-so-far-away future, fourteen-year-old Raphael Fernandez is a “dumpsite boy,” digging through mountains of trash, salvaging everything from plastic to paper, in order to make a living for his aunt and cousins in a third world country.

Oct 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Trash

The Bookbag

And he has good things in his life - a close extended family, a best friend called Gardo - and an exciting secret.

Jan 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Trash

Common Sense Media

At the same time, they will be swept up in the details of their trash city, known as Behala, where trash "mountains go right from the docks to the marshes" and the boys support themselves and their families by "picking through the stuff this city throws away."

Oct 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Trash

M/C Anderson

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Oct 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Trash

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

An exciting mystery, Trash is the story Rafael Fernandez, who survives in a community which lives off of the trash dumped there every day.

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