Hot Key Carnegie Challenge Book 2: Trash by Andy Mulligan

Last week’s book on our Hot Key Carnegie Reading Challenge, A Monster Calls sparked a great discussion – please add your comments here if you haven’t already! We have until 14th June (when the winner is announced) to read the list and poll on our winning book.

Next up is Trash by Andy Mulligan, published by David Ficking Books. Here’s the official blurb:

Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it.

Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael’s world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It’s a bag of clues. It’s a bag of hope. It’s a bag that will change everything.

Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking and fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man’s mission to put right a terrible wrong.

And now it’s three street boys against the world…

We’ve been reading this week and over the bank holiday weekend – see what we thought and get involved below!


6 responses to “Hot Key Carnegie Challenge Book 2: Trash by Andy Mulligan

  1. I read this in one sitting over the weekend and loved it. Such a clever, almost perfectly constructed story I thought – I followed their journey with tears in my eyes and my heart pounding at times. I felt SUCH sympathy for the three main boys, and I thought their situation was heartbreaking but their friendship and hope, completely inspiring. Particularly Rat.

    Oddly, I didn’t love the POV switching between the characters, which I’m sure will be a controversial point! I didn’t think it was needed weirdly, but I know many will disagree with me.

    I want a film to be made of this, right now! Lovely book.

  2. As I think Kate will say, it took me a while to settle into the way the POV switched, with the characters introducing themselves at the beginning of each chapter. But I adored this book, and was quite happy hearing the story from different points of view.

    It reminded me quite a lot of HOLES, which is my favourite book ever — kids in an extraordinary situation putting the pieces of a puzzle together to triumph over corrupt adults. And I will be adding it to my recommend-to-everyone-to-read list.

    Oddly, I think my favourite character was Pia. Not sure why, maybe the mothering instinct just wanted to cuddle her, but also very proud of her for surviving on her own.

  3. Yes, it did take me a while to get passed the POV switch intro line, but I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t notice after a while. But that’s the only ‘non-blimey’ thing I can say about TRASH. It’s captivating and the characters are wonderful and it covers every emotion.

  4. I’m really glad ‘Trash’ was written – the subject is so strong and important, and the plot brilliantly reveals the trickle-down impact of political corruption on every level of society, and the effect it has on everybody’s levels of trust and honesty as well as their material conditions. There was a huge amount to love about the book (like the wonderful Day of the Dead denouement) but in the end I felt frustrated because I think it could have been even better. It felt a bit rushed to me. With another draft or two the changing POV could have been so much more effective. As it was, I felt information was sometimes given in the wrong order, and, more importantly, the individual voices weren’t quite distinct or developed enough to be entirely convincing. But I think I’m in a minority here…

  5. I really loved Trash, I think it’s a book which really gets you to think about how life could be.

  6. Intriguing discussion! I agree with all that TRASH is a compelling and important story, with wonderful, rich characters and evocative details. But like Lydia, I was frustrated at the end. I wanted to be closer to these boys and their experiences, but the POV switching and similarity of all of the voices to each other often threw me out of the story as a whole. That said, I, too, want a movie (kept seeing “Slumdog MIllionaire in my head as I read!)

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