Thursday, 20 January 2011
Author: Andy Mulligan
Publisher: David Fickling Books
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, 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...
I have to admit i had absolutely no interest in this book, but had to read it for Book Day at work. I picked it up this morning with grim determination to read it, and finished it early this afternoon and was very surprised.
Raphael lives, works, sleeps and eats at the Dump-site, his days are passed sorting through the trash, looking for things that can be sold for money. His best friend Gardo keeps an eye out for him and they have become like brothers. One day as a rubbish truck is dumping it's load, Raph things he is lucky to have found a sealed trash bag from the 'posh side' of town, he knows the stuff in there will be more valuable, but what he finds takes him by surprise. He finds a small leather bag, packed with a variety of objects and a wad of money. He shares he money with Gardo, and the boys try to figure out what the mix of items could mean. The boys are interrupted by the arrival of the police, they tell the dump-site kids they are looking for a leather bag, that is very important, so important they will pay a large sum of money to get it back. But Raph and Gardo decide to keep quiet and not hand it in. They want to solve the mystery first. With the help of their skinny friend Rat, they hide the bag, but soon the police are sniffing around again. The boys know time is running out, and with a mass police force after them, they have to use all the survival skills they know.
This story is mainly told from the 3 boys perspective, each boy takes turns to narrate, but it also has chapters by other people, people that played a part in the boys story. I liked the version of narration, it was like the characters were talking to you. I read it quickly and got into the story, i kept trying to guess what would happen next, but i was never right.
There was one thing that annoyed me, a few chapters are narrated by 'Olivia' a 22 year old volunteer who helps the kids at the Dump-site with education. She was a great character, but when we are introduced to her she says something along the lines of- 'the boys have contacted me and asked me to write down what happened, so this is where i start.' Then later on in the book when she leaves, she says - 'I haven't seen or heard from them since the day i left.' This isn't quoted just how i remember it. But if she hasn't seen or heard from them since she left, how did they contact her to write for them. Just felt like he was getting plot points confused. However that was the only niggle i had, and apart from that i thoroughly enjoyed the story.
I felt my heart bleed for poor little Raphael, i wanted to scoop him up, feed him and hug him. Rat was sweet too but with a devious side, and Gardo sounds like a great big brother. The characters are all lovable and exciting and i am glad i read about their adventure.
Give it a go, it is definitely worth it, a nice heart warming, easy to read story.
I would give this book 8/10. A very surprising book, try it :D
Posted by barmybex at 20:22