Friday, January 14, 2011

Young Adult Literature - The Printz Award

It seems that I was wrong about every book that should/would win an award, including the Printz award. However, I have read Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker, the Printz medal winner. Do you want a rip-roaring, page turning, nail-biter of a book? Well, this book is certainly for you. I do have a caveat. It is another violent dystopia! If you thought Hunger Games was violent, Ship Breaker takes it up a notch.

In the near future, with global warming, coastal cities will be underwater. There will be money to be made and industries thriving as companies search the world for fossil fuels, and any metal that can be found. There will also be the scavenger crews that will search for any metal they can get their hands on. It's a hard life to be part of these crews. Nailer, a teenager, works "light crew" because of his small size, with his friend, Pima. They find a wreck filled with great materials to scavenge, but also a girl, barely alive. They decide to keep her for the reward, or a ransom. Nita does not give them much information before she is kidnapped by others for a much bigger payment.

The book was very intense and I had to put it down at times. Nailer's father is a horrible character: a brutal, lying, angry, drunken crystal-meth scavenger. Every time he came into the story, I had a hard time handling the violence. That said, I bet both guys and girls will want to read Ship Breaker for the roller-coaster ride!

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