Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

Welcome to Trash Land by Steve Cole & Oriol Vidal

Welcome to Trash Land is a fascinating glimpse into the world of the dumping ground for broken electronics in Ghana. Told from the point of view of Theo, a young boy who is forced to scavenge for metal in order to earn enough money to survive, we are faced with the reality of what happens to the things we just throw away. So often, we give little thought to items we no longer want. We’ve thrown them away and they’re gone. This story is a powerful eye-opener to the harsh reality we are creating for other parts of the world.

Theo longs for a better life. He wants to go to school and earn enough money to move on from the enormous trash pile. Unfortunately, most days he only earns enough for a little bit of food and a place to sleep. Anything else remains a dream. When Emmanuel arrives at Agbogbloshie talking of treasure and promising to give Theo a share if he helps him find it, Theo’s all in. But life is dangerous in Trash Land. As soon as others get wind of potential treasure, they’ll stop at nothing to take it for themselves. Suddenly, the future doesn’t look so bright.

This story had me gripped right from the start. Page after page of high stakes decisions pulls the reader right into the characters’ plight.  My Year 8 daughter spotted the book on the table and was instantly drawn to it. They had only just been discussing this very issue in her form time at school. She commented that few children knew very much about this issue and that this book was perfect for what they were learning. Children want to know about what is happening in the world and how they can help. This excellent book is exactly what they need to begin to understand it in an age-appropriate way.

As always, Barrington Stoke has create a book perfect for Key Stage Two and Key Stage Three readers that is engaging and accessible. With a reading age of 8 years but a far higher interest level, so many children will be able to pick this up and explore. Dyslexia-friendly font, spacing and page tint allow even the most reluctant readers to enjoy the fascinating story.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for this brilliant, timely book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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