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Bacigalupi, Paolo.
Boston : Little, Brown, 2010
ISBN 0316056219

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

In a future world, we meet Nailer.  Nailer works as a ship breaker.  These are teens who take recycling to the ultimate.  He lives in a world where fossil fuels have been used up, the oceans have ravaged cities on the coast and the world has been divided by the haves and have notes. Many ships have been wrecked off the Gulf Coast and Nailer's crew takes on the dangerous task of climbing in to the dead ships and salvaging anything they can.  From copper pipe to pools of oil, it is dangerous work and one where the smaller you are, the further you can go inside the ships.  After a severe storm, Nailer and his friend find a "swank" boat that has been wrecked in the storm.  Thinking that his fortune has been made, things don't go as planned when they discover a young girl alive in the wreckage.

Booktalk #2

This futuristic novel is set in a Gulf Coast shanty town where teenaged Nailer works as a shipbreaker, scavenging copper wire from beached oil tankers. The work is hard, dirty, and dangerous. And even when he makes his quota, Nailer barely makes enough money to get by. To make matters worse, Nailer’s father is an abusive drunk who is prone to unpredictable rages. Like all of the shipbreakers, Nailer dreams of a “Lucky Strike” – finding a pocket of oil or other valuables that can he can sell for a hefty profit. It’s the only possible way out of a life of scavenging. After a massive hurricane (a Category Six “city killer”) nearly wipes out his village, Nailer discovers a beached clipper ship filled with unimaginable riches – and a badly injured, beautiful girl. Nailer is ready to steal her jewelry and leave her for dead. But then she opens her eyes and claims to be the owner of the ship. Now Nailer is faced with the decision of a lifetime - should he scavenge the ship for its wealth, or rescue the girl? If he chooses to save her, can he protect her (and her riches) from his father? And just why was she out on the open seas during a city killer? This is a fast-paced thriller with plenty of action and suspense. It’s science fiction for everyone who isn’t sure if they really like science fiction! – Amy Pickett  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)

Booktalk #3

Nailer works as part of a disassembly crew for abandoned oil tankers on the US gulf coast, stripping out recyclable materials like copper wiring. If the dangerous conditions and low pay made him think of quitting, there are hundreds of kids begging for the same job. When he lucks out and discovers a windblown luxury yacht that has washed up on the shore with a "swanky" girl on board, it could be the biggest thing ever to happen to him, or it could cause his quick death. The other crews will want to control the yacht, as will his abusive, addicted father, who wouldn't hesitate to hurt Nailer to get what he needs. Soon Nailer and the girl are on the run, with only a beefy, nearly-indestructible, genetically engineered, dog-man named Tool for their companion. Nailer and his new crew must get to safety in the drowned city of New Orleans, or the brutal crews will catch up with them.    (booktalk by Michael Fleming Pacific Cascade Middle School Library for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2013)

Booktalk #4

Hi, my name is Pima. I live in Bright Sands beach on the Gulf Coast with my mother Sadna. My best friend Nailer and I work on light crew, scavenging what we can off of grounded oil tankers, things like copper wire that we can sell so we can have food to eat. Nailer's a good guy, nothing like his father, Richard Lopez. That man is always sliding high on drugs or alcohol and would kill a man without a second thought. Nailer and I, we're always looking for our lucky strike – the discovery that will make us rich so that we never have to go work down in the bowels of a ship again. And then it happens. A big storm, a city wrecker like the kind that took out Orleans one and two, washes a fine new clipper ship ashore, and Nailer and I are the first ones to discover it. The boat is filled with things that we can sell for money – fine china, real silverware, and plenty of brass and copper. Lying on a bed in one of the rooms is a dead girl, pinned under a bookcase, her fingers dripping with gold jewelry. Just as I'm about to cut off her fingers, her eyes open. Blast... I told Nailer we should just cut the rich swank, she's dying anyway, and sell all the scavenge. But I like a said, Nailer's not like his old man. Not only does he rescue the girl, but he swears a blood oath to her. And this isn't just any rich girl – her name is Nita Chaudhury, the daughter of the owner of Patel Global Transit, one of the richest companies in the world. Nailer's hoping that Nita is his ticket to a better life away from Bright Sands beach, but with his father and others on their tail, will he even live to be something other than a shipbreaker?   (booktalk by Rachel McDonald: KCLS teen services staff, for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award)

SUBJECTS:     Conduct of life -- Fiction.
                        Recycling (Waste) -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.

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