Ship breaker, dream maker, love taker …

Bacigalupi, P. (2010). Ship breaker. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Genre: Dystopian science fiction

Intended audience: Primarily boys, any teens

Personal reaction to the book: Not a bad little dystopian future novel, in a sort of modern take on the Boys’ Own Adventure shipbreakermodel. It is set in a world decimated by unchecked climate change where the rich are fantastically wealthy and the poor are 100 percent disposable. The protagonist is one such, a boy whose job is to help break down abandoned oil tankers. In the course of that, he meets a wealthy girl (I know, original, huh?) and they flee for freedom.
It features a relentlessly boy-centric point of view; while there are sympathetic female characters, I doubt many girls would enjoy reading this book.

Author facts: Paolo Bacigalupi has written extensively in short fiction and been anthologized in annual “best of” sci-fi collections. He is married and lives in Colorado. His latest (just coming out) book is The doubt factory.

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