Editorial Review

Booklist - Junk: A Spectacular Tale of Trash

Cover: Junk: A Spectacular Tale of Trash

Each day, Sylvia Samantha White heads out with her wagon to find discarded stuff. Whether tires, old wood, a partial pack of gum, or empty paint cans, she lugs everything home. And when anyone asks why, from her father to the grumpy mayor, she replies, “I’m working on something.” But truthfully, she’s unsure, which she admits to elderly Ezekiel Mather, who encourages her: “That’s the best part . . . the part before you know.” Then the town’s water tower springs a leak, bringing flooding, power outages, and zoo animals escaping. With the mayor unable to control things, Sylvia steps in, utilizing her miscellaneous refuse to help—even “43 wheelbarrows of three-quarters-rotten bananas.” Employing hyperbolic and humorous elements and colorful cartoon illustrations, this portrays the concept of repurposing and conservation with a light touch. While the the story skimps on specifics, like explaining wind turbines (here with “motors connected to nothing”), and doesn’t address safety issues involved with picking up or potentially hoarding cast-offs or trash, this is still a creative, sometimes amusing introduction to the
ecofriendly concept.

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