"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

There is a lot to like in Ship Breaker by Bacigalupi. Teens who enjoy fantasy or science fiction novels will undoubtedly find this book inventive and compelling.  In addition, I believe that boys who crave adventure stories will find enough "journey and conquest" to satisfy them. I have the hardest time locating books that fall into the adventure genre or category of books, probably because it is an not the type of book that I prefer to read, so I am always delighted to find a book that will work for these mainly reluctant-reading boys who crave adventure stories above all else.

Ship Breaker is set on the Gulf Coast in a post-apocalyptic time frame after a series of events caused by climate change and the destruction of the barrier islands has completely submerged New Orleans and other towns on the coastline. The only oil available is that which is found in old reserves, such as the holds of old tankers.  The waters of the Gulf are black with pollution.  Sound familiar? Nailer and his light crew go into the bellies of these old tankers looking for anything they can scavenge.  Life is all about meeting quotas and eeking out an existence day to day until, after a storm, Nailer comes across a newly wrecked clipper ship.  He intends to scavenge it but finds instead a beautiful young girl, a swank, in need of rescue. And so the adventure begins.

As distressing as it is to reflect upon how we are treating our planet today it isn't hard to believe that in two hundred years something like this book may be our reality---pollution and lack of natural materials, piracy and scavenging, the haves and the have-nots. Bacigalupi, a Science Fiction writer new to YA literature, has given us a lot to ponder about our future and at the same time he has also spun a good, swashbuckling tale. In addition to a great story writer, as an educator I am totally impressed by Paolo Bacigalupi adding an Educator's Guide to his website for the book.  Take a look at it.  Good, huh?  Also cool is his three minute video about the book and his inspiration for it.  I found it to be very informative.

This book is one of the books in consideration for my Mock Printz event this coming January.  I just placed a star next to the title.  This one is going on the list.


  1. thanks for the review! i received an ARC of this a couple months ago and blasted through it. it was a really unique and haunting post-apocalyptic book...and kind of disturbingly timely in a way too given all the oil-related chaos that's going on righ tnow. maybe not quiiiite as intensely awesome as the hunger games or patrick ness, but still a refreshing, really well-written book.

  2. I would agree. It is not exactly riveting stuff, but very well put together and very inventive. I like (cringe) at the idea of tall buildings being teeth in the oceans/bays. And I wanted more information about the half-men. Do you think there will be a sequel?

  3. Wow, this book sounds right up my alley. I'm adding it to my TBR list. And thanks for mentioning Paulo is a he... I wasn't sure. lol.

    I didn't know where else to direct this answer but here's some info on the Book Blogger Hop. Here is the URL to last week's hop (7/30-8/2): http://www.crazy-for-books.com/2010/07/book-blogger-hop-july-30-aug-2-2010.html This Hop is closed but I thought you might like to see how it's run. Every Thursday evening (central time) Jen puts up a Hop post. There are slightly different intrstructions each week so be sure to read them. Then there's a huge list of participant's links. Under the links where it says "This linky list is now closed" will say something like "you're next, add your link here" when the Hop is open.

    The Hop lasts from Fri-Mon and you can add your link anytime then (or Thursday evenings if she's got the post up early). I hope this helps!

  4. hmm, not sure if there's a sequel. i do remember thinking it was sort of set up for one when i finished reading. i'd definitely check out the sequel if there was one. i love (and am simultaneously terrified by) the world Bacigalupi has created.

    by the way...i am passing on the versatile blogger award to you...link here: http://moydrook.blogspot.com/2010/08/versatile-blogger-award.html

  5. Jane, thank you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am not worthy. -Anne


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