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Ship Breaker
by Paolo Bacigalupi
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: Young Adult
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL690L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2010
NO. PAGES: 336
GENRE{S}: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Male
AWARD{S}:
ALA-ALSC Childrens Notable Book
Michael L. Printz Award
National Book Award Finalist
YALSA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults
ISBN: 0316056219
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop


The Story
Ship Breaker—Book Review

Nailer, a teen boy, works with the light crew, scavenging copper wire from deep inside the ducts of obsolete oil tankers abandoned on Gulf Coast beaches. Each day, Nailer battles to make his quota because the alternative is an even worse fate. After a close call while ship breaking, Nailer becomes known as "Lucky Boy." It seems that survival is just the beginning of Nailer's luck when he stumbles upon the wreckage of a beautiful clipper ship, filled with valuable scavenge ripe for the taking. But when he finds an unlikely survivor, Nailer is faced with the biggest decision of his life. Is this girl more valuable to Nailer dead or alive?
The Scoop
Ship Breaker—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Ship Breaker is an absorbing story set in the post-oil future that will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans of dystopian fiction. It offers richly drawn diverse characters (ethnic, religious, and socio-economic) and a subtle cautionary message about the potential impact of global warming. Nailer is a fiercely loyal character whose difficult life has given him the courage to persevere through the most challenging circumstances, rather than making him bitter. Although he has many opportunities to profit from finding the ship-wrecked girl, Nailer does the right thing, often risking his own life to save hers. The story involves some violence, including descriptions of Nailer's abusive father, who is also a drug addict and a killer. Nailer struggles with the emotional repercussions of taking a life after killing two people in self defense, one of which was his father, who terrorized him throughout his entire life. The story also provides a positive message about the importance of family, even if that family does not include blood relatives. Language is relatively mild (h-ll, a-s, sh-t, b-stard, b-tch) and there is one chaste kiss.
>View our expanded Super Scoop on Ship Breaker
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