Trash – by Andy Mulligan (reviewed by Naima)

Trash is an adventure thriller novella that surrounds three Orphans known as Rat (Jun-Jun),      Raphael and Gardo who seek to avenge the wrongful death of a man who served the Prime Minister of the Philippines. The novella is primarily set at the Behala Dumpsite which is loosely based on a Shanty town in Manila – Capital of the Philippines, where Andy Mulligan had taught as a teacher of English and Drama. The title of the novella, ‘Trash’, can be linked to the idea that these Orphans pick through trash to sell off any good they can get their hands on, to survive. The novella explores themes of Corruption within the Philippines, poverty and stealing. Andy Mulligan also argues that as a Nation, everyone should should look at the poverty that lies elsewhere in the World with the instinct that we should help those suffering from poverty instead of helping those in power who are corrupting the Economy. The novella supposedly teaches a message of following what is morally right. Andy Mulligan said “ I wrote this book with the idea that everyone should look at the protagonists, and their situation in the book like sister Olivia, and fall in love with them.”

I think the themes of this novella were rightfully tackled and explored by the Author, even though there is a controversy surrounding this novella, regarding whether it should be a children’s novella or not. I agree with the message taught throughout this book that we should do what is right instead of being idle and following what is wrong. This novella appealed to me more emotionally rather than logically and I liked it because it uniquely explored controversial and political ideas that had not been explored in a children’s novella before. Therefore, I strongly recommend this novella to both children and adults, and vehemently agree that the corruption addressed in this novella should be resolved.

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