Ship Breaker


Title: Ship Breaker

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi

Summary: In a bleak future ravaged by the results of global warming, Nailer works as a ship breaker, disassembling the useless oil-dependent freighters that litter the feral Gulf coast where he lives. He dreams of sailing away on one of the sleek, white carbon-fiber sailboats that fly across the oceans, or maybe hitting a Lucky Strike: Finding a hidden pocket of precious oil or a piece of silver or gold hidden in the depths of a ship’s skeleton. He and his crew break their backs night and day to meet their work quotas but they know as soon as they are too big to crawl through a ship’s ductwork, they’ll have to fend for themselves amongst the drug-addled thugs and vicious cutthroats who make surviving life on the shipbreaking beach a bleak proposition. Nailer knows it well: His father is one of those killers, and he never knows if he will be safe in his own shack.

After a city-killer hurricane batters the beach, Nailer and his crew-mate Pima are scavenging for fish when they stumble upon something miraculous: A wrecked white sailing ship. What they find on board will set Nailer off on a high-stakes adventure that will see his fortunes change – or his life end. This Printz-award winner feels like an old-fashioned high seas adventure mixed with a frightening view of what the world could look like when oil supplies run out. It’s a perfect read for people who like fast-paced stories with heart and soul.

Who will like this book?: Fans of gritty, dystopian sci-fi. Readers who like old-fashioned adventure stories.

If you like this, try this: The Carbon Diaries series by Saci Lloyd. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The Windup Girl, also by Bacigalupi.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian