Reviews for Ship Breaker


AudioFile Reviews 2010 December
In the future, when monstrous storms batter the Gulf Coast, teenager Nailer struggles to survive as a ship breaker, risking his life daily crawling through the ducts of grounded ships to salvage copper wiring. When he discovers a wrecked clipper ship with one survivor, the daughter of a wealthy shipping company owner, Nailer becomes involved in even greater dangers when he decides to rescue her. The author does a fantastic job of world building in this National Book Award Finalist. Narrator Joshua Swanson makes this harsh dystopian world all too believable. He adjusts the pacing to fit the intensity of the action and gives each character a voice that fits his or her personality. This is superb listening for teens--and adults too--even those who aren't big fans of science fiction. C.R.A. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

Gr 7 Up--Along a devastated U.S. Gulf Coast in a sci-fi future that includes half dog/half man creatures, teen boy Nailer must work as a ship breaker salvaging anything valuable on dangerous oil tanker wrecks. Other risks include an abusive, drug-crazed father, unemployment when he grows bigger, and flimsy shelter from ferocious storms. After one hurricane's onslaught, he and friend Pima discover Nita Patel, a rich girl almost drowned in her futuristic clipper ship. When his father threatens the girl and wants to ransom her or accept money to turn her over to her father's enemies, Nailer and Nita escape by hopping a train accompanied by Tool, an unusually independent dog/man. The three go to Orleans (no longer called New), a broken down relic of a city, and hope that a trustworthy captain from the Patel Company will show up. When Nailer's dad kidnaps Nita, the boy faces a final showdown with his father to free her. Joshua Swanson narrates Paolo Bacigalupi's fast-paced novel (Little, Brown, 2010), winner of the 2011 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults, with steady, dramatic intensity and enlivens characters with admirable vocal variety. The action and adventures are exciting, but occasionally quite bloody. Even more distressing are the harsh conditions faced by these youthful salvagers, much like contemporary third-world children. With an interesting mix of fact and fantasy, this title offers excellent potential for conversations on international child welfare issues.--Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

----------------------