Companion book to The drowned cities
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
National Book Award finalist 2010
Conduct of life
Recycling (Waste, etc.)
Conduct of life
From Library Staff
"I wrote Ship Breaker because I want to help save the world. It sounds cheesy, but that's it. And I wanted to do it by writing a classic adventure story, about a boy who starts out starving and desperate, and through guts and brains and determination changes his fate."-Paolo Bacigalupi
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OliviaSh thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
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Nailer has worked, as long as he can remember, as a ship breaker on Bright Sands Beach on the Gulf Coast. As part of a light crew, he crawls into the smallest crevices and duct work of old oil tankers to rip out wiring and screws to sell for scrap. He knows that this way of life is coming to an end, soon he will be too big to squeeze through the small spaces and he will have to try to get a job on a heavy crew, ripping the ships apart piece by piece. It is back-breaking work, and there is no way out of this life. Nailer knows he will die on this beach.
Until he and a friend happen upon a wrecked yacht, caught on the submerged ruins of sky scrapers, drowned after global warming melted the polar ice caps. On board the yacht is more scavenge than Nailer has ever seen and he knows this is his chance out of Bright Sands Beach and a life as a ship breaker. If he plays his cards right he could be rich! The crew of the yacht is dead, drowned in the ship-killer storm that came through the day before. But one passage is left alive, a rich girl with enough gold on her fingers alone to feed Nailer's crew for the rest of their lives. But instead of killer the girl and taking the scavenge for himself, Nailer saves her life in the hopes that she will take him with her when she leaves Bright Sands Beach. But the girl's fate is more complicated than Nailer planned when he discovers that she is the heir to a fortune and her family owns the largest transport company in the world, currently undergoing a mutiny. Many people would like to get their hands on the girl, and Nailer has to help deliver her to her family.
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