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

Destroy All Cars


Title: Destroy All Cars

Author: Blake Nelson

Summary: James Hoff is angry: He is sick of watching the people around him disregard the immediate peril of global warming and environmental destruction just because they like to shop and drink bottled water. He hates new clothes, preferring to cut the elbows out of his sweaters to make them look older than they are. And he hates the way his ex-girlfriend Sadie tries to change the community by working on silly projects like bike paths and conservation that can’t possibly make a difference. But most of all, as he describes in one of the many essays for his AP English class that form the bulk of this funny, quick read, he hates cars.

James is a great character, a dark and jaded loner who says he has no hope in the future but still obsesses over the possibilities of reunion with his ex, and a determined misfit who finds that it isn’t always so easy to practice what you preach. As you follow James through the ups and downs of his junior year, you will be drawn into his world, and maybe consider walking to school instead of grabbing a ride in your family’s giant SUV.

Who will like this book?: Budding political radicals and environmentalists, and the friends who would like them to relax a little bit.

If you  like this, try this: The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd. If you are interested in making an impact, try The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World by Leslie Garrett or Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life by Linda Sivertsen.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian