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The Garbage King – Elizabeth Laird. Reviewed by Banana Girl (9)

Meet Mamo, an orphan living on scraps and barely just surviving with his sister Tiggist, but they live in Africa, so this is not unusual. This is Dani, living the life as the son of a millionaire. Soon their worlds are turned upside down. Dani is running from his bad tempered father, while Mamo is fleeing from illegal slavery, as he was kidnapped and taken to a farm to do manual work.

Then they find each other in a cemetery, looking for a place to sleep, as well as finding a puppy they name Suri. So things change – but not always for the better, as the police, for one are searching for Dani. That is not always easy when they join a street gang, and have to beg for food and money, but it is not a bad gang. If you are caught stealing, you are expelled from the gang. They have to sleep on the ground, and food is not always guaranteed, but the gang are the closest to a family for Dani and Mamo.

This book is very touching, and I think is very enjoyable, the kind of book you would sit down on a chair and read it right to the end! As it is set in Africa, it makes you think how lucky you are for example: most of the characters have never seen a TV before (not including Dani) and are jealous and in awe when Mamo tells them that once he was able to watch a whole five minutes of TV, and food is scarce, and every day they are at risk of being kidnapped, or taken away for slavery.

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