Raphael is a trash sifter. That is all he has known all of his life. He lives on the rubbish piles of the large city (unnamed country) and goes through the trash sorting it for plastic, wire and other bits you can sell. Like every other person on the rubbish dump he dreams of making a big find which will change his life and then one day - he does.
The only trouble is lots of other people are looking for the things Raphael found - including the police. Instinctively Raphael knows to keep his find a secret even though some amazing rewards are being offered for it. His friends Gardo and Rat help him. They suddenly find themselves in the middle of a dangerous murder and embezzlement situation. It takes all their cunning and courage to find a way to bring justice to the people who most deserve it.
This book has had mixed reviews. Some think it is too violent and inappropriately candid about the poverty of the boys and the corruption of the police and those in authority. The method of narration is interesting and demands attention from the reader. Mulligan has many of the characters involved telling their part of the story so the narrator changes throughout the book. I enjoyed this and found the pace even more compelling as a result. I will be recommending this book to my students and I will see if those who enjoyed the Hunger Games will also enjoy this tale of determined survival and triumph over the odds.