Ship Breaker

Ship Breaker

Book - 2010
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316056199
Branch Call Number: TF Dystopia Baci
Characteristics: 326 p. ; 22 cm.


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List - Printz Award Winners
DCPL_Teens Jan 10, 2019

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. (Printz Award Winner - 2011)

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JCLAnneG Oct 12, 2020

I wanted to read a teen fiction about climate change, and this fit the bill. I enjoyed the dystopian look at what could happen when the ice caps melt, and when we've drilled so much in the ocean for oil that there are no more breaker islands to stop hurricanes and storms from destroying the beaches. Even with a bleak landscape, this book has a lot of hope - and I think I enjoyed that best of all.

Jan 18, 2020

For teens, not kids

Jun 19, 2018

I really enjoyed this book! Set in a world where water levels have risen considerably boats are the main way of transportation. Old ships are scavenged and parts are sold. Baciqalupi writes a lot of science fiction stories relating to the ramifications of human's effect on the earth and environment.

KevinELPL Dec 27, 2017

In the near future, human civilization has nearly been destroyed by climate change. Pockets of warring tribes fight over the scraps of our old, rusty past. Although the world (and Bacigalupi's forecast of our future) is a bleak place, the characters are compelling and varied. The author repeatedly points out the disastrous consequences of our oil-driven lives, yet manages to tell a story that is not without hope. Highly recommended for teens and adults.

Aug 17, 2017

i really really wanted to like this because it had such an interesting universe and vivid descriptions but i couldn't get past the cheesy dialogue and lack of logical emotion from the characters... sorry

SCL_Justin Jul 18, 2017

Paolo Bacigalupi’s YA novel Ship Breaker is all sorts of awesome. Nailer is a kid who works on a light crew stripping salvage from the long-abandoned oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico. He and everyone he knows lives out on the beach at the whims of the corporations who’ll buy salvage and the many layers of power between them. Nailer and his best friend make an extremely lucky find but instead of just collecting on it, Nailer does something stupid and saves a rich girl’s life.

The world of Ship Breaker is rusty and painful. Nailer’s dad is terribly abusive, and in that off-balancing way I recognize from real people’s stories, not just fiction. But Nailer saves him from a city-wrecking storm, because he’s family. It’s a post-oil world seen from the point of view of people who have no real say in the forces that shape their lives, except for how they can adapt themselves. The book is filled with cool ideas, culturally mashed-up names and diamond-hulled sailing ships. It’s great, and it doesn’t end on a terrible cliffhanger for a trilogy. Highly recommended.

Jan 27, 2014

This book was spellbinding. Great for young adults.

Dec 06, 2013

This is one of the most dystopiest dystopias I've read! his future of our world is caused by our use of fossil fuels and ignoring global warming. It's not really preachy about it - in fact it sounds eerily accurate to what we are experiencing now and the trajectory that Paolo paints our future heading feels unnervingly likely. The characters are just as fantastic as the world building. First off, there is fantastic diversity. It feels like an accurate representation of what our current racial ratios are like. There's also people with different virtues and flaws, and a wide array of moral compasses - no one character is alike. Definitely the most thought provoking read I've had all year. I really don't have anything bad to say about this book. Oh yeah, and even though it's a series, you could read this book and never know! I mean I'm definitely going to check out the sequel, but there's no cliff hanger so you don't need to feel compelled to. Yay!

Nov 20, 2012

This is an incredibly powerful dystopian novel that will appeal to adults as well as teens. It is set in a future North America (maybe 100 years in the future?) where oil supplies have been exhausted and global warming has wreaked incredible damage, leaving in its wake many drowned coastal cities. The main character is a teenage boy (with an abusive father) who scrapes out a living in the now-tropical Gulf Coast region by stripping copper wiring and other materials from old ship wrecks. Then he comes across a new ship wreck with a rich girl on it, setting into motion many choices and events. A page-turner that makes you think and really sticks with you after reading the final pages.

Nov 09, 2012

I loved this book. And it's really awesome because it can be a guy or girl book. Definitely action packed

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OliviaSh Sep 05, 2011

OliviaSh thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 19, 2011

Scribbly thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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LibraryK8 Dec 07, 2010

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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