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The Dumpster Diver

by Janet S. Wong
Illustrated by David Roberts

Published by Candlewick Press, 2007
32 pages
ISBN: 9780763623807

Ages 5-8

As the old saying goes, one personís trash is anotherís treasure. But, where does one dive for sunken treasure in the city? In the dumpsters, of course. Dressed in protective gear that rivals the hardiest of deep-sea divers, Steve, an electrician, takes three neighborhood children along on his dumpstering adventures. There are two basic rules they must follow: 1) Keep your mouth shut . . . bugs abound in refuse dumpsters. 2): Donít blow your hose all over the place. Through their treasured discoveries, the children learn how to creatively alter raw materials into new objects. They learn the beauty of recycling and rethinking a standard way of life. They learn how to combat a throw-away culture. And, most importantly, they learn how to apply this fun creativity to an understanding of financial equity. The diving teamís operation is not without risk and not everyone accepts their way of thinking. When Steve is injured on one of the diving team excursions, the neighborhood Grouch easily and unsympathetically places blame upon Steve and his ethics. But the children use their creative skills to help their diving leader during his recovery. While not everyone is going to embrace a more frugal approach to refuse and reuse of everyday objects, this story encourages and empowers young readers to consider their consumerism. Through imaginative interplay of story, illustrations, and design, Wongís Dumpster Diver will entertain, inform, and challenge young readers to think differently.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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