Publisher's Note:  

Trash Mountain is a charming, yet powerful story that follows a young squirrel who finds himself alone in the world when his parents are suddenly killed. Jane Yolen has crafted a compelling array of characters, including young Nutley, wise Larie, and loyal Naw. The age-old battle between the grey squirrels and the reds is captivating and young readers will also detect subtle themes concerning species diversity and evolution.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Lerner Publishing Group

Trash Mountain

by Jane Yolen

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Overall Review:  

Trash Mountain, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Monroe, is a delightful novel.  Upper elementary and middle grade readers will fall in love with Nutley, the main character that is a red squirrel.  Nutley's parents are killed at the beginning of the story and the adventures that follow this tragic event are truly one of a kind. Unlikely characters become friends. Enemies seem to be everywhere. Ordinary trash can even save the day. From the title, readers will know that this book has something to do with the landfill.  Jane Yolen made me laugh with her made-up names that the squirrel character called things.  It was entertaining to see the world (a trash landfill) through the eyes of the animals and to hear their perspective of things.  This book could easily be used to have conversations about diversity, racism, and what makes someone courageous.  The illustrations are simple pencil sketches that add to the story and give the reader a little insight as to what the Great White Box might be.  The way the characters used the Great White Box in the end was perfect!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Characters push another character down a steep hill; characters attack someone's home and cause two characters to die; characters chase other characters with intent to harm them; character knocks out another character.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a parent, bullying, homelessness.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Gray squirrels are said to be drunk; gray squirrels are said to party in the night.

Reviewed By Nicole
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