In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three "dumpsite boys" make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city. One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It's up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat-boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money-to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong. Andy Mulligan has written a powerful story about unthinkable poverty-and the kind of hope and determination that can transcend it. With twists and turns, unrelenting action, and deep, raw emotion, Trash is a heart-pounding, breath-holding novel. From the Hardcover edition.
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Look at the picture of the dump site below to help you imagine the setting of the story. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the best definition of "trash boy," as it is used in this story?
Think about the details in the story. You should be able to make some inferences about the main character already. For example, is he rich or poor? Watch the video below to learn more about making inferences as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is an inference you can make about Gardo from the highlighted sentence?
Think about how the narrator uses the word "key" in this sentence. Does he mean an actual key, like the one that he found in the bag of trash? Or could this sentence have another meaning to it?
Watch the video below about point of view and think carefully about the story. You should be prepared to identify from what point of view the story is told. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following describes what point of view this story is told from?
This is an example of a scene with a lot of tension. The main character feels nervous because of the policemen. Watch the video below to understand more about tension. (This annotation contains a video)
The scene became very tense when the policemen came to Behala searching for
Based on the highlighted text, can you make an inference about the narrator's father?
The author uses imagery in the highlighted text. Imagery is when an author is very descriptive and helps the reader to imagine the scene. When an author uses imagery, sight, taste, smell, sound, or touch may be described in detail. (This annotation contains an image)
Using your own words write a summary, or short explanation, of what happens in Chapter Three when the police come.
What does the narrator really mean when he says that the trash is "alive at night"?
The descriptions in the highlighted text help the reader to visualize the scene. What is this kind of descriptive language called?
Did you know that you can easily look up the definition for any word in the text? You can select a word by clicking on it, or pressing on it if you are using a mobile device. After selecting the word, choose Define to read the definition. Since "sneering" is a great vocabulary word, try looking up the definition for that term now!
Watch the trailer for Trash below. How do the actors compare with how you pictured the boys in your head while reading? How does the setting compare to what you imagined? Answer in three or four sentences.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN08JrXZ9eM
The end of this chapter contains some very obvious foreshadowing. What do you think will happen in the next chapter of the story? You can watch the video below to learn more about foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the major change in the story at the beginning of Chapter 5?
In this context, "notes" refers to bills, or paper money.
Think about the way that "rubbish" is used in this sentence. Which of the following is a synonym (word with the same meaning) for "rubbish" as it is used in this sentence?
Watch the video below to learn about tone and mood. How would you describe the mood of this scene, in which the characters worry over secrets in the dark? (This annotation contains a video)
Think about the words that the author uses to describe this scene, such as "scared" and "suspicious." These words create an emotional response in the reader. What is the mood of this scene? Explain your answer.
Which of the following choices best describes the perspective used in the novel?
Watch the video below to learn more about realistic fiction, which is the genre of this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is NOT a reason why this story is considered realistic fiction?
The hook which Gardo carries around is a trash hook like the one pictured below. He and other characters sometimes use long hooks to make digging through the trash easier. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the video below about context clues. Can you use context clues in this sentence to determine what "bramble" means? (This annotation contains a video)
What do the boys discover inside of the locker?
Pictured below is an iron freight container. Can you imagine going to a school built from metal boxes like this one? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following choices is a summary of the main idea of the passage about Pascal Aguila?
Father Julliard has just been introduced to the reader. However, you should already know some of his character traits. What kind of inferences can you make about him? Watch the video below about character traits to learn more: (This annotation contains a video)
Think about the character traits that Father Julliard has. How does he respond to the challenge of teaching at the Mission?
Pay attention to the sequence of events in the story as you read and note that the story is told in the past tense. You can watch the video below for more information on sequence of events. (This annotation contains a video)
Read the highlighted sentence. The author's choice of words create what kind of mood?
Sometimes, in extreme situations, people can become so nervous that they vomit. Does the author do a good job of helping you to imagine how frightened the narrator is?
Does Raphael's story change as the investigation goes on? Explain your answer.
The part of the story you are reading right now contains a lot of conflict. Is the conflict in this scene mostly internal or external? Watch the video below to learn more about these two types of conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
Raphael refuses to tell the police the truth, even when they hold him out of an open window. Raphael's refusal shows that he is
Watch the video below to learn about alliteration. Can you find any examples of alliteration in the highlighted sentence? Hint: look at the first letters of the words. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following choices provide the best summary of the current chapter?
Think back to the video you watched about tone and mood. The mood is different in this scene than in the interrogation scene. How has it changed?
What does this detail tell you about the policemen? It should give you more insight about what kind of people they are. Explain your answer.
Try to keep the characters straight in your head as the plot unfolds and more people are introduced. Jose Angelico is the man who was murdered for stealing six million dollars. Gabriel Olondriz would have been Jose Angelico's adoptive grandfather. Gabriel Olondriz is also in prison now. The boys will need to go to the prison if they want to deliver the coded letter from Jose Angelico to Gabriel Olondriz.
What is Grace's relationship with Jose Angelico?
Sepsis occurs when a wound gets infected. People can avoid sepsis by keeping wounds clean and using fresh bandages. Why do you think that sepsis would occur more commonly in Behala than in most other places? (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the narrator in this scene?
Watch the video below about theme. What themes do you see emerging in the story? (This annotation contains a video)
What can you infer about Gardo after reading the passage about him shopping?
Do good people sometimes do bad things, like tell lies? Why might the children from Behala lie more than other kids?
What is the purpose of the highlighted paragraph?
A welfare officer is usually someone who is concerned with the safety and well-being of underprivileged people, especially children.
What does Mr. Olivia mean when he says that the government "does not put money into its prisons"? What must the quality of the prison be like? Explain your answer.
The author compares the laughter in the prison to animal noise. Is a simile or a metaphor used here? Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
How does visiting this prison make the narrator feel? Use evidence from the story to explain your answer.
Here, the author uses a metaphor to compare the hot prison to a furnace. This language is much more descriptive than if the author had just described the prison as being hot. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the author mean by the highlighted text?
What does the narrator become aware of in this chapter?
What do Gabriel Olondriz's actions tell you about his character? Is he fair or unfair? Honest or dishonest?
Remember that Senator Zapanta is the vice president (whom Jose Angelico stole money from). This is an important connection.
Gabriel Olondriz reported Senator Zapanta for
What does the highlighted text indicate?
Earlier in the text, you learned that Dante Jerome was the adoptive father of Jose Angelico, the man whose belongings the boys found.
The highlighted text is an example of what kind of figurative language?
The highlighted text is an example of personification, when something that is not a person is given the characteristics or abilities of a human, such as the ability to sing. Watch the video below to learn more about personification. (This annotation contains a video)
"Sniff" is an example of onomatopoeia, when a word imitates a sound. What other examples of onomatopoeia can you think of? (This annotation contains an image)
You can infer from the details in the text on this page that Rat is
Repetition is when an author repeats a word or phrase in a text. It is used to add emphasis, or importance to that word or phrase. "Fish" is repeated in this instance because Rat is emphasizing how often he intends to catch fish.
Who is the "they" that Rat is referring to in this sentence?
Remember that Rat does not know how to write, so Raphael is writing for him.
Who are the vice president's "boys"?
An allusion is when an author refers to another text. The highlighted text contains an allusion to the Bible. Rat is using this allusion to compare the vice president's impressive home to the land promised to Moses by God. The illustration below shows Moses leading his people to the promised land. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted text contains what kind of figurative language?
Think back: who is the "houseboy" that was reported to have stolen six million dollars from the vice president? You should be able to make a connection.
According to the old man, who was directing the refrigerator deliverymen?
This is a flashback to the scene in which Gardo and Miss Olivia visit the prison. Watch the video below to learn more about how authors use flashbacks. (This annotation contains a video)
Who is narrating this scene?
In the highlighted text, Gabriel Olondriz means to say that Gardo is special (for having such an amazing memory). Do you think that you could remember a sequence of numbers that had no special meaning to you?
Why does Gardo need the Bible?
Think about how quickly events in the story, such as the death of Gabriel Olondriz, are happening. How does the story seem to be paced? Watch the video below about pacing to find out more on the topic. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the narrator's tone in this paragraph?
Think back to the video you watched about pacing. You can go back and look at it again if you need to. Is the plot paced slowly or fast in this chapter? Explain your choice.
The highlighted text is an idiom, a saying that means something other than what it literally states. If someone has a price on their head, it means that they are wanted and being searched for. Can you think of some other idioms? (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the order of the plot. Which of the following events occurs first?
Why would this particular amount of money be important to Rat? Consider why he must be interested in the safe tonight.
You can infer from the highlighted text that breaking into the school makes the narrator feel
Notice how some lines of the text are italicized. The author wants these lines to stand out from the rest of the text because they show the thoughts that are going through the narrator's head.
The highlighted text is an example of
This is another example of alliteration. Can you think back and remember what alliteration is?
Why doesn't Rat help Gardo and Raphael figure out the code?
All Souls' Day, or the Day of the Dead, is a holiday associated with the Catholic church. People celebrate dead loved ones and ancestors on this holiday. (This annotation contains a link)
Why is "Prisoner 746229" important?
What does this foreshadowing reveal to you as a reader?
When the boys are tracked down by the police again, how does Rat respond to the challenge? Use the text to support your answer.
Which of the following is NOT a central idea at the beginning of this chapter?
Which of the following is NOT a technique that the boys have used to escape the police in this story?
The image below shows a graveyard in Mexico. While the setting of the story is unclear, and probably invented, the graveyard may look something like this one: painted graves of concrete. Is this different from the kind of graveyard you are used to seeing? (This annotation contains an image)
This narrator claims that Jose Angelico lied. What did he lie about? What is really in the coffin? Use the text to explain your answer.
The following pages show news articles reporting on Zapanta. Read the articles carefully and see what information you can find out about this character.
What opinion do the news reporters have about Zapanta? Explain your answer.
On the Day of the Dead, families will often set out extra places at dinner time to honor loved ones who have passed away.
Why are the boys looking for Mrs. Angelico's grave? Explain your answer.
This is a very descriptive sentence which uses simile as well as metaphor. Can you identify these literary devices in the sentence?
A shanty is a little shack, usually where an impoverished family lives. Can you imagine living in a shanty, like one of the shanties pictured below, in a graveyard? (This annotation contains an image)
Remember that the highlighted text is a reference to the Bible. It is
What is the "it" that the boys are hoping to find?
What does the highlighted text reveal about the grave? Why does the narrator call this a "miracle"? Explain your answer.
Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are different names for the same type of storm. The name depends on where the storm is located on the globe. Typhoons occur in the North Pacific ocean. This gives the reader an idea of the setting of the story. The image below will give you an idea of where the North Pacific is. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted word helps the reader imagine a sound. It is an example of
How do the characters in the story justify stealing the money? Do you believe that stealing is wrong or justified in this situation?
The highlighted text is a metaphor, used to help the reader visualize
The image below shows two people on a rickshaw. It is similar to a bicycle. (This annotation contains an image)
This is the letter that the children found buried along with the money in the false grave.
Explain how Jose Angelico managed to take the money from Senator Zapanta. Use the text to support your answer.