Book Blog - SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi

This week’s book blog was easy for me since a fair majority of the books I read feature male leads. But before I get there, I’d like to take a moment to tell y’all about an awesome resource for boy-friendly reading of all ages, the appropriately titled Anyhow, take a look and enjoy hours of monsters, superheroes, and fart jokes (kidding – boy books are so, so much more).

One fantastic example of this is Paolo Bacigalupi’s SHIP BREAKER, winner of the 2011  Michael L. Printz Award and 2010 National Book Award finalist. A quick synopsis from GoodReads:

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

I think that last line sums up my feelings about this book: action-packed and high-stakes in a grimy, detailed world. The characters are flawed, funny, and freaky-at-times. The descriptions are hauntingly cool – for instance, there’s a scene early on where Nailer is about to drown in crude oil which is such a nail-biter that it turns out I have a new fear. Although, it’s one that I’ll be happy to face again if it comes up in Bacigalupi’s companion book (set in the same future world), THE DROWNED CITIES, arriving May 1st


The moment I saw this author's name, it reminded of another couple of stories. One of them about counting calories, as energy, for like daily life and I think the other was The Wind-up Doll. My brain is fried so early this morning. And I haven't even made it to work yet. Please feel free to correct or add to this post anybody :-)

Le sigh.

Oooh, I didn't know there was a companion novel coming out! And I know exactly the scene you're talking about - nightmarish.

I loved this book! The atmosphere was crazy good. Can't wait to read The Drowned Cities!

Thank you for the tip on It's going to come in very handy as my preschooler grows--and grows. Tin Tin--here we come!

I got my 15 yr old to read this one and he loved it! He doesn't read but thanks to Paolo Bacigalupi he's looking forward to The Drowned Cities. (I'm trying to increase his vocab for the SAT's secretly) I loved this book and I'm going to find The Windup Girl to read. Guys Read is a great resource for boy books!


This book blew me away when I read it. I blogged about how it was a huge WOW book for me when I read it.

That's a great way to put it: SHIP BREAKER really was a WOW book. I can't wait for THE DROWNED CITIES either and hopefully it ups your son's vocab Heather (HA!). I've got WINDUP GIRL in the cue too!

And I love GuysRead...they have great suggestions for every level and lots of cool categories (a whole section on Dragons!)

I read WINDUP GIRL back when that came out, and then some of Bacigalupi's short stories online, but for some reason I never got around to SHIP BREAKER. Now I will.

I just started this book. I had no idea what a nail bitter it was!

I just started it and I had no idea what a nail bitter it is. Crape no sleep for me tonight.

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