The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird

The Garbage King

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A gritty, deeply moving story that shows how the human spirit can triumph in the harshest of worlds. The deserved winner of the Children's Book Award when it was first published. This is the story of children who live on the very edge of destitution. Dani and Mamo, and the gang of street boys that they join, have nothing and share everything. Their courage, loyalty and determination enable them to survive in the harshest of worlds.


The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird

Inspired by the true story of an African childhood lived on the edge of destitution, award-winning Elizabeth Laird's The Garbage King takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey. When Mamo's mother dies, he is abandoned in the shanties of Addis Ababa. Stolen by a child-trafficker and sold to a farmer, he is cruelly treated. Escaping back to the city, he meets another, very different runaway. Dani is rich, educated - and fleeing his tyrannical father. Together they join a gang of homeless street boys who survive only by mutual bonds of trust and total dependence on each other.


It's the elemental friendship story of fear and hope that will draw in readers. Booklist

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

ELIZABETH LAIRD was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. On leaving university, she lived and taught for some time in Addis Ababa, where she fell in love with Ethiopia’s stunning landscapes and brace, enduring people. Since her first trip to the country in her early twenties, Liz has travelled extensively all over Ethiopia (and indeed the world), and everywhere she went she saw boys and girls running. Running to school, running to work. They ran and ran. In every young heart the ambition to win gold for their country was beating. These young runners with their huge dreams have stayed with Liz and inspired the story of The Fastest Boy in the World.

In between her travels in Ethiopia, Malaysia and India, Liz also lived for some time in Lebanon, Iraq and Austria with her husband and two sons. After leaving Austria she and her husband decided to earn their living as writers, settling in London: since then, she has written over 30 books for children, has been shortlisted five times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as every other major children’s book award. Liz now lives with her husband, splitting their time between London and Edinburgh.

Elizabeth Laird's books have been translated into 15 languages.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Elizabeth Laird
More books by Elizabeth Laird

Author's Website


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

28th July 2016




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