Mike often brings home books from school to read, and I often steal them to read myself. Some are recommended by the Yr9 English teacher, some have just seemed interesting to him. They are almost always teen-fiction, which means you don’t usually have the think too hard to read them, and they are usually quite short.
I’m in between books at the moment, solely because my favourite authors are in the writing phase, when I really, really want them to be in the publishing phase! So I grabbed one of Mike’s books when I had half an hour to sit down and read (luxurious, I know!).
This is the book I read. It didn’t seem over appealing, but didn’t sound horrible either, so I gave it a chapter-chance (put it away if its no good after a chapter).
The plot centred around some boys who live in a rubbish dump in Manilla and who dig through the filth to make a living. The squalor described in the book astounded me, and though it was a fiction story, the author mentions in a note at the end that it was pretty accurate. The mystery in the story had me reading to the end, but the bleak, honest poverty in the story was brutal.
I finished the story this morning, and am so much more grateful than I normally am on a Sunday morning. I stopped envying friends who had gone on weekend breaks to beautiful destinations, and was grateful that my kids have a roof over their heads. I stopped crying poor because we have run out of carrots and capsicums before shopping day, and instead am thankful that my family could last for weeks on the canned and packet foods in the pantry.
I laugh at the bout of ‘First World Problem’ jokes that go surfing through the net, but it’s not until you get an insight into anything less than the ‘First World’ that you realise just how rich we really are.