cover image The Dumpster Diver

The Dumpster Diver

Janet S. Wong. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2380-7

This title gives new meaning to the term ""buried treasure,"" as it explores the fun behind unearthing trash from the depths of a dumpster and recycling it into new life forms. The design mirrors the theme, with snippets of text designed to look like newspaper clippings. And while the title may suggest that the story centers on one character, Steve (an electrician who suits up for the scavenger hunt), his findings are actually the result of a team effort-a young group of Steve's fellow apartment building-dwellers. Not only does the crew lend a helping hand, they also pool their imaginations to transform the discoveries into creations with newfound purposes: ""Yesterday's treasure of the day was an old computer that almost became a flowerpot (Johnny's idea) or a fish tank (Lina's idea) or a sculpture (my brilliant idea)."" Readers will be pleasantly surprised that the diving team's efforts are oftentimes generous, whether they are inventing new means by which a neighbor may practice her typing skills or assembling a wheelchair to assist chief diver Steve after he takes a fall. Roberts paints a picture of an active urban landscape bursting with the many goings-on of this bustling group. The result is a short story that is long on innovation and imagination. Ages 5-8.