Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
An inspiring tale about stepping out of your comfort zone and diving into the unknown
The Tidbies follow the rules and stay away from humans. Their main job is to send waste to the island of Trash Munchers, where they will then destroy it and help fight back against the pollution problem in all of their shared world. But when trash begins to pile up in the ocean, the three groups (Tidbies, Trash Munchers, & humans) all end up blaming each other.
In Olga Geiling’s newest novel, The Tidbie and the Trash Munchers, we follow three inspiring youngsters who let down their guards to attempt to find a solution to their shared problem before it’s too late.
In the beginning of The Tidbie and the Trash Munchers, our main character Tom is a typical Tidbie boy. He follows directions, does not ask questions, and enjoys his simple life — until one day everything changes.
While walking along the wall that separates Tidbies from humans, he sees something glimmering against the sun on the top of the wall.This glimmer leads him to do something few Tidbies have done before: explore.
It leads him to a new friend, one he does not expect to make, and a new journey, one he never expected to go on. While breaking away from everything he’s ever known, he decides to accompany a human girl, Marley, on an expedition to figure out the answer to the pollution problem once and for all.
If I could use one word to describe The Tidbie and the Trash Munchers, it would be adventurous. What is more adventurous than someone breaking all the rules of their land even though they do not know anyone who has ever done it before?
Tom is a wonderful main character to follow, as he stays neutral enough to be well liked by everyone, but takes enough risks through his rebel spirit to become well loved. His innocence contrasts well against the character of Marley, who is both tough and outgoing. With her as an inspiration, Tom is able to not only channel his adventurous side, but act on it. The Tidbie race is a great representation of an overly uniformed society, and Tom is a breath of fresh air in the Tidbie world and in this book.
I love that there’s a bigger issue guiding this story and accompanying the creativity here. Though this is a different world entirely, pollution is a primary issue in this world, very closely mirroring major issues of our own. As well as being a great plot point for a middle grade book, it’s also an informative subject, and I think that kids of middle grade age will learn something great from it, as well as be inspired to take action in their own lives to fight back against pollution.
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Print Length: 196 pages
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