Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
By Jonah Winter
Garbage, garbage, garbage. A whole stinking boat full of it – 3,168 tons of it, to be exact. Floating away, from harbor to harbor in search of a place to dump it. Out on the sea – for 162 days.
You’d think it was a fictional tale. It has all the earmarks of someone’s clever imagination. Unfortunately, it’s based on a true story that happened in 1987. A barge full of garbage departed from Islip, a city on New York’s Long Island, looking for a place to dispose of the garbage.
In Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, Jonah Winter fictionalized the true-to-life event, replacing the real-life characters with the fascinating duo; Gino Stroffolino and Cap’m Duffy. While these two were such fun to watch throughout the book, I think my favorites were the two old sisters who lived on the beach in North Carolina – Miss Alma McTiver and Miss Ida McTiver.
As the barge, chockfull of interesting garbage such as a bicycle, a shopping cart, a trolley car, a bird cage and an armless statue travels back to New York, carrying its by-now-very-stinky cargo, even the Statue of Liberty holds her nose as they pass by.
In Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, there’s a little true life history and a subtle moral about garbage and reducing waste wrapped up in a whole lot of entertainment. You won’t get away with only reading this story once.