By Author / Illustrator

Darren Simpson


Real life

Age range(s)



Usborne Publishing Ltd




Paperback / softback




Landfill has lived his whole life as a scavenger, running with wooflers, swimming with turtles and feasting on fresh gull. Old Babagoo has always looked after him, on one condition - follow his rules. NEVER COME LOOKING OUTSIDE. NEVER RISE ABOVE THEWALL. But despite the dangers, Landfill longs to see Outside. And some rules are made to be broken.


Megan - Age 11

The book is about a boy called Landfill who's lived his whole life as a scavenger. He was found as a baby and raised by an old man, Babagoo. The story follows Landfill as he makes a friend with an 'outsider'. Landfill is very unsure of this friendship as he has never experienced anything like it. Wow! What a massive emotional rollercoaster ride of a book. I think I pretty much cried for the last 2 chapters of the book. I think the last 4 chapters changed everything for me. There are so many twists and turns, and each one is brilliant. This is ridiculously well written book and I loved reading every minute of it. I found myself frustrated, sad, angry, happy and sometimes all within a short space of time. I think the character I most relate to is Dawn because she constantly wants to help Landfill, she's very caring and adventurous. It completely peaked my curiosity and I couldn't put it down. I'd reread it in a heart beat but I just need a minute to process everything before I dive back in! That ending, was beautiful and sad. The blurb does not do this book justice.

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Landfill has lived his whole life behind the wall, scavenging to survive and look after the animals which fill his world. Looked after by old Babagoo, he has been conditioned to follow the rules designed to keep Landfill safe from the evils of the Outside. But Landfill is curious - and that means breaking the rules. This is a powerful novel which is not always a comfortable read. The relationship between Babagoo and Landfill is extremely complex. Babagoo obviously adores his young companion, seeing him as the only pure, innocent thing left in the world, yet he is controlling, manipulative and at times, bullying. Landfill's life is governed by strict rules and has known nothing else as Babagoo is the only human he has ever known. As he grows, however, he notices things and starts to question Babagoo's authority. It is hard to comment on too much that happens in this story without spoiling the pleasure of discovery for those who have not read it yet. It is a story which challenges our views about 'civilisation', safety, survival and relationships. It is raw in places, yet powerfully written and compelling. 336 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 11+


Scavengers tells the story of a boy called Landfill who lives with Old Babagoo in Hinterland, surrounded by a big wall that separates it from Outside. Landfill's life is regulated by many rules, which are imposed upon him by Babagoo. The relationship between the two characters is a maelstrom of comfortable friendliness, parent/child and bully/bullied. Throughout the novel evocative use of language helps to set scenes without giving too much away, leading the reader to form their own opinions and discover what is going on. Landfill's days are filled with tasks and interactions with the many animals in Hinterland, all of whom have literary names. The names are explained in an appendix at the end of the book. These animals are his playmates since he leads such a solitary existence. At times there are gritty descriptions of the gulls that form the basis for meals in Hinterland and the whole novel has echoes of Lord of the Flies. Babagoo and Landfill communicate using made up and unusual language, giving the story a Dahlesque feel. The most important rule is to NEVER go beyond the wall and when Landfill does, it opens up a whole wealth of questions and situations that he had never dreamt of. When Dawn, an 'Outsider', comes into Hinterland, Landfill starts to develop an awareness that not all he has been told by Babagoo about the Outsiders may be correct. His innate sense that he is missing out on something becomes more profound and he starts to question Babagoo's ideas and decisions. At times a truly challenging read but one where the use of language is such that you can see and breathe the atmosphere within Hinterland; this is a superbly written novel. I especially liked the addition of the discussion questions. 322 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Sharon Bolton, School Librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


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