April 1997: the city of Grand Forks is destroyed, thousands are evacuated, and Owen and Andrew are starting to enjoy themselves as they follow the flood to Winnipeg.
In this odd, exciting, and cheerfully irresponsible adventure, Owen and Andrew are opportunists with rapid-fire wit, no pasts and, in Owen’s case, no legs. On the lam during the Manitoba Red River flood of 1997, these rogues quickly grasp the tactics necessary to exploit the chaos, and manipulate sympathy into personal gain. Scamming money as bogus Salvation Army reps, pawning a benevolently donated “sport coupe” of a wheelchair for profit, and eating like kings through volunteer food rations, are all in a day’s work. Sandbag Shuffle serves as an insider’s look at the architecture of natural disaster, disability, vagrant youth, and loyalty.
This almost-picaresque adventure is genuinely hilarious in tone and its observations of people and their foibles are right on the money.
— Resource Links (Vol 13, 1, Oct 2007)
- Shortlisted for the 2008 McNally Robinson Award for Best Book for Young Readers
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