What I loved:
Maggie's realistically independent attitude. The girl wants so bad to be on her own, living by her own rules and making her own way in the world. But she is well aware that not only does she still need her family's support to survive - they need her help as well. This co-dependence of their family while Maggie can still be somewhat independent and strong-willed is really great.
The focus on the animals in the story was really cool. I often encounter young readers who want animal books, but are reading at a higher level than their peers. Having a lengthy middle grade novel to give them that has its own story and focus, but features a lot of animals and environmental themes is a great thing.
What I wanted less of:
The overwrought, overwritten, and complex language and writing. The word play was interesting at first, and it provided a fun and quirky alternative to the usual prose that young readers may find boring. However, it got to be simply a distraction from the plot and the character development. There is so much of the wordplay, pig latin, slang and made-up words that frankly if you took out half of it there would still be enough to make an impact. I think that young readers who are reading at a very high level for their age might find it interesting, but for the majority of middle grade readers it will simply make the story too challenging to follow.
The verdict: A unique, strangely written dystopia for middle grade readers. I would recommend it to funky kids who are into music from the 60s, who really love Mark Twain stories, and want something funny and adventurous. THE SCAVENGERS may also appeal to some adults who want a funny dystopia with a lot of environmental focus.