hello i need help finding a book i read as a kid (about 5–10 years ago), may have been named apollo 13 or 11 but google brings up nothing for that name. It was about a kid (zack???) and his little brother, and two of his friends - one was mixed race (newt?????) and one was maybe a trans boy? who was really into Elvis (memphis???) and they discover that once they give this broken shopping trolley a name (Apollo, i think), it becomes sentient and can talk to them through telepathy. a lot of the book was written in dialogue with really short sentences and interjections. I think there was also a recurring dream about a huge forest but that might have been another book .. At the end they team up to send the shopping trolleys home to another dimension where they won't be enslaved by supermarkets. also the main kids mother is depressed and she complains that he didn't use organic tomatoes in his vegan pasta he made for her. also the trolley cures his grandmother of a stroke ??? I have thought many times that i MUST have made this ridiculous-sounding book up but my brother remembers it too so I can't have. does anybody have answers for me??? this book haunts my dreams

  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit any more details. Specifically things like when you read it, or where? Also, take a look at our tour to get a better understanding of our site and earn your first badge!
    – Edlothiad
    Apr 18, 2017 at 4:21
  • 2
    Not an answer to the OP's request but responsive to the current title and possible useful for future readers. Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man features shopping trolleys as the mobile stage of the city-parasite life-form that keeps the wizards of Unseen University busy in the book. Apr 18, 2017 at 4:25
  • user14111 is a GENIUS!! THANK YOU
    – faith
    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:00
  • You're welcome!
    – user14111
    Apr 18, 2017 at 7:00

1 Answer 1


Zip's Apollo, a 2005 novel by Philip Ridley.

enter image description here

Blurb from Amazon:

Zip Jingle has lived most of his life in the forest with his family. So his recent move with his mum and little brother to Yet To Be Named Street in New Town, where even the trees and grass are plastic, is a shock. The magic has gone out of their lives and none of them know how to get it back. Until one day, Zip and his baby brother Newt bring home a shopping trolley from the supermarket and Apollo, as Newt names the trolley, starts to communicate with them. Through Apollo, Zip and his family learn to see the magic in life again and come to terms with the loss that has affected them all.

From a review by Dina Rabinovitch in The Guardian:

His stories have a futuristic edge, psychology masked by flashing lights, emotions for the techy generation. So, in Zip's Apollo, the newest Ridley, shopping trolleys can read human minds, although, like newborn babes, the trolleys have to make sense of the emotions around them.
[. . . .]
In Zip's Apollo, Zip looks after his younger brother Newt, but also goes home to a grandmother handicapped by recent stroke, and a mother who spends all her time in a sleeping bag on the floor in her darkened room. Zip has to coax her to eat, with a mix peculiar to youngsters looking after adults, a blend of cajoling, and flattering the older person's sense of being a responsible adult: "You haven't eaten all day ... You're gonna make yourself ill. Then what am I going to do? Eh?" His mother responds with complaints about the food not being fresh or organic enough.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.