Maggot Moon [NOOK Book]

Overview

A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book! In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the ...
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Maggot Moon

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Overview

A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book! In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big...One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.

Winner of the 2013 Carnegie Medal
Winner of the 2012 Costa Book Award for Children's Book
A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Just when it seems that there’s nothing new under the dystopian sun, Gardner (The Red Necklace) produces an original and unforgettable novel about a boy in a totalitarian society who risks everything in the name of friendship. Standish Treadwell narrates in short, fast-paced chapters, illustrated by theatrical designer/director Crouch with flipbook-style images of rats, flies, and maggots: creatures that represent the oppressive forces at work in the Motherland, a brutish government intent on being first to the moon, at whatever cost to its citizens. Fifteen-year-old Standish is dyslexic (as is the author), making him a target of bullies, which is the least of his problems. He lives with his resourceful grandfather in Zone Seven, but the Motherland has taken away his parents, as well as his best friend, Hector. The loss of his parents has created a hole Standish cannot fill; the disappearance of Hector leaves Standish unprotected at school and bereft of a friend who saw past Standish’s disability to recognize his intelligence. “I believe the best thing we have is our imagination,” Standish recalls Hector telling him, “and you have that in bucketloads.” Though Standish’s grandfather keeps the boy purposefully in the dark about many things, Standish figures out one of the government’s big secrets on his own, and he concocts a brave and personally risky plan to reveal it. Parts of the story are very hard to read—early on, a classmate is beaten to death by a teacher in the schoolyard—but the violence asks readers to consider what the world would be like if certain events in history had turned out differently. Gardner does a masterful job of portraying Standish’s dyslexia through the linguistic swerves of his narration, and although the ending is pure heartbreak, she leaves readers with a hopeful message about the power of one boy to stand up to evil. Ages 12–up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
This novel will just blow you away...Such a beautiful read...this certainly has the potential to become a modern classic.
—The Bookseller (U.K.)

Startlingly original, sophisticated and moving, MAGGOT MOON is out of this world.
—The Sunday Times (U.K)

Dazzling, chilling, breathtaking. A perfect book.
—Meg Rosoff

Gardner does a masterful job of portraying Standish’s dyslexia through the linguistic swerves of his narration, and although the ending is pure heartbreak, she leaves readers with a hopeful message about the power of one boy to stand up to evil
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This is alt-history second; first, it is an eerie, commanding drama.
—Booklist (starred review)

Standish’s tale has the terse, energetic tension of poetry; his phrases and sentences roll out with irony, tenderness, horror, or love, but always vividly...Most appealing of all, however, is Standish Treadwell himself: tender, incisive, brave, and determined, he takes a stand and treads well.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Sally Gardner tells a story that is rich in drama and ideas.
—LoveReading4Kids.co.uk

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Standish Treadwell knows how to survive: keep your mouth shut, play dumb, and never let them see you cry. He lives in a world seemingly devoid of hope, a bleak and nightmarish post-war prison zone called Zone Seven, reserved for the Motherland's most despised citizens. Death, starvation, brutality, and betrayal are the norm. Standish and his wily, devoted grandfather manage to outfox the spies, the military police, and the Motherland itself to eke out a marginal existence. At the age of fifteen, Standish has a childlike worldview that endears him to others, including Hector, the son of a brilliant scientist who arrives with his family to hide in the zone. But when Hector ventures over a huge wall to retrieve a lost football, what he discovers leads the boys on a crash course with an evil empire determined to crush them and fool the entire world. Award-winning author Gardner paints an utterly original alternate reality in this dark and finely-crafted novel. Set in a fictional post-World War II England that fell to the Germans, the plot follows the terrible fate of those who attempt to stand up for the rights of others. Graphic scenes of violence are tempered by Standish's sweet naivete and tenderheartedness. Crouch's inventive illustrations of flies, rats, and maggots echo the pace of the plot while offering hope that good will conquer evil and the cycle of life will somehow continue. A chilling and haunting tale loaded with agony and heartbreak, Standish's story shows the value of community, the power of ideas, and the difference just one person can make for others and the world. Mature themes include graphic violence, profanity, and homosexuality. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In a grimly surreal alternate 1950s, 15-year-old Standish Treadwell leads a bleak life under a totalitarian government reminiscent of World War II Germany and Cold War Soviet Union. Struggling with an unspecified learning disability, he doesn't fit in-he dreams of a land of Croca-Colas and plans an imaginary mission to planet Juniper with his best friend, Hector-until Hector and his family are abruptly taken away because they know too much about the government's machinations. Standish's quirky first-person voice and fragmented storytelling gradually reveal that the government is intent on winning a propaganda-filled space race and will go to any length, including a massive hoax, to appear victorious. The story borders on allegory, and the setting is deliberately vague. It is implied that the details that led to this dystopian society are not important; the crucial point is that Standish becomes determined that he, an individual, can take action against a cruel and powerful regime. With brief chapters and short sentences, the prose appears deceptively simple, but the challenging subject matter makes for a highly cerebral reading experience. Stomach-churning illustrations of flies, rats, and maggots accompany the text, creating a parallel graphical narrative that emphasizes key moments in the plot. Though its harsh setting and brutal violence may not appeal to those seeking a happy ending, the story's Orwellian overtones will fuel much speculation and discussion among readers.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Standish Treadwell, 15, has lost parents, neighbors, best friend: All disappeared from Zone Seven, a post-war occupied territory, into the hellish clutches of the Motherland. Now a new horror approaches. Though it's unnamed, the Motherland's distinguishing features scream "Nazi Germany." Life in Zone Seven is a dreary round of familiar miseries. Standish and Hector spin fantasies about the far-off tantalizing consumer culture they glimpsed on television (now banned), but they lack a vision of the future beyond vague dreams of rescue. Food is scarce; surveillance constant. Loved ones vanish; teachers beat children to death while classmates look on. Abetting the powerful, residents inform on their neighbors for food. Kindness revealed is punished; solutions are final. Call it Auschwitz lite. Why the brutal state bothers to educate those, like Standish, labeled "impure" (his eyes are of different colors and he's dyslexic), is unclear. Despite short chapters and simple vocabulary and syntax, the detailed, sadistic violence makes this is a poor choice for younger readers, while oversimplified characters, a feeble setting and inauthentic science make it a tough sell for older ones. In this nuance- and complexity-free world, scarcity rules. Standish dreams of "ice-cream-colored Cadillacs" and drinking "Croca-Colas." Wealth-disparity, climate change and childhood obesity don't exist. Despite intentions, this tale never connects past to present, resulting in a book with a message but no resonance. (Speculative fiction. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763665739
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 235,320
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 939 KB

Meet the Author

Sally Gardner is an award-winning author whose novels have sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.K. and have been translated into twenty-two languages. She is dyslexic and is an avid spokesperson for dyslexia. "I strongly believe that dyslexia is like a Rubik’s Cube," she says. "It takes time to work out how to deal with it, but once you do, it can be the most wonderful gift." Sally Gardner lives in London.
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Read an Excerpt

I wasn't listening to the lesson when the note arrived from the headmaster's office. Because me and Hector were in the city across the water, in another country where the buildings don't stop rising until they pin the clouds to the sky. Where the sun shines in Technicolor. Life at the end of a rainbow. I don't care what they tell us, I've seen it on the TV. They sing in the streets - they even sing in the rain, sing while dancing round a lamp post.

This is the dark ages. We don't sing.

But this was the best daydream I'd had since Hector and his family vanished. Mostly I tried not to think about Hector. Instead I liked to concentrate on imagining myself on our planet, the one Hector and I had invented. Juniper.

It was better than being worried sick about what had happened to him. Except this was one of the best daydreams I'd had for a long time. It felt as if Hector was near me again. We were driving round in one of those huge, ice-cream-coloured Cadillacs. I could almost smell the leather. Bright blue, sky blue, leather seats blue. Hector in the back. Me with my arm resting on the chrome of the wound-down window, my hand on the wheel, driving us home for Croca-Colas in a shiny kitchen with a checked tablecloth and a garden that looks as if the grass was Hoovered.

That's when I became vaguely aware of Mr Gunnell saying my name.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Idk

    How many pages ?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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