Maggot Moon – buy it
By Sally Gardner – her website
Recommended Age: 13+
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Standish Treadwill sees the world differently, through his one blue eye and one brown, the letters dancing around in a dyslexic swirl. Yet it is his steadfast Gramps and his wonderful friend Hector who encourage him to continue fighting for all that makes him different. Against the backdrop of the harsh regime of the Motherland, with the help of a small band of rebels, Standish observes and questions and refuses to let the Greenflies stop him. And what exactly is going on with that moon landing propaganda?
In this unique Dystopian vision that doesn’t pull it’s punches, Sally Gardner has given voice to a wonderful protagonist. Standish is a visionary; the way life works through his eyes spots the sparks of hope in a hopeless world. When everything is literally rotting and festering around him, he nurtures love, family, and a strong sense of self. When the Lush’s move in next door and Standish forms a firm friendship with Hector, he begins to realize. To defeat those who would try to bring you down, all you need is a little imagination.
The school setting is just vicious enough to ring true to playground bullying from swottish taddletale Hans Fielder, and unfair teachers Mr Gunnell and Mr Hellman, which makes the violence of the Motherland extremely believable and all the more threatening.
It is a book of ‘what ifs?’
I purchased both the paperback and the enhanced eBook for the iPad. The book is illustrated throughout in a flip book like series of rat sketches that hammer home the point of the infestation of the landscape. The eBook comes with thought provoking extras, illustrations, sound clips, videos, historical facts, and interviews with Ms. Gardner.
I expected to like this book, but never expected it to take its place in my firm favorites. Having finished it I can safely say that it has secured its place on that list. A brilliant book. I want to tell everyone I know to read it this instant!