January 2013 Indie Next List
“Standish Treadwell is not like everyone else. Luckily, he's always been able to get by without attracting too much attention. But when a teacher beats a boy, Standish intervenes and is noticed by those working for the Motherland. The Motherland culls those who are different, unwanted, or independent. Standish is different and his grandfather has secrets hidden in the basement -- secrets the Motherland will kill to protect. Both chilling and stunning, Maggot Moon is reminiscent of both 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale. Gardner has created a haunting tale that deserves applause.”
— Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
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.
About the Author
Sally Gardner is an award-winning author. As a student, she was branded un-teachable and expelled from various schools, until she was eventually diagnosed at the age of twelve as being severely dyslexic. She is now an avid spokesperson for dyslexia. 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.
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.
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.