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Maggot Moon Paperback – 3 Jan 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471400441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471400445
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Dazzling, chilling, breathtaking. A perfect book.' --Meg Rosoff

'The outstanding teenage novel of the autumn, arresting and original and written in a singular voice, is Sally Gardner's MAGGOT MOON... Narrated by a boy with dyslexia, Standish Tredwell, it takes you inside the workings of his mind...as well as offering up something much darker: a parable about the perils of totalitarianism. Despite its simple language, its a disturbing read, but it also has a hopeful message - that a teenager, especially one with dyslexia, can have agency in the world.' --Lorna Bradbury, The Telegraph

'This heart-breaking, brilliantly written novel is the most original publication for years, and rivals Margo Lanagan's The Brides of Rollrock Island as my Young Adult Book of the Year.' --Amanda Craig, The Times

'The outstanding teenage novel of the autumn, arresting and original and written in a singular voice, is Sally Gardner's MAGGOT MOON... Narrated by a boy with dyslexia, Standish Tredwell, it takes you inside the workings of his mind...as well as offering up something much darker: a parable about the perils of totalitarianism. Despite its simple language, its a disturbing read, but it also has a hopeful message - that a teenager, especially one with dyslexia, can have agency in the world.' --Lorna Bradbury, The Telegraph

'This heart-breaking, brilliantly written novel is the most original publication for years, and rivals Margo Lanagan's The Brides of Rollrock Island as my Young Adult Book of the Year.' --Amanda Craig, The Times

About the Author

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist who has sold over 2 million books in the UK and her work has been translated in to more than 22 languages. Her novel, MAGGOT MOON (Hot Key Books 2012), won both the Costa Children's Book Prize and the Carnegie Medal 2013. Sally's genre-defying novel, THE DOUBLE SHADOW (Orion 2011) received great critical acclaim and was also longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2013. THE RED NECKLACE (shortlisted for 2007 Guardian Book Prize) and THE SILVER BLADE, are set during the French Revolution, the film rights for which have been purchased by Dominic West. Sally also won the 2005 Nestle Children s Book Prize for her debut novel I,CORIANDER. She is currently writing the popular WINGS & CO Fairy Detective Agency Series (Orion) for 7-11 year olds - hailed as 'Agatha Christie for kids' - and has recently finished her next Young Adult fiction novel, which is a modern gothic tale called TINDER, illustrated by David Roberts, due for publication November 2013 (Orion).


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I have read in 2013, and boy has it raised the bar for whatever else I read this year. I think the blurb tells you pretty much all you need to know, so I won't summarise any further - it's one of those occasions where you want to tell people `I won't give too much away - just read it!'.
It's written in deceptively simple prose and in that sense, it's easy to read. I rattled through it because I wanted to find out what happened to Standish and Hector. But at some point I am going to have to go back and reread it to truly appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the writing. On another level, it doesn't make for easy reading because of the truly awful things going on in the Motherland - particularly when you realise with unease that similar things have indeed happened in human history. And are happening still. Sally Gardner is known for her `unique blend of magic and historical realism', and in this case there is the inkling that you might be reading a re-imagined history. It's all the more powerful because the world doesn't feel like some distant dystopia - it all seems very close to home. You really get a sense of the precariousness of the characters' situation, and though they are two very different books, I would compare the emotional response I got from reading Maggot Moon to what I experienced when I read Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. It's both heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful, because it illustrates the eternal presence of friendship, courage and hope in even the most dire of circumstances.
I instantly warmed to the narrator, Standish Treadwill, and his voice is one of those that echoes in your mind long after the story ends.
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Format: Hardcover
I am reviewing this book, not because it is controversial, but because I think it has been over-hyped in a way that is misleading and potentially damaging. I blame the publisher for mis-positioning it, for suggesting it is something that it can never be: a children's book.

Maggot Moon may be praiseworthy for exposing the evils of a totalitarian regime, and for a fluent writing style, but you cannot dress-up torture, abuse and murder as entertainment and call it children's literature. Anyone who thinks this is appropriate reading for a child under the age of 16, needs to seriously question their judgment. Maybe this book has a place among university reading lists, but not in a secondary school among young impressionable children.

I believe that the subject matter of the book would be more acceptable if it had been described in a factual account, rather than graphic fiction that leaves nothing to the imagination. I don't enjoy reading about human suffering for entertainment. Perhaps contemporary TV and cinema have sensitised us to the point where violence has lost its power to shock us, but that should not blind us to its potential to normalise violence for future generations.

I am not an old fart, just a parent who wants the best for his kids. I fully accept that we cannot wrap up our children in cotton wool, or hide the truth from them, but we can at least protect them from the horrors of human nature. until they have developed the maturity to understand it.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed Ms Gardner's earlier novels for teenagers, a captivating mixture of historical detail and magical fantasy, but her latest books prove that she cannot be pigeon-holed and her imagination is limitless.

This stunning story takes us to `Zone Seven', a thoroughly unpleasant part of `The Motherland' where Standish Treadwell and his grandfather live in a street of derelict houses. The population is controlled by a brutal regime. This is a place where a boy can be beaten to death by a teacher, just because he laughed; a place where people, like Standish's parents, his friend Hector and his family, just disappear; a place where "the sky fell in long ago". `The Motherland' intends to send a manned rocket to the moon to impress the world, and its own unfortunate inhabitants, with its power and technological superiority. Standish Treadwell, the dimwit who sits at the back of the class daydreaming and is bullied by his teacher as well as the other pupils, is not impressed by this. He may be seen as stupid by everyone else in the school, but he has good reason to know that the moon project is not what it seems.

This chilling, but totally engaging, tale is narrated by Standish himself, a boy who copes with the harshness of his daily life by planning his escape to planet `Juniper' with his friend Hector in the papier-mâché space craft he is building at home or the life he and Hector plan to live in the land of Technicolor, Croca-Cola and ice-cream coloured Cadillacs. Not many people would have imagined that Standish would turn out to be the bravest of them all. Make sure you follow the sequence of illustrations (the flies and the rat) that threads its way through the book as a kind of Memento Mori. This is a book you will remember for a long time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I was a teenager, about a 100 years ago, I read The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks and it changed me. I imagine if I read this as a teenager I would also be changed. It is a harsh, abrupt, unflinching novel, very, very dark and very beautiful. It is easy to read in terms of structure and form, it is hard to read for it's content. With (about) 100 years experience now under my belt I particularly enjoyed the historical references to a world that could have been ours, and the inspiration from the conspiracy theories that abound. Knowing what has happened/could have happened in the last century makes the book even more poignant, but even without the history it is a story that stands alone.
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