Reviews for Maggot Moon

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

Gr 8 Up--In Gardener's dystopian novel (Candlewick, 2013), 15-year old Standish Treadwell and his grandfather live in Zone Seven, the lowest-ranked district of the totalitarian government of the Motherland, and try to survive after Standish's parents disappear. The Motherland is obsessed with an upcoming moon landing which will establish their superiority over other countries. Meanwhile, food is scarce and everyone is watched constantly. Standish and his grandfather befriend a mysterious family that moves next door. Hector, the 15 year-old son, becomes Standish's protector when he's bullied at school. The boys find fun in an old soccer ball, build a spaceship in the attic, and wonder what lays on the forbidden other side of the big wall behind their houses. When they find out, their lives are irrevocably changed. Standish finds refuge from his bleak surroundings in a glorious imagination and the courage to make a final stand against the oppressive regime in which he lives in the end. Sixteen-year old English actor Robert Madge does an outstanding job portraying Standish in the first-person narration. Standish's voice is strong throughout, whether he is being taunted because he has trouble reading and writing (the author is dyslexic) or dreaming about his imaginary planet. Violent, dark, yet strangely hopeful, this audiobook will stay with listeners for a long time.--Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC

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