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Maggot Moon

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  8,419 ratings  ·  1,268 reviews
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.

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 a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Candlewick (first published September 6th 2012)
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Alice Smith
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Twyla Spannier is spelled, not spelt, AND it is Mother*ucker, not MotherFooker. I am pretty sure you could have just NOT COMMENTED on the … is spelled, not spelt, AND it is Mother*ucker, not MotherFooker. I am pretty sure you could have just NOT COMMENTED on the question instead of being unkind.


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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,419 ratings  ·  1,268 reviews

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Murf the Surf
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could possibly be my very first review on GRs. I hope that many of you understand my predicament by now: I've been quite caught up in the alternate universe of Amazon. Thus, this is where at least two hundred of my previous reviews are stored. I've found the GR community to be quite forgiving and generous to a fault. I love you all so much for putting up with my non sensical diatribes about not finding the review button on my glow kindle. Mark Monday was one of the first to enlighten me and ...more
This story is as disturbing as it is multi-faceted.

Set in an alternative 1950s past in a dystopian England after World War II, reigned by a totalitarian regime which seems to follow a mixture of Stalinist and Nazi dogma, it tells the story of a young boy called Standish Treadwell.

Starting out as a bleak school boy story, featuring dyslexia and bullying issues, along with teacher abuse and authoritarian methods of teaching, it slowly reveals darker, and more dangerous elements, challenging the r
Stacey (prettybooks)
Imagine living in an alternative universe, but one eerily similar to Nazi Germany. Is this historical fantasy? Historical science fiction? It's like nothing I've read before, but that's the thrill of it. Standish Treadwell and his grandfather – Gramps – live in Zone Seven, where outcasts and political anarchists are sent. They have nothing except some scraps of food to get them through the winter and contraband television. We all know about Nazi Germany. But do the citizens in Maggot Moon fare t ...more
Sally Whitehead
Quite simply, I did not GET this book. I don't get the hype and rave reviews it has received, but more significantly I don't get WHO it was written for or what it's trying to say or achieve.

I was expecting it to be a good crossover text, written for young adults, but very much easily enjoyed and appreciated by adult readers alike. Not so. If this was written for young adults, it's WAY off the mark in my opinion. I teach teenagers - I WANT books to be written for them which will challenge them an
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Thanks to Goodreads member Ellen Lee for recommending this delightful book. Set in a dystopian past reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany, this story chronicles the slow disintegration of a family by a totalitarian regime.

At first read the tale seemed simplistic, but over the course of the novel I was able to become engrossed in it. The book also features an interesting graphic vignette of other creatures associated with despair such as flies and rats.

Highly recommended for Young Adults.
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Introduced in 1939, The Carnegie Medal is perhaps the most prestigious of children’s/YA book awards, with any winner (or even shortlisted title) gaining a bank account buckling sales boost. The latest winner (2013) is Maggot Moon by Sally Gardener, a dystopian fable which follows dyslexic protagonist, Standish Tredwell.

Standish lives in a kind of alternate realty in which the ‘Motherland’ has taken control of 1950’s England. Surveillance, disappearances and capital punishment are the daily norm,
Sarah DiMento
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Omg what.. just what...

This is the strangest book I've ever read but very beautiful. The writing enchanted me. The story was moving and heartbreaking despite its short length. I just loved everything about this book!
What an amazing read! I re-read this as soon as I'd finished it - first time I've ever done that. This is like reading '1984' narrated by Christopher from 'The Curious Incident...' It is set in a 1956 in which the Nazis won the war (this is not explicitly stated, but the clues are there, I think) and Standish and his grandfather live in Zone Seven - where the 'impure' are sent. Standish is dyslexic (maybe, again never stated explicitly) and it is his use of language that makes this such an incre ...more
Marco Esteves
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
this was such an interesting book..

when I began to read it I though it would be a middle grade book but it wasn't because it has some of Adult and "serious" aspects!

The relationship between Standish and Hector was SO CUTE!!!!

And the art in this book is truly amazing!

A nice read for shore
Liz Janet
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
OH bloody hell!!!
Okay, I chose to read this book because everyone was talking about it saying it was a really good and short alternative history set in 1950s Britain. I assumed it was a middle grade book, which is not, and I also assumed it was not going to be as dark as it truly was. The writing was beautiful, Standish Treadwell is not very smart, but he has an ample vocabulary that makes me suck in the text and I will definitely be dreaming about it tonight. The language was so soft that it m
Such a beautiful, heart-wrenching book! This is a whole new approach to the dystopian future (or past, in this case) genre and the relationships it creates. The background we've got here is similar to a Cold War Russia battling the Space Race where two boys, Standish and Hector, discover what it truly means to live under a totalitarian regime, finding peace, love, strength and friendship on each other and on their imaginations.

This story has a feeling about it... Such a raw and heavy sense of sa
Louise / Daisy May Johnson
There's a difficulty for me in reviewing this, and one that I hope to address through the act of reviewing. I admit that's a fairly Moebius-esque sentence but I hope that it becomes clearer the further I go on.

Gardner's superb. Her writing here is very beautiful, very stunning and occasionally cut from the clearest of glass which shines a little more every time you look at it. But, when I reflect on it, and when that reflection takes days to formulate clearly, I think I realise something. I real
Sara Williams
Book #2 of MLI2015
(A book from the genre I read the least last year)

What an amazing story!
If the title isn't enough to grip you in and make you want to pick up the book instantly, consider this:

Standish Treadwell has one eye each colour and besides not being very literate, he is one of the smartest in his class. Motherland emprisions him. His only friend is his Grandfather who he is living with because his parents have disappeared without a trace, as so many other people do - wiped out completel
Book Mitch

While I liked the book, it underwhelmed me. I didn't become invested in any of the characters. I had a hard time connecting to them, Standish and his friends are supposed to be 15 years old, but the entire story read like he was 10 years old, not to mention the cover. There were words like 'hell' and 'shi*' and even an 'f' bomb or two that would indicate that it was perhaps an older teen read but the story and characters didn't read that way.

I also felt as if it were anti-climactic. While Sa
Alice Oseman
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I originally bought this book for my younger brother, thinking it might get him into reading as it has very short chapters and a cool cover. He didn't read it, because he hates to read books. So I thought I'd give it a go instead.

Maggot Moon reminded me of The Book Thief, except it's one billion times better (and I adore The Book Thief). It's on an entirely different playing field. I think the main thing that makes it so amazing is its startling originality. But I can't fault anything about this
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
I really wanted to like this novel, and truthfully it wasn't all bad. It just wasn't good either. I would rate this a 2.5 if it were possible.

I would have liked a bit more character depth and a few less swear words. If this is supposed to be a child's novel is it really okay to say fuck? (most of the time it's fricking and fracking but there is some liberal swearing towards the end). Am I being finicky, is there this much swearing - or elluded swearing - in all children's novels now?

I really enj
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: excellent-reads
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner - 3.75/5 stars

Maggot Moon is an eerie book that takes place in an alternate historical place pretty much similar to the Nazi days but the main concern here isn't Hitler but the journey to the moon. Standish Treadwell and his Gramps live in Zone Seven where they are outcasts and are from the lower hierarchy chart, they're the unwanted group. They meet a new family, the Lush family, who are coincidentally neighbours and they become the best of friends. Standish and Hec
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd heard good things about Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner's 'what if' dystopian fable set in an alternative 1950s Britain under a totalitarian regime. So many good things, in fact, that I saved it for the last of my Carnegie reading, concerned a book described as 'perfect' by none other than Meg Rosoff could not possibly live up to its hype. Reader, it did. I devoured it quickly, over a couple of days which also involved the usual distractions from reading (work, children) and now I want to read it ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my god. This book absolutely took over my life. Magnificent, brave, awful.

" Why is mankind so fucking cruel ? Why ?"

It is set somewhere in a,regime that makes no sense to the people still living. A cruel regime where death and torture are everyday things. Sometimes this is graphic, often not. But good people still endure and always try for better.
Standish and his gramps, they just finished me. An utterly real, beautiful, voice .

And that ending.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Guys!! This book was great!! I don't why I waited so long to read it, it had been on my shelf for 6 years I think. But I strongly recommend you to pick this one up. The book covered a lot of my favourite topics such as family, friendship and equality.
The author portrayed so well how it is like to be under the control of a totalitarian regime and how the main character is everything but what this regime is promoting. He is dyslexic and has eyes of different colors, all against their believes bec
Big Book Little Book
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alison for

Maggot Moon won this year’s Costa Coffee Children’s book Award and is probably the one to beat when it comes to Carnegie. Incredibly original Maggot Moon tells the story of Standish Treadwell, a dyslexic boy, who struggles to read and write, and therefore everybody has decided that he is stupid. The book is set in a dystopian world, but in this case a historical one. The book has the feel of 1950’s Britain, but one that is a totalitarian state of the likes of
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This grabs you by the collar and pulls you up short and close, whether you like it or not. Standish Treadwell is a dyslexic timid boy with only Hector for a friend and he has disappeared. His world of school and bully boys and headmasters imitates ours to begin with, but soon we realise there is a much darker side. His parents are gone too, there are brick walls and filled-in wells. He lives with Gramps in a street that used to contain "un-bombed houses". The clever words of Standish drip-f ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our narrator, the wonderfully named Standish Treadwell, is left bereft when his best friend Hector mysteriously disappears, probably taken by the tyrannical goons of the Motherland – a totalitarian regime where dyslexics like Standish are held in scant regard. The Motherland is intent on winning the space race, getting to the moon first without caring who gets hurts in the process. However, what if it was all one big ploy, designed to keep people in their place? What if someone like Standish, so ...more
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every description of this book I've read is utterly confusing, and it turns out that it's because it completely defies explanation. I went into this expecting a children's book--the illustrated cover, title, short length all made it seem like a middle school read. But it's honestly one of the darkest and most thought provoking books I've read.

Standish lives in a world that is both completely made up and completely real. (Confession: I tried Googling some of the events in the book after reading
So okay, I had no idea what Maggot Moon was about before I started reading it. I just knew people liked it a lot. So as I was reading I kept wondering how much of it was based on real history. I mean, it certainly sounds like Standish is living in a Soviet occupied country. But I was reading it in the middle of the woods on a mountain with no data service for miles, so I just had to finish the book instead. And while it becomes apparent that the Motherland is not exactly the Soviet Union (the pr ...more
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't quite know how to describe why I loved this book so much. It's a very simple story when you look back on it (which I've been doing a lot of since I read it) but it takes a while to get your bearings while you're reading it. There's also a slight feeling of Daniel Pinkwater, like if Baconburg was taken over by the SS, and I adore Daniel Pinkwater. And the ending! The ending was exactly right.
I've never read anything by Sally Gardner before, but her writing is so tightly crafted, so assur
André Caniato
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maggot Moon is different from anything I've read before. I don't even know how to label it. Historical dystopia, maybe? I'm not sure 'alternate history' does it, although it is an alternate history of some sort, set in an universe which took obvious inspiration from Nazi Germany and Orwell's 1984. It's a beautiful, touching story—as disturbing as it is moving, with compelling characters and unique prose.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
i ( LOVE ) it !
the language is amazing . i love Standish , and his name .
everything in this novel is very good .
i think Orwell would be proud of it
i wish it would be translated in Arabic , we kind of love this sort of novels :D
Marie the Librarian
Huh, this was very interesting and different. It was brutal and cruel. It was confusing and sad. It was a good dystopian novel. And I flew through it. I loved that its a standalone!!!
Irina Cebanu
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I wouldn't be able to put it in beautiful words, but I felt like I had to write a review, because I liked it a lot. To put it simply, it is one of the best books I've ever read. The style of writing is not really intricate, which I consider to be wonderful, since complex writings often are an impediment to the story itself (Generally, it seems to me that the authors who prefer writing intricately, using complex words and unusual syntax are focused more on the style of the writing than the ...more
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Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labeled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theater school, and then went on to become a ve ...more

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