Recommended age: 11+

Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner

Standish Treadwell lives with his grandfather. His parents have been detained because they opposed the state. Food is scarce and no one can be trusted. But when Standish's best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, the boy, his grandfather and a small band of rebels decide it is up to them to confront and defeat the oppressive forces of the Motherland.

The story has a simple narrative in very short chapters, yet is vivid, compelling and powerful. The bleak backdrop revisits the 1950s  and is terrifying in parts, but the reader is also inspired by the heroism of the ordinary, little people, not least Standish who has dyslexia.

I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting and felt I needed to start all over again as soon as I'd finished it. A stunning book.

Review date: January 2013
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner