Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner and Julian Crouch

Fifteen-year-old Standish lives in a ruined building with his grandfather in dismal... read more

Fifteen-year-old Standish lives in a ruined building with his grandfather in dismal Zone Seven. Like others who haven't been arrested or disappeared, he attends a strict, regimented school. But he's an oddity there: a boy who can't read. Standish's best friend, Hector, and his parents, originally from the Motherland, lived in the same building as Standish and Gramps, and the two families shared resources and ideas-both dangerous things. Even more dangerous was that Hector and Standish sometimes secretly went under the wall into the forbidden zone. On one of those trips Hector made a stunning discovery. Not long after, Hector and his parents disappeared. Futuristic dystopia? Not quite. Readers will have to piece together the clues, but they're all there in Sally Gardner's brilliant, nuanced alternate history set in Great Britain during the 1960s. Gardner imagines the Germans as victors of World War II in Europe and determined to conquer the rest of the world. Domination plays out in ways both large and small, from fascist control of British society to schoolyard bullying. But what would happen if the Germans could convince other countries that they'd won the race to the moon and plan to mount a weapon there? Black-and-white line drawings tell a grim metaphorical tale of suffering and survival, adding further tension to this riveting story told by a sweet, intelligent dreamer of a boy whose heart is full of so much love that he is able to conquer his fear in an attempt to thwart the Germans' plan. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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