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1001 Maggot Moon
Added on 27th August 2020

Author Sally Gardner
First published 2012
Publisher Hot Key Books, London, UK

Dystopia Friends
1001

In a bleak, dystopian world Standish Treadwell decides to take a stand.

Story

Standish Treadwell has severe dyslexia and has a lot of difficulty at school – with bullies and his teachers. Standish lives in an alternative world controlled by the Motherland, a brutal regime that despises individuality and is determined to beat its enemies in the race to the Moon. When one of his few friends, Hector, is taken away suddenly, Standish decides that he and his grandfather are the only ones who can lead a rebellion against the forces of the Motherland.

Why we chose it

An original and thought provoking story, set in a chilling and disturbing dystopian alternative world it nonetheless demonstrates the power and courage of the individual. Standish Treadwell is a unique narrator.

Where it came from

The hero’s dyslexia and his teachers’ lack of empathy is based on Sally Gardner’s own experiences – she was described as ‘unteachable’ as a child, and was only diagnosed at 12.

Sally wanted to have her own experiences reflected not only in the story but in the way it was written. She wanted her main character to be portrayed through the way he thinks and sees the world slightly off key rather than simply through bad spelling.

Inspired by her interest in how small things can alter the course of history – the ‘what ifs’, Gardner decided to give the book a dystopian setting (‘the Motherland’), an alternative world where humans have yet to land on the moon.

She also wanted to use the cruel regime of the Motherland to express her feeling that our freedoms can easily be taken away and that we must be on our guard and make sure our voices are heard.

Where it went next

Maggot Moon won the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2013.

Associated stories

Sally Gardner is the author of a number of books for children and young people. Books for older readers include I Coriander, The Double Shadow, The Red Necklace, The Silver Blade, The Door that Led To Where. For younger readers she has written The Fairy Detective Agency/Wings and Co Series.

Added on 27th August 2020

Author Sally Gardner
First published 2012
Publisher Hot Key Books, London, UK

Dystopia Friends
1001