When his best friend Hector is suddenly taken away, Standish Treadwell realises that it is up to him, his grandfather and a small band of rebels to confront and defeat the ever-present oppressive forces of The Motherland. Originally published: 2012
Available at Barnet Book Club, Colindale, Edgware, Finchley Church End and New Barnet library.
Dazzling, chilling, breathtaking. A perfect book.||The outstanding teenage novel of the autumn, arresting and original and written in a singular voice...
The Telegraph||startlingly original, horribly gripping ... an inspirational [story] which deserves many prizes.
The Times||This novel is a celebration of the refusal of the human spirit to be crushed and in Standish, Gardner has created a hero to be cherished.
Daily Mail||... a unique and compelling read
The Bookseller (Children's Booksellers' Choice: September)||Maggot Moon is a fast-paced, tough and heartbreaking story. I loved it
We Love This Book||... Maggot Moon is an unusual, deeply moving and thought-provoking story, which has clear potential to become a modern classic
Booktrust's 'September book we like'||... a remarkable novel
Books for Keeps||This novel will just blow you away
Waterstones Chichester||a story that is rich in drama and ideas
Lovereading4kids||Quite simply, it is a book you have to read.
Bookbag||Fans of the dystopia genre and conspiracy theorists alike will be flipping the pages of this gem. The story moves at a gripping pace with clever use of language, providing vivid characterization ad setting, while the unexpected twists in the plot will leave readers stunned
Recommended Reads, Children's Books Ireland||[Standish's] use of language because of (not despite of) his dyslexia is idiosyncratic poetry, full of fizzing wordplay and deadpan humour. Gardner's novels have always been thought-provoking but she flexes her writing muscles here and Standish is an utterly unique creation, impossible not to love.
What if the football hadn't gone over the wall?
What if Hector had never gone looking for it?
What if he hadn't kept the dark secret to himself?
Then I suppose I would be telling myself another story. You see, the 'what if's' are as boundless as the stars.
CONTAINS SOME STRONG LANGUAGE
I wasn't listening to the lesson when the note arrived from the headmaster's office. Because me and Hector were in the city across the water, in another country where the buildings don't stop rising until they pin the clouds to the sky. Where the sun shines in Technicolor. Life at the end of a rainbow. I don't care what they tell us, I've seen it on the TV. They sing in the streets - they even sing in the rain, sing while dancing round a lamp post.
This is the dark ages. We don't sing.
But this was the best daydream I'd had since Hector and his family vanished. Mostly I tried not to think about Hector. Instead I liked to concentrate on imagining myself on our planet, the one Hector and I had invented. Juniper.
It was better than being worried sick about what had happened to him. Except this was one of the best daydreams I'd had for a long time. It felt as if Hector was near me again. We were driving round in one of those huge, ice-cream-coloured Cadillacs. I could almost smell the leather. Bright blue, sky blue, leather seats blue. Hector in the back. Me with my arm resting on the chrome of the wound-down window, my hand on the wheel, driving us home for Croca-Colas in a shiny kitchen with a checked tablecloth and a garden that looks as if the grass was Hoovered.
That's when I became vaguely aware of Mr Gunnell saying my name.
'Standish Treadwell. You are wanted in the headmaster's office.'