Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Reviewed

Maggot Moon is an alternate history of the world.  It is well written, and heartbreaking.  The characters are strong and realistic.   In Maggot Moon, those who do not agree with the current regime, are sick, make the wrong people mad, don’t do what they are told, or for just about any other reason are put into slums and starved.  Some are immediately put to death.  Others are beaten and starved until they wish they were dead.   The location of the novel is never mentioned, so it could be any place.  It mentions the current leader of the country but only briefly.  The name of that leader is never given.    The government is requiring scientists in Maggot Moon to put a fake moon landing on TV to intimidate the rest of the world.  In the minds of the characters, if those in power are able to pull off this great hoax, the rest of the world will give up and stop fighting, thinking that this country is so much more advanced than them.   In Maggot Moon, there has never been a moon landing, from what I can tell, it is set sometime in the 50’s.   The story follows a boy who is handicapped named Standish Treadwell.  Instead of giving him up at birth, his parents kept him and later pay for that mistake.  He grows up with his grandfather and they try not to anger those in charge, but don’t usually succeed.  Standish ends up being the hero of the story and one of the bravest characters I’ve ever read about.  The end is sad but hopeful. 

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