Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Maggot Moon

Written by Sally Gardner

13+ readers   Books of the Month   eBooks   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the two most prestigious children's book awards - the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 and the Children's Costa Award 2012. And Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize September 2012 Book of the Month. Sally Gardner tells a story that is rich in drama and ideas as Standish Treadwell, an unlikely hero, takes on the vicious forces of the repressive motherland in a novel set in a bleak world that is redeemed only by the very human qualities of some of the survivors. Standish and his remarkable grandfather keep going, eking out a living after the disappearance of Standish’s parents. Standish struggles at school and is the victim of relentless bullying. But then he finds a friend in the newly arrived Hector. When Hector is taken, the only hope lies in Standish…Luckily, Standish has just the qualities that are needed.


Maggot Moon is one of those rare and wonderful books that actually does change the way you enjoy reading. It is a challenging read with really important themes but it is also a wonderful novel of friendship and trust and love as explored through the relationship between Standish and Hector, two boys living in a fraught political environment. Sally's voice in the novel is also unwaveringly original and unique as she writes in the first person from the perspective of Standish. In him she creates a courageous and unwitting hero who speaks to us all. We hope that we would have his loyalty and bravery. As a reader, and as an editor, Maggot Moon is a book that really does stand out in terms of its brilliant style and disarming charm. It is a book for all readers, young or old, who want to be moved and enlightened by the books that they read.

Author Sally Gardner says, “Maggot Moon is the book I always wanted to write and Hot Key Books is the perfect home for it.”

Sarah Odedina of publisher Hot Key Books adds: “Sally is a writer of great and unique originality. In Maggot Moon she has created a brilliant, nerve-wracking and utterly gripping fable that will hold readers spellbound. Standish is a fabulous character and his purpose and adventure will resonate with readers of all ages. It is a novel that will be read, talked about and admired well into the future.”

Did you know that every Hot Key title will give you its unique Hot Key Ingredients: 50% Friendship, 20% Dangerous, 20% Rebellion, 10% Conspiracy which, together with our review and the opportunity to read a 'try before you buy' extract will help you decide whether it's the book for you.

ABOUT HOT KEY: Hot Key Books is a brand new publisher that will focus on fiction for ages 9+ to young adult. The company name derives from the power of stories to open doors and feed the imagination of readers. Hot Key Books seeks to unlock the power of reading, a love of books and a joy of stories for readers of all ages. It also reflects the digital age in which we now live through its association with 'hot key' commands - the short cut command on a keyboard.


Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

The story of the power of a friendship between two boys. 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. The 'Motherland' is determined to prove its supremacy in the world with the first moon landing. But Hector and Standish know that the truth is there to be told. If they can find the courage to tell it.

The Hot Key Books launch titles for 2012;

Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi - Hot Key Ingredients: 60% Dark Romance, 30% Urban Grit, 10% Paranormal
Insignia by S J Kincaid - Hot Key Ingredients: 60% Action, 20% Friendship, 20% Sci-fi
PUBLISHED 30 August 12
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner - Hot Key Ingredients: 50% Friendship, 20% Dangerous, 20% Rebellion, 10% Conspiracy

Shrunk by F R Hitchcock
Constable and Toop by Gareth P Jones
World Between Us by Lydia Syson
Under my Hat (collection of short stories) by a variety of big name authors
Cloud Hunters by Alex Shearer
Jepp who defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh


In August 2012 Lovereading4kids asked our teen members and browsers whether they would like to review this title ahead of publication. We had lots of requests to do so and a number of lucky readers were selected and were sent a copy. Below you can find out what they thought:

'I loved Maggot Moon, I had a feeling I would because I love a good conspiracy theory but blend conspiracy with friendship, family and a lovable 15 year old boy who can’t even read or write and you get an amazing story.' Raimy Greenland blog - click here to read the full review.

'if you're looking for something a little different and want to be blown away, pick up Maggot Moon.' Jessica from Booked Up! - click here to read the full review.


“A writer who has found a new and very distinctive voice. I can’t wait to see what she will do next”. - Mary Hoffman on The Double Shadow

'Dazzling, chilling, breathtaking. MAGGOT MOON is, quite simply, a perfect book.
' - Meg Rosoff, award-winning author of HOW I LIVE NOW

'This novel will just blow you away...Such a beautiful read...this certainly has the potential to become a modern classic. It is wonderful to read such a moving, original book intended for the teenage market.' - The Bookseller

About the Author

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist from London. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than one million copies in the UK.

Her historical novel for older readers, I, Coriander, won the Smarties Children's Book Prize in 2005. Two thrillers both set at the time of the French Revolution, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, followed. Actor Dominic West (The Wire) has bought the film rights to both titles.

Her YA novel, The Double Shadow, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Sally Gardner's stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series of six titles: The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy who could Fly, which are also available as audio books. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The Book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes. Sally Gardner continues to be an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. She is dyslexic and argues that it is not a disability, but a gift.

If you'd love to know more about Sally, click here to download a more detailed biography and Q&A.

To see a video of Sally talking about her book Fairy Shopping - CLICK HERE

Or watch a video of her talking about The Silver Blade:

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info




Sally Gardner
More books by Sally Gardner

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest


Hot Key Books

Publication date

6th September 2012




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

Publisher's Website

Publisher's Blog

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

We love Lovereading as my 5 year old loves to read new books before anyone else has a chance, she says it makes reading exciting!

Tracey Chorley

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

Lovereading 4 schools