Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

The Middler

Written by Kirsty Applebaum

Write A Review

The Middler Review

Adventure Stories Debuts of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers General Fiction

October 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2020

Maggie’s village is safe but she knows a war is raging beyond its boundaries. Then she meets a girl from outside and begins to wonder whether the politicians are telling the truth. Set in a completely believable near future, this gripping story has much to say and does it with a delicate touch which offers readers opportunities to think rather than imposing ideas.


The Middler Synopsis

I was special. I was a hero. I lost the best friend I ever had.

Eleven-year-old Maggie lives in Fennis Wick, enclosed and protected from the outside world by a boundary, beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam. Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special. A hero. Her younger brother is Trig - everyone loves Trig. But Maggie's just a middler; invisible and left behind. Then, one hot September day, she meets Una, a hungry wanderer girl in need of help, and everything Maggie has ever known gets turned on its head.

Narrated expertly and often hilariously by Maggie, we experience the trials and frustrations of being the forgotten middle child, the child with no voice, even in her own family.

This gripping story of forbidden friendship, loyalty and betrayal is perfect for fans of Malorie Blackman, Meg Rosoff and Frances Hardinge.

The Middler Press Reviews

“This is a quirky, original adventure about friendship and loyalty, betrayal and trust, kindness and greed, told as Maggie’s vibrant narrative, with striking characters and a happy ending in which all siblings are equal.”   – Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“I thought I’d almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum… has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along and I liked Maggie more and more as she grew in courage.”
– Alex O’Connell, The Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“Maggie, a worthless Middler, learns to fight back for what’s right in this brilliant story of forbidden friendship, betrayal and deceit.”
– Mel Darbon, author of Rosie Loves Jack

“[P]age-turning masterful middle-grade!”  – Tracy Darnton, author of The Truth About Lies

“This unusual and exciting story is a thought-provoking tale about forbidden friendship, thinking for yourself, and he importance of standing up for what’s right.”  – The Week Junior, Book of the Week

“Applebaum explores themes of family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal in an assured debut.”  – The Bookseller

If you loved this, you might like these...

Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers
The Storm Keeper's Island

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788003452
Publication date: 28/03/2019
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788003452
Publication date: 28th March 2019
Author: Kirsty Applebaum
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical, General Fiction
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month

About Kirsty Applebaum

Kirsty was born in Essex and grew up in Hampshire. She has had a wide variety of jobs including bookselling, railway re-signalling, picking stones off conveyor belts, putting lids on perfume bottles and teaching Pilates. She now lives with her husband on top of a hill in Winchester.

More About Kirsty Applebaum

More Books By Kirsty Applebaum

Cover for The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke by Kirsty Applebaum
Cover for TrooFriend by Kirsty Applebaum
View All Books By Kirsty Applebaum

Share this book