Gardner does a masterful job of portraying Standish's dyslexia through the linguistic swerves of his narration, and although the ending is pure heartbreak, she leaves readers with a hopeful message about the power of one boy to stand up to evil
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This is alt-history second; first, it is an eerie, commanding drama.
—Booklist (starred review)
Standish's tale has the terse, energetic tension of poetry; his phrases and sentences roll out with irony, tenderness, horror, or love, but always vividly…Most appealing of all, however, is Standish Treadwell himself: tender, incisive, brave, and determined, he takes a stand and treads well.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
With brief chapters and short sentences, the prose appears deceptively simple, but the challenging subject matter makes for a highly cerebral reading experience. Stomach-churning illustrations of flies, rats, and maggots accompany the text, creating a parallel graphical narrative that emphasizes key moments in the plot.
—School Library Journal
Standish's tone switches with lightning speed from recklessly hopeful to violently despondent to casually aloof as he attempts to reclaim just a portion of what has been taken from him, and readers will be haunted by the sacrifice he ultimately makes long after they finish this quick read…Ideal for spurring discussion in both book clubs and English classes, this could also easily be used in a history curriculum to imagine the ‘what if’ scenarios of the past.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
In one hundred chapters, Gardner explores a world where creativity is denied and uniformity is celebrated. The story is only enhanced by Julian Crouch's black-and-white illustrations that grace every page, running like a flipbook. Standish's story is a dark, haunting tale of secrets, lies, and those who fight for the truth.
This book tackles the dystopian genre in a truly unique manner. … The novel is both thrilling and heart-wrenching. The story moves at a gripping pace, drawing the reader in. … This title would make a distinctive addition to a young adult collection.
—Library Media Connection
Bookstore shelves so groan with works of dystopian fiction for adolescents that the stories can seem to run together into a blur of wasted landscapes, blighted civilizations and warrior teens falling in love. Then comes a book like Sally Gardner’s brilliant, shattering MAGGOT MOON and suddenly dystopia feels new again; it reclaims its power to shock… Julian Crouch’s drawings run in silent, chilling commentary through the pages of this difficult and beautiful story for readers over the age of 13.
—The Wall Street Journal
This novel will just blow you away…Such a beautiful read…this certainly has the potential to become a modern classic.
—The Bookseller (U.K.)
Startlingly original, sophisticated and moving, MAGGOT MOON is out of this world.
—The Sunday Times (U.K)
Dazzling, chilling, breathtaking. A perfect book.
MAGGOT MOON left me stunned in the best possible way… When I finished MAGGOT MOON, I was in that mode of pensive stunned silence, mulling over the messages of Gardner's book. Reflecting on the book a few days after finishing it, I find myself slipping back into that pensive mood, and I think that's the best gift an author can give.
—Young Adults Book Central
Now an award-winning author, her newest book, MAGGOT MOON, is the best dystopian novel in recent memory.
—PW Tip Sheet
Sally Gardner tells a story that is rich in drama and ideas.
Maggot Moon is an extraordinary, moving piece of literature…
—Sunday Kenosha News