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.
Maggot Moon is a short but powerful little story that can’t fail to move you. What if the Nazi’s won the war? The ruling party is never defined nor the Motherland named, but every injustice in Standish Treadwell’s world will remind you of the horrors of the Nazi regime. Standish is an odd boy, with two different coloured eyes and he can’t read or write. He himself is surprised he’s not been sent to the maggot farms and his teachers certainly wonder how he is in their school.
I don’t want to tell you too much about his story. He befriends Hector, the boy from next door, who makes his life a little easier. But Hector finds out a secret and in their world, secrets are everything. There is a horrifying scene in the schoolyard; something we can only be grateful isn’t allowed to happen. But what if… Just like the first words of the story, it will fill your brain with what ifs.
The moon of the title is the Motherland’s mission to conquer the moon. It must be assumed this is a world before 1969 or one in which America never made it. The Motherland believe landing on the moon will secure their supremacy in the eyes of their enemy.
There are illustrations too, skirting the edges of the pages. They have an almost flick book quality and tie in quite subtly with the events. Read this book, it will leave you with a lump in your throat but it is worth it.
Shelve next to: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Source: newbooks magazine
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