Format:
Book
Author:
Title:
Edition:
1st U.S. ed.
Publisher, Date:
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2013.
Description:
279 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Summary:
Following a stray football to the other side of a wall where there is a secret, Standish Treadwell discovers astonishing truths about a moon landing that the overseeing Motherland, a ruthless regime, is determined to hide.
Subjects:
LCCN:
bl2013002496
ISBN:
0763665533 (hrd.)
System Availability:
4
Current Holds:
0
# Local items:
4
Control Number:
920522
Call Number:
OT GARDNER
Course Reserves:
0
# Local items in:
2
# System items in:
2
Where is it?
Summary
A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book In Sally Gardner's stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn't gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn't want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell -- who has different-colored eyes, who can't read, can't write, Standish Treadwell isn't bright -- sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it's big...One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.
Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Just when it seems that there's nothing new under the dystopian sun, Gardner (The Red Necklace) produces an original and unforgettable novel about a boy in a totalitarian society who risks everything in the name of friendship. Standish Treadwell narrates in short, fast-paced chapters, illustrated by theatrical designer/director Crouch with flipbook-style images of rats, flies, and maggots: creatures that represent the oppressive forces at work in the Motherland, a brutish government intent on being first to the moon, at whatever cost to its citizens. Fifteen-year-old Standish is dyslexic (as is the author), making him a target of bullies, which is the least of his problems. He lives with his resourceful grandfather in Zone Seven, but the Motherland has taken away his parents, as well as his best friend, Hector. The loss of his parents has created a hole Standish cannot fill; the disappearance of Hector leaves Standish unprotected at school and bereft of a friend who saw past Standish's disability to recognize his intelligence. "I believe the best thing we have is our imagination," Standish recalls Hector telling him, "and you have that in bucketloads." Though Standish's grandfather keeps the boy purposefully in the dark about many things, Standish figures out one of the government's big secrets on his own, and he concocts a brave and personally risky plan to reveal it. Parts of the story are very hard to read-early on, a classmate is beaten to death by a teacher in the schoolyard-but the violence asks readers to consider what the world would be like if certain events in history had turned out differently. 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. Ages 12-up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The year is 1956. In an unnamed country of obvious allegorical weight, the totalitarian government of the Motherland keeps the impure in ghettos where they live off scraps and hope not to be dragged away to camps. Standish, 15, lives in Zone 7, a nasty place from which school is no respite there cruel teachers beat students and, on this particular day, kill one. Standish is expelled in the aftermath, and the next step for him may be the camps. Standish, however, knows a secret. The Motherland is hyping a moon landing that will prove to the world that they reign supreme with interstellar weaponry. But it's a fake: just across the park, accessible via a hidden tunnel, is a building that houses an artificial moon set. And one of the so-called astronauts has shown up in Standish's cellar missing his tongue. Gardner snatches elements from across history to create something uniquely her own: a bleak, violent landscape of oppression, as well as the seeds of hope that sprout there, revealed in Standish's tenacious, idiosyncratic voice over 100 short chapters. Crouch's frequent sketches of flies, rats, and maggots seem unrelated at first, but they emerge as further metaphor for the taking. This is alt-history second; first, it is an eerie, commanding drama.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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