A Look at Dyslexia: Background information when reading Maggot Moon

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner X
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2014, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer G Wilder

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
A Look at Dyslexia

Print Review

DYS- (bad, Greek) LEXIA (language, Greek)

A German ophthalmologist named Rudolph Berlin coined the word dyslexia in 1887 to describe patients who, in spite of normal intelligence, had extreme difficulties with reading. Scientific discussion of the phenomenon of what was also called "word blindness" emerged in the late nineteenth century, but the term dyslexia has only become widely accepted in the fields of education and psychology in the last fifty years. It has come to be an umbrella term for a range of problems in the use and decoding of written language, one of the disorders educators have come to call "learning disabilities" along with dysgraphia (writing impairment) and dyscalculia (math impairment).

Dyslexia is known to be a neurological condition – not a disease, but a difference in the way the brain is wired for language. Modern neuroscience has been able to use imaging technology to identify physical differences in the language centers of the brain in children with dyslexia, but the exact physical origins of the disorder are difficult to pinpoint. Some problems may be structural, involving defects in regions of the brain associated with language processing, and some may be functional, meaning that there is a short-circuit in an expected cognitive procedure. Abnormalities in working memory as well as visual processing may be involved. Research into how certain genes may increase the risk of developing dyslexia is being conducted. The brain differences that lead to the disorder are likely to take shape during the early months of fetal development.

While neuroscience grapples with the complex physical origins of dyslexia, in recent years educators have moved forward by leaps and bounds in their understanding of how the disorder manifests itself and how to address it. With early identification and targeted phonics training, many children with dyslexia can become so functional in terms of reading, they can be described as "cured."

Sally Gardner reveals in her biographical note to Maggot Moon that she is dyslexic. She writes, "Dyslexia is like a Rubik's Cube...It takes time to work out how to deal with it, but once you do, it can be the most wonderful gift." The negative images conjured by the medical terms associated with dyslexia (disorder, disability, defect) are at odds with the fact that many dyslexic people come to see their way of perceiving language as a creative difference. Indeed, there is emerging evidence that the dyslexic brain has advantages in certain areas of perception. The impression that dyslexic people have a creative edge may soon have a neurological explanation. Meanwhile, there is a wealth of resources available for people newly diagnosed with dyslexia. There are many adult role models in the public eye, dyslexics like Sally Gardner (along with Whoopi Goldberg, Charles Schwab, James Earl Jones, and Steven Spielberg) who are speaking out about their experiences – both the challenges and the gifts.

This article was originally published in March 2013, and has been updated for the September 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...
  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Chalk Man
    by C. J. Tudor

    Relentlessly compelling psychological suspense. The must-read thriller debut of 2018.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.

Enter

Word Play

Sorry, we do not currently have an active wordplay!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.