Reading guide for Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

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

Maggot Moon

by Sally Gardner

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

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. At the beginning of the novel, Standish observes that "what ifs are as boundless as the stars" (p. 1). What is the historical "what if" that puts the plot of Maggot Moon into motion? When is this novel set? Where is it set?

  2. "There are train-track thinkers," says Hector, "then there's you, Standish, a breeze in the park of imagination" (p. 4). What does Hector mean? What are the advantages of being a train-track thinker? What are the risks of thinking differently

  3. "Gramps was the only person that still pulled at the gravity in me," says Standish (p. 23). Why is this such an apt description of their relationship?

  4. Standish is an awful reader, an even worse writer, and an all-around terrible student. Why are these advantages for him, not disadvantages?

  5. Death and disappearance are common events in Zone Seven. How do most of its inhabitants respond to their losses? How do Gramps and Standish respond to theirs?

  6. The Motherland's moon project is an audacious and expensive hoax. Who are the leaders trying to fool? Why? Without Standish's intervention, do you think they could have succeeded?

  7. Why was the moon man silenced by government agents? How and why was Standish's mother punished? What other means does the Motherland use to silence dissent? How does it reward compliance?

  8. Standish seems to travel freely between reality and fantasy. At what points in the story did you realize that what you thought was imagined was actually true? In what other ways does the novel continually keep readers off balance?

  9. How did Standish and Hector discover the planet Juniper? Who inhabits it? Do you know any Juniparians? Are you one?

  10. Who are the leather-coat men and the Greenflies? Where do they get their authority? What have they given up for that power?

  11. "Terror is an odd thing," says Standish. "It has made me panic, it had made me spew, but this time, I felt a calm fury" (p. 170). How do you explain Standish's reaction to the armed intruder in his home? How would you react?

  12. Although he can't recall how he learned the story and doesn't know the names of its characters, Standish knows the biblical tale of David and Goliath. What is the point of that ancient story? Why is Standish modeling himself after David?

  13. Gramps sometimes wonders if "there is any such thing as a truth. Hard to tell when so much is a lie" (p. 167). In a land full of lies, how do you recognize truth? Why must you try?

  14. How does Hector save Standish's life? How does he also put it at risk? How much is each willing to sacrifice for the other?

  15. "I believe the best thing we have is our imagination," Hector says to Standish (p. 142). Do you agree? Why or why not?

  16. Reunited with his wounded friend, Hector, Standish wonders why mankind is so cruel. How would you respond to his question?

  17. Two stories unfold in this book. One is told in words and the other in pictures. Why do you think the book ends with a drawing? What does it mean? What do you believe happens to Standish?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Candlewick Press. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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!

Beyond the Book:
  A Look at Dyslexia

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...
  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with gusto...it would be hard to find a better ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    If We Were Villains
    by M. L. Rio

    An intelligent and captivating story of the enduring power and passion of words.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

There is no worse robber than a bad book.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

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.

 
Modal popup -