Maggot Moon - Sally Gardner
This book. This tiny, amazing, horrific book.

It's difficult to get my thoughts in order.

On page four, I fell in love with the voice. I was absolutely involved with the protagonist and his story. Maggot Moon is definitely written with a less-is-more approach in mind, and it really works.

The MC, Standish Treadwell (who "can't read, can't write, Standish Treadwell isn't bright") is a teenager with dyslexia and heterochromia in a horrific, dystopian version of history where both make him undesirable. He lives with his gramps in the only house left on his street, and people keep getting "rubbed out" all around him.

But over the wall, he finds something that the Motherland has been hiding, something that gives him the stone he can use to bring down the giant.

This is a dystopia truly seen through the eyes of a youth. Not really understanding why or how things really work, just that this is the way it is, and that he's living in it (instead of overwhelming the reader with info about the book's dystopian society because the author wants to show readers all about their society and how it's run, how it's oppressive, how it's different, etc.).

This book is also terrifying. Not only because of the book's story, but because of the art accompanying each new chapter, which turns out to be about every two to three pages. It's definitely not for the squeamish. Illustrations of a fly laying eggs in a dead rats mouth are on each page opposite the chapter titles, and it can get pretty gruesome.

I fell in love with this book word by carefully-thought-out word. Standish, Gramps, Hector, Mr. Lush, Standish's beautiful relationship with Hector, Standish's bravery in the face of all that horror and death, and everything this tiny book had to offer. It's awful and frightening, but it's also amazing.