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The Middler

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The Middler Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 13
13 Reviews
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"I was special. I was a hero. I lost the best friend I ever had."

Eleven-year-old Maggie lives in Fennis Wick, enclosed and protected from the outside world by a boundary, beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam.

Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special. A hero. Her younger brother is Trig - everyone loves Trig. But Maggie's just a middler; invisible and left behind. Then, one hot September day, she meets Una, a hungry wanderer girl in need of help, and everything Maggie has ever known gets turned on its head.

Narrated expertly and often hilariously by Maggie, we experience the trials and frustrations of being the forgotten middle child, the child with no voice, even in her own family.

This gripping story of forbidden friendship, loyalty and betrayal is perfect for fans of Malorie Blackman, Meg Rosoff and Frances Hardinge.

The Middler Reviews | Toppsta

9781788003452
  • ISBN: 9781788003452
  • Pub Date: 28th March 2019
  • Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
  • Imprint: Nosy Crow Ltd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 256

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4th May '19
Suzanne read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
Maggie (the middler!) growing up in the town of Fennis Wick. The town differs from others with the fact that nobody ever can go beyond the boundary. There is the Quiet War and everyone needs to keep safe from wanderers. Maggie's eldest brother Jed is about to fight in Quiet War and that's why he's given everything and treated with respect. She would like to feel special as him so she decides to catch a wanderer herself and become a hero. Her meeting with Una (a wanderer girl) opens her eyes about life behind the wall. She realises really quickly that something is not right with what they've been told for so many years and she decides to find out the truth.
The book is beautifully written from the first page and trapped me in a world of intrigue and mystery - I couldn't put it down!
A truly fantastic story to be enjoyed by children and adults alike (my mum is reading this book now:)
19th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book and as soon as Maggie (the main character) meets a wanderer called Una, I was hooked. Builds up to a second half action-packed ending so stick with it - I’m glad I did! 
6th May '19
Alisha read it themselves aged 13 aged 13
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book, the main character  Maggie aged 11 meets a wanderer called Una and the story really begins so stick with it.

Quite a thick book to read . I loved the adventure and the message was clear  stand up for what you believe in.
5th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
Maggie is a middle child, growing up in the town of Fennis Wick, with it's strict boundaries,fears of " dangerous,dirty and deceitful " wanderers in the outside world and the shadowy threat of the mysterious Quiet War always everpresent. She's not a special eldest child; the ones praised and given the best of everything and the ones with the "honour" of leaving the town to fight in the Quiet War at age 14. Maggie wants to find a way for her name to be known and important and an unexpected encounter with a wanderer (a young girl like herself ) might be her chance. She plans to capture her and become a hero. ...Her meetings with Una ,however , begin to open Maggie's eyes to a different version of events and she begins to question everything shes's been told about the outside world. What unfolds is the story of a young girl's bravery in challenging the status quo, being bold enough to ask questions and having enough empathy for others to reach out to them despite what others think. Friendship unfolds amidst the discovery of some dark,menacing truths about the town's leaders and inhabitants and the Quiet War itself.  A brillantly written ,intense thriller of a story. Perfect for fans of odd,quirky,sinister thrillers like A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan or for (slightly older) fans of the Delirium trilogy of Lauren Oliver. 
24th May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
TheBookWhisperer‏ @TheBookWhisper2 

A joy to read!  The town which seems quite idyllic in its simple quiet life, bubbles with unseen darkness. There's friendship & deceit, close ties of family, and corruption of power. This book will hold you spellbound until the last page! 
2nd May '19
Darth read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
Once i started reading, i had to finish the whole book to find out what would happen. It's set in the not too distant future, where the first born is sent away at 14 to fight in the war. The main character Maggie is a middle child and she thinks this is terribly unfair. The community live within the boundary and are not allowed to leave it or talk to wanderers, people who live over the boundary. One day Maggie meets Una, a wanderer who is looking for food and medicine for her father. Maggie thinks that if she can capture Una, she will be seen as important as the eldest. I really enjoyed the story, it is action packed. I liked the friendship between Maggie and Una too. 
14th May '19
I read it to Rory aged 11 aged 11 & to Addie aged 9 aged 9
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
We love a book to be set in a dystopian future and this was no exception...the setting was fantastic. The story took a little getting into but once we were a couple of chapters in we were hooked. This is quite a chunky read but we zoomed though it as we were desperate to know what was going to happen to Maggie. Some great twists! 
26th May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Middler 9781788003452
5 stars
A really special book which had me gripped from the opening lines. The story took many twists and turns but was compelling. Great characters, excellent language and a super story.
21st May '19
Hstar read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Middler 9781788003452
4 stars
I wasn't sure what this book was about for the first couple of chapters but once I had read a little further I was hooked and had to read on to find out.  It is about a world where a quiet war has been happening for years and the eldest child is sent away when they come of age to camp.  As a middler Maggie is expected to stay at home and not really do anyting exciting but her inquisitive nature helps her uncover mysteries.  Learning some life lessons along the way.  I really enjoyed this book.
11th May '19
ArwenLOTR read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Middler 9781788003452
4 stars
At the beginning, I didn't really like the main character Maggie because I thought she was boring. She didn't seem to think she was worthy of anything and I found that really dull. But things changed when Maggie met a wanderer and became determined to catch one so that she'd become famous. This made the story much more fun and exciting. Her quest became a really exciting adventure and Maggie had to break some rules. The twist at the end was super - I hadn't suspected it at all! 
2nd June '19
Dragon1 read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
The Middler 9781788003452
4 stars
It was a book with many different problems in it and different emotions
20th May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Middler 9781788003452
4 stars
A story about forbidden friendship, betrayal and greed.  In a world where the eldest child is revered and can do no wrong Maggie - a middle child,  yearns for some of the attention and adventures of her own.  After a chance encounter, lives are changed forever. 
18th May '19
Westy10 read it themselves aged 13 aged 13
The Middler 9781788003452
3 stars
This was of an certain taste , you have to be quite patienct with it , and I'll be honest ,I wasn't  It's good the idea was there but I couldn't help but feel I would have liked it more if it was faster .I liked Una best , she was well written and I found her engaging . This is probably for a younger audience who will listen as their parents read it to them .
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About Kirsty Applebaum

Kirsty Applebaum spent her childhood romping around churchyards and butterfly fields. Since then she has had an eclectic mix of jobs including bookselling, railway re-signalling, picking stones off a conveyor belt and putting lids on perfume bottles. These days she teaches Pilates two days a week and dedicates the rest of her time to writing. In February 201...

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