The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum

The trials and frustrations of being the middle child are… complex. Or some I’m told. I’m the eldest, and would definitely argue that has BIG downsides too. But Maggie, the narrator of The Middler, often feels unheard and overlooked as the middle child of her family.

The setting is intriguingly futuristic. Maggie’s town is cut off, carefully protected by ‘the boundary’ which must NOT be crossed for any reason. Never. The wanderers are out there – they are dangerous and dirty and they’re not to be trusted.

So when Maggie comes across Una, a wanderer girl who needs her help, Maggie must face a huge dilemma and her fears. Will this be the thing that makes her family, and in fact the whole town sit up and listen to her? Her parents are so preoccupied at the moment with her big brother Jed. He’s the eldest, so Jed gets all the attention, made worse by the fact that he’s 14th birthday is approaching which can only mean one thing. He gets the immense reward of going off to fight the Quiet War which still rages on.

Applebaum’s writing is spot on – this is such an intriguing story, written in a beautiful manner. Deftly created characters -we really feel Maggie’s emotional rollercoaster – and a wonderfully controlled plot which is fast paced and brilliantly intriguing.

The Middler is an absorbing story about friendship, loyalty and learning to question the status quo.

[Book supplied by the publisher for possible review on MyBookCorner, according to our policy. We review the books we love.]


Kirsty Applebaum
Matt Saunders
Nosy Crow

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