The Middler

Holt. Apr. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250317339.
Gr 4-6–As this compelling debut novel begins, the town of Fennis Wick is preparing to send two of their 14-year-old “eldest” off to “camp,” where they join the fight in the Quiet War. The Wanderers, those who refuse to send their eldest children to war, are considered dirty, dangerous, and deceitful by the inhabitants of Fennis Wick. The town is protected from the Wanderers by a boundary that is never to be crossed. Maggie, 11, is a “middler,” a middle child and therefore not considered special. As an eldest, her brother Jed is treated with the reverence reserved for firstborn. Maggie fully believes the doctrine she’s been taught until she happens to meet a Wanderer girl named Una and the two become friends. Maggie toys with the idea of turning Una over to the authorities, thereby becoming a hero like Jed. Before she can do so, a series of events and conversations make Maggie question everything and everyone she has ever known. Putting her own safety aside for the greater good, Maggie emerges as a heroine whose actions affect the citizens of Fennis Wick and beyond.
VERDICT This fast-moving, suspenseful dystopian novel would be a great introduction to the genre. Maggie’s bravery, kindness, and loyalty are admirable. A recommended purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing