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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Middler

The Middler

Kirsty Applebaum

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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Beyond the mysterious boundary of eleven-year-old Maggie’s town, the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam--a gripping debut for fans of The Giver, Pax, and Orphan Island

“The Middler held one marvelous surprise after another every time I turned a page, leading to a most unexpected ending! Readers are going to love this book!” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times–bestselling author of The False Prince and A Night Divided

Maggie lives in orderly Fennis Wick, protected from the outside world by a boundary. Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special, a hero who will soon go off to fight in the war. But Maggie’s just a middle child, a middler, often invisible and ignored, even by her own family.

When she chances upon a wanderer girl in hiding, she decides she wants to be a hero like her brother and sets out to capture the intruder. But once Maggie peeks past the hedges of the boundary for the first time, suddenly everything she’s ever known about her isolated town gets turned on its head. . .

In her debut novel for young readers, Kirsty Applebaum crafts a gripping story of resistance, forbidden friendship, loyalty, and betrayal.

"I thought I'd almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along . . . [and] there is a touch of Harper Lee's Scout [in Maggie]." —The Times

Chapter 1


I took my summer diary out of my drawer. Nearly all the sheets of paper matched. On the very last page I’d drawn a picture of a red admiral. It had black wings and bright red stripes, just like the ones we’d seen...

Praise for The Middler

Named a Children's Book of the Week in The Times and The Sunday Times!

"Maggie is a courageous, headstrong character who will grab the hearts of her readers. The Middler held one marvelous surprise after another every time I turned a page, leading to a most unexpected ending! Readers are going to love this book!” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times–bestselling author of The False Prince and A Night Divided

"This is a quirky, original adventure about friendship and loyalty, betrayal and trust, kindness and greed, told as Maggie's vibrant narrative, with striking characters and a happy ending." —The Sunday Times

"I thought I'd almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along . . . [and] there is a touch of Harper Lee's Scout [in Maggie]." —The Times

"[A] remarkable debut . . . the story reveals its twists and turns in an almost cinematic manner. Young readers will be eager to know more about Maggie’s absorbing world and the mysterious wanderers beyond." —Booklist

"[A] fast-moving, suspenseful dystopian novel . . . Maggie’s bravery, kindness, and loyalty are admirable." —School Library Journal

"Applebaum’s suspenseful and inventive story has echoes of The Giver and other dystopian classics; it avoids truly frightening scenes in favor of developing Maggie’s own courage, character, and capacity for friendship. Moral quandaries and philosophical questions deepen this page-turner." —Horn… More…

Named a Children's Book of the Week in The Times and The Sunday Times!

"Maggie is a courageous, headstrong character who will grab the hearts of her readers. The Middler held one marvelous surprise after another every time I turned a page, leading to a most unexpected ending! Readers are going to love this book!” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times–bestselling author of The False Prince and A Night Divided

"This is a quirky, original adventure about friendship and loyalty, betrayal and trust, kindness and greed, told as Maggie's vibrant narrative, with striking characters and a happy ending." —The Sunday Times

"I thought I'd almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along . . . [and] there is a touch of Harper Lee's Scout [in Maggie]." —The Times

"[A] remarkable debut . . . the story reveals its twists and turns in an almost cinematic manner. Young readers will be eager to know more about Maggie’s absorbing world and the mysterious wanderers beyond." —Booklist

"[A] fast-moving, suspenseful dystopian novel . . . Maggie’s bravery, kindness, and loyalty are admirable." —School Library Journal

"Applebaum’s suspenseful and inventive story has echoes of The Giver and other dystopian classics; it avoids truly frightening scenes in favor of developing Maggie’s own courage, character, and capacity for friendship. Moral quandaries and philosophical questions deepen this page-turner." —Horn Book

- Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

Kirsty Applebaum

Kirsty Applebaum was born in Essex, England and grew up in Hampshire. She's had a wide variety of jobs including bookselling, railway re-signaling, picking stones off conveyor belts, putting lids on perfume bottles, and teaching Pilates. She now lives with her husband on top of a hill in Winchester. The Middler is her debut novel. Find out more about the author on her website and follow her on Twitter.

image of Kirsty Applebaumo
Donna Slater

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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