The Middler
By Kirsty Applebaum
Published By

Nosy Crow

ISBN 9781788003452
Children's Genre 9-12
Publication Date 04/04/2019
Price 6.99
Paperback Hyperlink


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.

Authors Biography

Kirsty’s earliest memory is being dressed up as Fred the Homepride flour man for the winning float at the Romford carnival. Shortly afterwards, she moved to Hampshire and spent the rest of 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 2017 Kirsty graduated from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing for Young People. Her middle grade novel, The Middler, won the 2016 United Agents Prize for Most Promising Writing for Young People.


“Applebaum explores themes of family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal in an assured debut.”

– The Bookseller

Leave a comment about this book:


  1. A thought-provoking and atmospheric story, beautifully told.

  2. A lyrical, character-driven adventure with lots of heart.

  3. A gripping adventure for all ages

  4. Maggie is a great character

  5. This is an unforgettable book with wonderful characters that capture the imagination. Impossible to put down once you turn the first page.

  6. A great lesson for young people in not accepting authority without question. l also liked her questioning the exclusion of the Wanderers. This book contained many lessons in life for young readers.

  7. The forgotten middle child? No more!

  8. Fantastic world building and a strong and endearing protagonist make for a fantastic read.

  9. A gripping adventure story that’s hard to put down. A story that is so relevant today.

  10. A gripping middle-grade adventure with characters that stay with you long after the final page!

  11. Just brilliant!

  12. By such a long way, my favourite book of the year.

  13. Such a wonderful, atmospheric read. I loved it!

  14. This is a fantastic book – I loved it.

  15. Outstanding novel!

  16. Atmospheric adventure with a huge heart.

  17. I just loved reading this wonderful book. Not only does it speak to young people but to all ages.

  18. I just loved reading this wonderful book. It not only speaks to young people but to all ages.

  19. A great story with a theme that will build confidence in young people to question the world around them.

  20. Deserves to win. Great story!

  21. Kirsty builds her world beautifully around Maggie, an overlooked middle child – and she is a wonderful character with a very unique view of the world. An exciting and thought provoking novel.

  22. Fantastic atmospheric world building and a heroine to root for. I loved this book.

  23. Just thought I would comment and say superb theme, did you create it yourself? Looks really good!

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