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The Supreme Lie Reader Reviews

The Supreme Lie

Cassie Lawrence

An epic and twisting read set in a fictional world where disaster waits just outside the city walls. A smart, moving book with characters you can root for.

Set in the fictional world of Afalia, this book is an epic tale following the adventures of a maid, Gloria, as she steps into the shoes of the region’s leader Madame Suprema. The story flicks between Gloria’s point of view and the inhabitants of The Wetlands, often seen through the eyes of Heinz the dog.

When Afalia begins to flood, tensions rise and loyalties are tested. There are so many twists and turns in The Supreme Lie and you never quite know who you can trust. There are some funny elements amongst the drama and the characters are likeable, particularly those of the canine variety.

The world that McCaughrean has built is wholly believable and the issues that are brought up are relevant to our society today. Climate change, refugees, fake news and the mechanics of power are all covered but without becoming preachy or instructive. I would highly recommend this title if you enjoy action and adventure with a smart, modern twist.

@CassieLawrence3

Barbara Band

This is a YA novel that defies description being a mix of adventure, dystopia and fantasy, and like many of McCaughrean’s novels is slightly bizarre and multifaceted; lots for the reader to think about and discuss with issues relevant to society today.

When Afalia’s ruler, Madame Suprema, disappears after unprecedented floods threaten not only the country but also the capital, Praesto, her husband decides to pass off her maid, 15-year old Gloria, as the leader. There ensures a tale of political corruptness full of twists and turns, not to mention biased reporting, misinformation and mass media scare-mongering – a familiar landscape given the world in 2021 – and throughout all this meandering is the sub-plot of a rather endearing dog searching for his family. This is a YA novel that defies description being a mix of adventure, dystopia and fantasy, and like many of McCaughrean’s novels is slightly bizarre and multifaceted; lots for the reader to think about and discuss with issues relevant to society today. 

@bcb567

Sarah Evans

A brilliant book that made me chuckle and made me cry, and made me, more than ever, wish I owned a dog.

Geraldine McCaughrean is an expert story spinner, and The Supreme Lie is no exception. Although the world she has created is not our own, the people in it are affected by many of the same issues we are, most notably climate change and media misinformation.

When the protagonist, Gloria, is suddenly and unceremoniously ‘promoted’ from maid to Suprema (the Afalian equivalent of Prime Minister), she finds herself plunged into a world of danger, lies and intrigue. As the book progresses her character develops from a naïve girl to a young adult with an awareness that people are not always kind and that politicians and newspapers don’t always tell the truth. The somewhat fraught friendship that grows between her and Timor as they battle to save the day is amusing and endearing, and Daisy and Heinz, the canine contingent, are delightful, and ‘human’ enough while remaining ‘dog’ enough.

Despite writing for children and young adults, McCaughrean is not afraid to let darkness be dark, and here she manages to balance the constant sense of threat from both nature and human nature alongside feelings of hope and humour and strength in the face of adversity.

A brilliant book that made me chuckle and made me cry, and made me, more than ever, wish I owned a dog.

Lauren Pennell

McCaughrean weaves together an exciting political thriller, social commentary on climate change and dictatorship, and a darkly humorous tale of corruption and deception. And all completely accessible for KS3 readers. 

"Secret...Important...A Necessary Lie".

The country of Afalia is drowning. It's drowning from dangerous flooding and it's also drowning in lies. Ruled by the mysterious dictator Madame Suprema who never reveals her face, the city of Praesto is in danger of being washed away like the rest of the country. 

When things go from bad to worse Madame Suprema disappears, leading to a slowly unravelling comedy of errors as her fifteen year old maid, Gloria, reluctantly steps into her shoes. Literally. 

The first thing that struck me about this book was the effortless writing, but we should expect nothing less from a two time Carnegie winner. McCaughrean weaves together an exciting political thriller, social commentary on climate change and dictatorship, and a darkly humorous tale of corruption and deception. And all completely accessible for KS3 readers.
 
I think young readers will be especially enamoured by the storyline of Heinz the dog, who has been flooded out of his countryside home and is trying to find his owners. Even if some of the subtext is missed, it can be read simply as an exciting adventure story set in a dystopian land. 

Megan Brooks

This is an awesome book filled with jaw dropping adventures, lies, and peril! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an adventures read!

An amazing story full of imagination, I couldn't put the book down! It was beautifully written and the words would flow like water in a stream. It was fascinating to travel to the world in which Gloria lived in filled with peril, politics and lies!

Sarah Rogers

Action packed, plot twisting, thought provoking, amazing read! This book will keep you guessing - Who can you trust? Can you trust what you read? 'In artamento non est vertias'.

Action packed, plot twisting, thought provoking, amazing read! Currently shortlisted for the Carnegie medal 2021, this book will keep you guessing - Who can you trust? Can you trust what you read? 'In artamento non est vertias'.

Madame Suprema (Prime Minister/ ruler) runs away due to an impending disaster. To prevent panic within the city, her husband devises a cunning plan to disguise their maid, Gloria, as the Suprema and lead the city out of disaster. Will the plan work? Are the decisions they are making ethical? What would you do in her position? Who is her real enemy?

This is a fast paced novel with twists and turns, subtle clues throughout with anagrams and news articles. It is narrated through the eyes of the maid Gloria as well as Heinz, a courageous dog who is trying to find his lost owner Clem in the flood ravaged land. This gives insightful view points and perspective to the novel that would otherwise not be imagined, as well as giving the reader another dimension to the story creating suspense and empathy.

The characters vividly come to life on the page, are believable and allow the reader to fully immerse themselves in the story, empathizing with some and becoming horrified by others.

In an era with much publicity regarding 'fake news', McCaughrean effortlessly illustrates the need to question the media without patronizing the reader.
Highly recommend, unputdownable!

Belinda Carvalho

While this is a thought-provoking satire for a teenage audience it is very much a story that has the hope of youth at its heart. The reader spends the book rooting for Gloria to succeed against the system and wondering if it is actually possible.

The Supreme Lie is an intelligent story, which will appeal to fans of dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games series. Gloria, a teenage girl from a poor family, works as a maid for Madame Suprema, the tyrannical leader of Afalia. When the Suprema fails to solve the problems caused by cataclysmic weather, she runs away to escape the consequences of the crisis. Donning the Suprema's distinctive veiled hat, Gloria temporarily steps into her shoes in the hope of solving the problems and helping the people. Gloria sees this as a chance to right the wrongs of the past but who can she trust and will she see her own family again?

The devastating effects of global warming are covered here but McCaughren also tackles other current issues like fake news and propaganda and the effect of these lies. There are some sweet touches such as the focus on the dogs, Daisy and Heinz which keeps to help the serious tone a little lighter.

While this is a thought-provoking satire for a teenage audience it is very much a story that has the hope of youth at its heart. The reader spends the book rooting for Gloria to succeed against the system and wondering if it is actually possible.

@biblio_bel

Book Information

ISBN: 9781474970686
Publication date: 15th April 2021
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3
Topics: Adventure Stories, Politics & Law, Science Fiction
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