Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Swap is a Great Book for Middle School

Freaky Friday was one of those pivotal movies for me as a kid.  I was just overwhelmed by the idea of being in my mom's shoes and living her life.  We were so easily amused in the 70s!

In this new book The Swap, the idea of the switch is the same, but this twist is around switching bodies with a boy and a girl in middle school.  That is not something I would have relished at twelve, but Megan Shull manages to make it meaningful and funny.

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Title:       The Swap

Author:  Megan Shull

Target:   Grades 6-8

Series:    No

What this book is about:
Ellie is about to start middle school and has just been dumped by her best friend.  Life for a girl is pretty miserable.  Jack is in eighth grade and he is the boy every girl would like to date.  He is handsome, nice and a great hockey player.  But being great comes at a price and with a father who never lets him take a break, he is starting to crumble under the tough love.  A twist of fate (and magic) causes them to swap lives - and bodies.  Now they are in a serious Freaky Friday moment where they both have to spend a weekend literally in the other’s shoes.  How much will they learn about each other and themselves?

Why I love this book: 
Funny, heartwarming, funny (did I mention that?), this book is a delight.  I read it in one sitting.  This story alternates narrators from Ellie to Jack so you get a boy and girl viewpoint of the events.  Nothing is better for kids than getting a look at what life is like in someone else's shoes as they navigate the sometimes difficult world of middle school.

Both Jack and Ellie are extremely likable and human characters, flaws and all, so kids will quickly  get caught up in their story.  This book does require a suspension of belief (and I am not talking about the body switch) with somewhat stereotypical supporting characters and an ending wrapped up a little too neatly, but the book is so well done that I don’t think kids will mind.

Who this book is for: 
This book does discuss issues of puberty, nothing inappropriate, but if your kids have not had “the talk” about their development, this book will raise a lot of questions for you.  For example, Ellie has a doctors appointment where the doctor discusses getting her period.  Nothing scandalous, but if you haven’t had the conversation yet, it could be awkward.

Also this book is great for boys and girls.  Since it is told in alternating voices, boys and girls will both hear themselves and well as get a peek into the lives of the other gender  and they will laugh!

Final thoughts: 
The Swap definitely takes Freaky Friday to a whole new level! 

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Swap  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad it's not scandalous ;) I really try to avoid those ones. I've added it to my "to read" list. Thanks!