The Swap by Megan Shull
I try to be a well rounded reader.
I’m open to everything but zombies (gross) and romance novels (a different gross). So while this book is targeted for tween girls, I thought it sounded fun and I’m always on the look out for something to recommend to my favorite young readers. Plus, as a guy who really appreciated Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret when I was 12, I firmly believe that books have no gender–boys can enjoy (and benefit from) books targeted to girls, and vice versa.
But still, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit…
I really loved this story.
In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I think I was overcome by the sweetness.
A 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy switch bodies on the first day of school. Hilarity follows, along with lessons and understanding as they spend the weekend learning about the other sex, who their real friends are, and how important family is.
It’s very well written. The characters are real. I laughed. My eyes even got misty at the extremely happy ending. Normal kids overcoming bullies, self doubt, and loss. Friends sticking together. Good friends v bad friends. The importance of family. Seeing yourself as others see you. The importance of having a positive self image.
The use of pre-teen slang is a bit over the top, more like a characterization instead of reality, but I found it added to the charm and helped to illustrate the points. Unfortunately, I suspect it may make older teens roll their eyes at silliness and miss the message.
I was curious how discovering new body parts and body functions would be handled. It’s in there, and it’s perfectly fun and age appropriate.
The Swap is sweet and fun and has an unrealistically happy ending–just the way I wish all my books would be.
I loved it. I’ll be actively recommending it to all.