The Swap is a sweet and engaging middle school (the main characters are 12 and 13) read. Although the premise is very tired, the author’s great use of dialogue and situations (as well as avoidance of turning this into a romance) help to create a very good book. Both my 11 year old and I read this and we both enjoyed it greatly.
Story: 12 year old Ellie is crushed when her best friend suddenly turns very meant toward her. 12 year old Jack is focused solely on his dream of a hockey career. When their lives intersect at the school nurse’s office, both will wake up to find they have switched bodies. Ellie’s emotionally heavy home is contrasted with Jack’s very macho routine driven household. Both will learn a lot about each other and even more about themselves as they spend the weekend in someone else’s life.
The writing is easy to follow and the dialogue authentic. This isn’t an excuse to do a romance, either, as both characters know the other only peripherally. It’s really about respecting what each does and helping them get a perspective on their own lives. Ellie has to understand that her ‘friend’ is really nothing more than an insecure bully. Jack needs to finally stand up to his very authoritarian father to ensure his own dream of hockey doesn’t fade out.
We both really enjoyed this story and look forward to more books by this author.
Reviewed from an ARC.