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The Swap by Megan Shull

The Swap

by Megan Shull

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Definite comparisons to Freaky Friday in this solid middle grade novel. Ellie and Jack are both having a rough time in middle school. She has Mean Girl evil frenemies. He has a dad who pushes military levels of hard discipline on him and his brothers playing hockey.
and I think a lot of the publicity and cover copy that focuses on the hockey and the slumber parties to play up the gender comedy honestly sells the character development short. ( )
  ewillse | Jan 18, 2016 |
A super fun, touching read. When reading the description, I immediately thought about Freaky Friday or a myriad of other body swapping stories. But I like them and like this book where Elle and Jack switch spots for a weekend. Elle's former best friend has become a rude, mean girl and has targeting Elle as her next target.
Elle and Jack each learn valuable lessons and have a positive impact in each other's lives.
Liked this fun, touching read. The main characters were well developed and sympathetic figures. ( )
  ewyatt | Jul 17, 2015 |
Ellie's life doesn't look that great to her, especially when her best friend has a new best friend and they both ridicule her. What Ellie doesn't know is that to Jack, Ellie looks like someone who has her act together. She doesn't know the guy who looks like an in-control, popular athlete is the youngest of four brothers with a widowed father who has turned drill sergeant to keep his boys in line. He doesn't know she and her mother have been struggling to appear that everything is just fine since her dad left.

As school starts, when they both end up seeing the school nurse, they discover far more about each other from the inside out than either of them ever dreamed possible in Megan Shull's witty, wise and wonderful The Swap. Whoever that new school nurse is, she was able to switch things up so that Ellie is inside Jack's body and Jack is inside Ellie's.

The pair quickly agree to a plan that they will have a quiet weekend and try to get back to that school nurse as soon as possible. The plan, of course, goes awry because of their families and friends. But this is where Shull pulls off the fun with wisdom just underneath. Jack, as Ellie, is pampered by a mom who loves to spoil her only child. He could even get used to this spa treatment stuff. Ellie, as Jack, glories in being in with a bunch of roughneck brothers. Jack and Ellie may be in each others' bodies, but they are still themselves.

Being able to see how each other lives, Ellie and Jack also are able to take charge about the things that hurt each other the most -- Ellie's ex-best friend and Jack's distant father. As each other and acting together, they are able to accomplish things they never would have been able to do on their own. And, as they learn about the reality of each others' lives, they are not afraid to be themselves.

As these are tweens, the onset of adolescence from the other gender's point of view is handled with great humor and no vulgarity. This is one of the highlights of Shull's strategy of telling the story in each of their points of view in alternating chapters.

Although the ending at first felt a little too good to be true, it is actually far better than it might have been. Saying more would constitute spoilers, but let's just say sometimes, characters not only get what they deserve, they get an ending that is great for everyone. ( )
1 vote Perednia | Jan 14, 2015 |
A middle school boy and girl, both of whom are having terrible days, become magically swapped into each other's bodies. Ever since Jack's mother died his dad has been really tough on him and his brothers. And Ellie is suffering because her former best friend has become really mean to her. Both of them are unprepared for how hard the other has it. Over the course of the weekend they have to face some difficult challenges, but they also learn how to deal with their own problems. It has some pretty funny situations and the lessons learned are nicely done and not too heavy-handed. ( )
  ChristianR | Nov 13, 2014 |
What a fun, cute, charming read. I like that the author did a swap between a guy and a girl. It gave a nice, entertaining perspective to the difference between guys and girls. All of the moments were good but some of my favorites were when Jack had to endure bra shopping, the doctor for female issues and the sleepover and painting nails. For Ellie, I would have it say it was seeing boys in general in the form of being shirtless and learning their own lingo for talking. Each side was equally good. I could not stop reading. For Ellie I really saw a huge improvement. She grew and learned how real friends treat each other and to have a voice. For Jack there was not a lot of changes required other than maybe he got to see what type of girl he wants and that he is lucky to have his brothers. The ending was a sweet one. ( )
  Cherylk | Oct 25, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062311697, Hardcover)

This smart and funny twist on Freaky Friday is perfect for fans of Wendy Mass, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.

With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other's shoes. He's her. And she's him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn't worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you're cool with everything is tougher than it looks.JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice.

Now they're dealing with each other's middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until they hopefully switch back! Told in both Jack's and Ellie's voices, The Swap offers a fresh and honest take on tween friendship, all while exploring more serious themes of family, loss, empathy, and what it really means to be yourself. And as Jon Scieszka says, it's "seriously, truly, fearlessly funny!"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:30 -0400)

When seventh-grader Ellie, who is having best-friend problems, and eighth-grader Jack, who is under tremendous pressure from his father, switch bodies and lives, they learn a great deal about themselves and the opposite sex.

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