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Unsung Book Week: THE CHANGELING

I am declaring this Unsung Book Week in my blog! (If you want to join in, too, wonderful!)

Why? It seems that there are two types of childhood/teen book-loves in my life: the books I loved that lots of other people loved too, and so I hear about them and can talk about the wonderfulness of said books all the time (for ex, anything by Roald Dahl, THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE, THE BLUE SWORD, TUCK EVERLASTING), and the books that no one else ever mentions, leaving me wondering whether others share my love or have even ever read them.

So this week I'm going to honor the latter books in a series of posts. If you've read the book, let's talk about it! If you haven't, consider each post my recommendation that you run out and grab a copy Right Now. :)

First up, the book I'd consider my absolute favorite from my childhood:

THE CHANGELING by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

(Where possible I've found the cover image that was on the book when I originally read it; I couldn't find that cover for this book. The one you see is on the copy I now own.)

What it's all about:

Martha is known for being a "mouse" and a crybaby; her older siblings love to tease her. Then she meets Ivy, the wild and imaginative girl whose family is always coming and going from the run-down mansion just outside town. With Ivy she embarks on a series of adventures, from saving an oil-covered duck to rescuing a beloved horse from the dog food factory, and discovers that in the imaginary world they create together, she can be heroic in ways she never imagined possible. But the rest of the town looks down their noses at Ivy's family, and even Martha's parents discourage the friendship. Can Martha be the strong, courageous person Ivy brings out in her and stand up to them, even when Ivy's not there?

Why it is awesome:

If THE CHANGELING has a message, it's that every person has inner strength, and can be powerful in their own way. As a kid who was a lot like Martha, shy and dreamy, I found that wonderfully affirming. I just wished I had a friend like Ivy to bring all that that in me! The characters are vividly drawn and believable. The book is full of gorgeous illustrations. And best of all--especially for us writers--the story's full of the magic of story-telling. It's through their love of the make-believe that Martha and Ivy bond, and develop the ability to deal with difficult situations in the "real" world. Three cheers for imagination!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Also one of my favorites, so much so that if I have a daughter I may give her the first or middle name Ivy. I am linking to this post from my lj. :)
Oct. 7th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for linking! I named a bunch of characters Ivy when I was in my early writerly stage--I still think it's a great name. :)
Oct. 7th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Ha :)

I don't think I ever named anybody Ivy in a story. Hmm.
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Do not ask me how I remember, but I distinctly recall having a story about a girl named Ivy Byrd Caffick. I have no idea what the story about. But I must really have liked that name to remember it some seventeen years later.
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
I like the name! Got to love the cutting-your-teeth stories.
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
OH, I also loved this book! My library 'lost' their only copy after I'd only read it once, and I remember searching for years to find it...now I'm going to have to look again :) Thank you for reminding me!
Oct. 7th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
It's available on Amazon and elsewhere again now... though sadly the author had to go to iUniverse to get it reprinted. I still think it's her best book.
Oct. 7th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
I love new book recommendations! I am going to add this to my To-Read list right now.


Feb. 12th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this, Megan. Witches of Worm was one of my favorites (from when I worked at the library, that is....I date back to the days for Trixie Belden...waaaay back.)
Feb. 10th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Beautiful tribute. Thanks to this book, I started signing letters LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I came to this book after reading the author's Green-Sky trilogy--so it was fascinating to me as an adolescent to realize that the author had had the idea in this book, and then expanded it into its own series (it was my first time ever to notice authorial process, I guess).

I loved the note that Ivy sent Martha, the last letter. Such an affirming message for all of us.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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