The Switch

( 4 )

Overview

Tad Spencer lives a life of luxury: a mansion, servants, exotic vacations, and all the toys he could dream of. But when his father denies him a trip to a theme park, Tad wishes he were someone else. The next day, he wakes up as Bob Snarby, a carnival worker living in abject conditions in a criminal world. This terrifying body swap is just the beginning of an adventure that will lead Tad to uncover a secret that will change his life forever.

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The Switch

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Overview

Tad Spencer lives a life of luxury: a mansion, servants, exotic vacations, and all the toys he could dream of. But when his father denies him a trip to a theme park, Tad wishes he were someone else. The next day, he wakes up as Bob Snarby, a carnival worker living in abject conditions in a criminal world. This terrifying body swap is just the beginning of an adventure that will lead Tad to uncover a secret that will change his life forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Maybe only a 10-year-old would find the zanily sinister world here plausible, but Horowitz (the Alex Rider adventures) writes about it with such zeal that older readers will get sucked in, too. Rich, spoiled Thomas Arnold David Spencer, or Tad, goes to bed one night on his goose feather pillow and Irish linen sheets wishing for one split second to be someone else. Thanks to some alignment of planets (or maybe just a weird carnival gypsy, it's never really clear), 13-year-old Tad gets his wish, and he wakes up in the body of Bob Snarby, the son of carnival workers, who has a penchant for sniffing glue. The ensuing chain of events has Tad, Bob and readers questioning whether anything is what it appears to be. Horowitz has fun describing both the squalor of Snarby's caravan and its hard-knock occupants as well as the upscale, anything-can-be-bought world of the Spencers. Spinning an action-packed story, Horowitz also slyly tosses in some pretty deep questions about life. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)

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School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

A twist of fate is the premise behind this story of riches, street urchins, and criminals. Tad Spencer, 13, is used to getting what he wants from his indulgent yet inattentive parents. One day, he wakes up as Bob Snarby-poor, hungry, dirty, living in squalor-the son of carnival workers. The story is entertaining but the characterizations of Tad's parents are uneven and contradictory. Also, the level of violence, including mass murder, makes the book sound heavy, but it isn't. It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek read that will captivate children who like adventure and mystery. Tad struggles throughout to make sense of his new life and to return to his old one. The discoveries that he makes about himself and the people surrounding him allow him to realize that his old life perhaps is not what he thought it was, and he discovers that life is only as good as you make it.-Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
Spoiled 13-year-old Thomas Arnold David-Tad-is like a large, contented cat curled up in the lap of luxury-until his parents deny him something he wants. Carelessly, he wishes to be "somebody else," and poof, he wakes up in the body of carnival worker and sometime thief Bob Snarby. As Bob, Tad finds himself nabbed by the police and deposited at a home for troubled children that is, ironically, run by Tad's father. While there, Tad learns some awful truths about his father's business empire and vows never to return home even if he returns to his proper body. While the events that transpire in this winsome adventure are delightfully absurd, the transformation that Tad undergoes strikes a genuine note. It is the young person's journey to self-definition writ large. Dramatically and irrevocably separated from his family, Tad sees his parents from another perspective and in a broader context, which enables him to begin to establish a moral compass for himself that is much different from his father's. Sure to please, and to expand, Horowitz's tween fan base. (Fantasy. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142415474
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/4/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,353,397
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    Though Anthony has proven his strength as a writer for children, this latest piece leaves me a little mystified. Rewriting the story of the Prince and the Pauper seemed promising, but there are far too many questionable situations for children. I was upset that there were NO viable, positive adults in this story. Both sets of parents and all other adult characters were chillingly devoid of humanity. The ending left the reader feeling as though these children were horribly used and abused with no hope for their futures. Though I felt some connection to Roald Dahl's style, it lacked the humor that he injected into every story. Please give us someone with elements of redemption.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Switchingly GOOD

    I haven't bought it yet but iv read it at the library fantastic rich kid becomes poor kid

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews

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