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The Switch [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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: 9781440699467
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/22/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 716,709
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 232 KB

Meet the Author

Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm.
Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded
by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, "a fixer for Harold Wilson."
What that means exactly is unclear — "My father was a very secretive man," he says— so an aura of suspicion and
mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony's father, threatened with bankruptcy,
withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and
then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found.
That too shaped Anthony's view of things. Today he says, "I think the only thing to do with money is spend it." His mother,
whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character,
was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, "a truly evil person", his first and
worst arch villain. "My sister and I danced on her grave when she died," he now recalls.

A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. "Family meals," he recalls, "had calories
running into the thousands…. I was an astoundingly large, round child…." At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school,
a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school
itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. "Once the headmaster
told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, 'This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas
games tomorrow.' I have never totally recovered." To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up
tales of astounding revenge and retribution.

So how did an unhappy boy, from a privileged background, metamorphose into the creator of Alex Rider, fourteen-year-old spy for
Britain's MI6? Although his childhood permanently damaged him, it also gave him a gift — it provided him with rich source material
for his writing career. He found solace in boyhood in the escapism of the James Bond films, he says. He claims that his two sons now
watch the James Bond films with the same tremendous enjoyment he did at their age. Bond's glamour translates perfectly to the 14-year-old
psyche, the author says. "Bond had his cocktails, the car and the clothes. Kids are just as picky. It's got to be the right Nike trainers
(sneakers), the right skateboard. And I genuinely think that 14-year-olds are the coolest people on the planet. It's this wonderful, golden
age, just on the cusp of manhood when everything seems possible."

Alex Rider is unwillingly recruited at the age of fourteen to spy for the British secret service, MI6. Forced into situations that most
average adults would find terrifying and probably fatal, young Alex rarely loses his cool although at times he doubts his own courage. Using
his intelligence and creativity, and aided by non-lethal gadgets dreamed up by MI6's delightfully eccentric, overweight and disheveled
Smithers, Alex is able to extricate himself from situations when all seems completely lost. What is perhaps more terrifying than the
deeply dangerous missions he finds himself engaged in, is the attitude of his handlers at MI6, who view the boy as nothing more than an
expendable asset.

The highly successful Alex Rider novels include Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, and the
recent Eagle Strike.

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age
of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books,
he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most
Horrid
. He has written a television series Foyle's War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss's book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has
just finished production. And…oh yes…there are more Alex Rider
novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.









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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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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