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.
The Switchby Anthony Horowitz
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.
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
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 237 KB
- Age Range:
- 10 Years
Meet the Author
Anthony Horowitz, in addition to being an international bestselling author, is also the writer and creator of the multi-award-winning television series Foyle’s War. He lives in London, England.
Visit him online at www.alexrideradventures.com and www.anthonyhorowitz.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHorowitz.
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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.
I haven't bought it yet but iv read it at the library fantastic rich kid becomes poor kid