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Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth. This classic book was first published in 1970. It w Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth. This classic book was first published in 1970. It was awarded a Christopher Medal and named an outstanding book for young people by the Junior Library Guild.


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Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth. This classic book was first published in 1970. It w Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth. This classic book was first published in 1970. It was awarded a Christopher Medal and named an outstanding book for young people by the Junior Library Guild.

30 review for The Changeling

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    This is a wonderful book, we were instantly drawn in to the story, the characters, the plot, the friendship, the imaginary games, all really appealed to us. Two seven year old girls meet and they are from contrasting backgrounds. Martha's family is highly respectable whereas Ivy's family have problems, mum drinks too much, brothers in jail etc. Ivy has an Aunt who sometimes looks after her when things get bad, she sounds lovely, but poor Martha, despite their outward show of respectability, her f This is a wonderful book, we were instantly drawn in to the story, the characters, the plot, the friendship, the imaginary games, all really appealed to us. Two seven year old girls meet and they are from contrasting backgrounds. Martha's family is highly respectable whereas Ivy's family have problems, mum drinks too much, brothers in jail etc. Ivy has an Aunt who sometimes looks after her when things get bad, she sounds lovely, but poor Martha, despite their outward show of respectability, her family ridicule and neglect her and care more about what others think than if Martha is happy. I appreciated this author's awareness that behind the facade of respectability, the wealthy family were awful to their children in other ways. The story focuses on the girls friendship and imaginary play, they spend their time outdoors and make a world of their own. I loved this, and just as this book shows children are pressured into appearing to be grown up and not behaving like children, what could be more natural and healthy than 7yr olds playing imaginary games ? The character of Kelly is a good example in my opinion of what happens to children who don't do this, there is a character like Kelly in most schools unfortunately. The observations of this character were accurate and how true that adults and teachers often are mislead by the chatty, popular, Kellys of this world. We loved the way the girls were so caring to each other, and helped each other stand up to the bullies, how they also cared for animals and tried to help and rescue ones in need of help. This was a 5 star story for us, but although the climax was fitting for the story (view spoiler)[Kelly says she overheard Martha and Ivy talk about being responsible for a break in at the school, and because she is a favourite she is believed. We felt this was tied up too quickly by her brothers admission and reasons why he did it. Tom's involvement with drugs seemed a sudden addition to the story. (hide spoiler)] The ending was good but it seemed as though several years were condensed into a chapter or two. Ending problems aside this was a beautiful book, and the girls thoughts on the term 'changeling' was an appropriate ending for the story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bren fall in love with the sea.

    “Know all the Questions, but not the Answers Look for the Different, instead of the Same Never Walk where there's room for Running Don't do anything that can't be a Game” ― Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Changeling Just..one of the best. What a writer! The Changeling remains, along with "The Velvet room", another one by this author, one of my all time faves. Have you ever felt like a "Changeling"? Did you feel like when in childhood? Even for a moment? I think most of us have. In the case of Ivy and Mar “Know all the Questions, but not the Answers Look for the Different, instead of the Same Never Walk where there's room for Running Don't do anything that can't be a Game” ― Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Changeling Just..one of the best. What a writer! The Changeling remains, along with "The Velvet room", another one by this author, one of my all time faves. Have you ever felt like a "Changeling"? Did you feel like when in childhood? Even for a moment? I think most of us have. In the case of Ivy and Martha..WELL..I am not going to say! This book is a celebration of Martha, of Ivy and all the Changelings here, there and everywhere. It is worth noting, if you missed this one in childhood no matter. I did a reread recently..the person who had it before me had written in the book "This is a good book!". I do not even know that person. So then I reread, loaned it to a friend and she loved it too. The Changeling transcends age and time. Will always be a classic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Buddy read with Hilary, here's Hilary's Review (it's better than mine :D) It may not be obvious from title and the blurb, but this story is not Fantasy, nor Magical Realism. Even as a kid I was not much of a reader of realistic fiction, I preferred Fantasy stories. But there were a few exceptions, and I think this would have been one of them, if I'd read it as a young person. Since I've read books by this author before, including another that is realistic fiction, The Velvet Room (which was one o Buddy read with Hilary, here's Hilary's Review (it's better than mine :D) It may not be obvious from title and the blurb, but this story is not Fantasy, nor Magical Realism. Even as a kid I was not much of a reader of realistic fiction, I preferred Fantasy stories. But there were a few exceptions, and I think this would have been one of them, if I'd read it as a young person. Since I've read books by this author before, including another that is realistic fiction, The Velvet Room (which was one of my favorites as a kid), I was not surprised how well she really captures the thoughts and feelings of childhood, the experience from the perspective of a kid, but I was very delighted by it here. This story really captures how magical shared imagination is in childhood with a good friend. The make-believe, the magical thinking - even when knowing it's make believe, the close bond of friendship and how impactful that can be, helping to shape who we grow up to be. For parents:(view spoiler)[While playing and imagining the girls do mention things about being someone else in a past life, and create make believe spells, etc. If you're particular about that sort of thing, be aware. Also, there are a couple mentions of High School students doing drugs. In one place it's pills (non-specified), in another it's pot. It's not delved into, and doesn't involve the MC, but it is there. So, this one might be better for MG readers who are on the older side of that range. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The Book Gods sent THE CHANGELING to me at precisely the right time in life. I was a lonely little girl who loved to dream, hated sports, and cried easily. Not surprisingly, I was widely hated by my peers, and sought refuge in books. And while I loved being transported to magical places like Oz and Narnia, I was intensely aware that these books had little bearing on "real life." THE CHANGELING was different. It was about a young girl growing up in a status-conscious family. Her older brother and The Book Gods sent THE CHANGELING to me at precisely the right time in life. I was a lonely little girl who loved to dream, hated sports, and cried easily. Not surprisingly, I was widely hated by my peers, and sought refuge in books. And while I loved being transported to magical places like Oz and Narnia, I was intensely aware that these books had little bearing on "real life." THE CHANGELING was different. It was about a young girl growing up in a status-conscious family. Her older brother and sister were terribly popular, while her parents were successful and sophisticated. Naturally, Martha feels like an ugly duckling surrounded by swans. Then Ivy Carson comes to town. Ivy's family is utterly disreputable and lets her run wild. Soon, Ivy recruits Martha as her best friend, confiding that she's actually not a Carson, but a changeling -- an child of magical origin who was switched at birth. Soon, the girls are performing witchy ceremonies and create a fantasy realm to which they escape on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, their friendship becomes a lightning rod for school bullies, and is nearly torn apart when Ivy is forced to admit that she isn't a changeling, but an ordinary girl who can't vanquish her real-life enemies. Although I was disappointed that Ivy wasn't truly a changeling, I took comfort in this story, which depicts a girl who uses the idea of magic to realize her creative talent. It's beautiful to see how Ivy's friendship transforms Martha into a shy mouse into a talented actress. If that's not magic, I don't know what is. This book is also beautifully illustrated by Alton Raible. It's lovely to see an illustrator that perfectly captures the spirit of a book. I wish more books had interior illustrations...this seems to becoming a lost art. Thank heavens somebody had the sense to put this book back in print. It's a real gem and deserves your time if you're seeking to make a personal transformation of your own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Two very different girls share a secret place in the trees. (photo by Lisa Kimmell) Two very different girls share a secret place in the trees. (photo by Lisa Kimmell)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Just stumbled upon this book by accident, thank you, Goodreads! Have been trying to remember the title for the longest time! I read this several times in grade school, it fascinated me! Ivy Carson is from a, well, trashy family, but she herself is very different. She tells the mousy Martha who is her best friend that she is the daughter of the fairy queen, and has been switched with the real Ivy Carson. Ivy is a gifted but unschooled dancer, with wild black hair and capricious moods. She reminde Just stumbled upon this book by accident, thank you, Goodreads! Have been trying to remember the title for the longest time! I read this several times in grade school, it fascinated me! Ivy Carson is from a, well, trashy family, but she herself is very different. She tells the mousy Martha who is her best friend that she is the daughter of the fairy queen, and has been switched with the real Ivy Carson. Ivy is a gifted but unschooled dancer, with wild black hair and capricious moods. She reminded me, in a way, of my own best friend in junior high. There is something timeless and beautiful about this book, and how Ivy and Martha change over the years. I just adored this little book, and I should find a copy for my daughter, when she's a bit older.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A quickie from 1970, this YA book so beautifully depicts what a friendship between young and pre-teen girls looks like.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This is the book that first introduced me to Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who was my absolute favorite author as a kid. This book is not a fantasy, but it did inspire a fantasy series, the excellent Green Sky trilogy. Marty "the mouse" becomes friends with Ivy Carson, an unusual girl from a large and notorious family, who claims to be a changeling. I really can't do the book justice, but I think anyone who's felt like an outcast, or had a life-changing friendship (or wanted one) will love this book. This is the book that first introduced me to Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who was my absolute favorite author as a kid. This book is not a fantasy, but it did inspire a fantasy series, the excellent Green Sky trilogy. Marty "the mouse" becomes friends with Ivy Carson, an unusual girl from a large and notorious family, who claims to be a changeling. I really can't do the book justice, but I think anyone who's felt like an outcast, or had a life-changing friendship (or wanted one) will love this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    read this just out of my teens, and loved it to pieces. My paperback is falling apart, alas, so I have not reread it for some twenty years. So I don't know how it holds up to my adult view, but the friendship, the approach to being different and creativity were impressive to me when young. read this just out of my teens, and loved it to pieces. My paperback is falling apart, alas, so I have not reread it for some twenty years. So I don't know how it holds up to my adult view, but the friendship, the approach to being different and creativity were impressive to me when young.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Francesca Forrest

    One of my all-time favorite books and a big influence on my *everything*.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ms. B

    Martha and Ivy are best friends. Can their friendship survive Ivy's frequent moves, Martha's judgmental Grandma and bullies at school? According to Ivy, magic might be just the solution. Martha and Ivy are best friends. Can their friendship survive Ivy's frequent moves, Martha's judgmental Grandma and bullies at school? According to Ivy, magic might be just the solution.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Writing a review for this treasured volume from my childhood seems impossible. Since first making the attempt, I have spent hours staring at the blank screen in front of me, have begun in a hundred different ways - "Some books aren't books at all, but mirrors..." / "Zilpha Keatley Snyder may not know it, but she wrote this book about me..." - but have always ended with the same admission of failure, with the same deletion of whatever facile comments I had typed, whatever little bits of text I ha Writing a review for this treasured volume from my childhood seems impossible. Since first making the attempt, I have spent hours staring at the blank screen in front of me, have begun in a hundred different ways - "Some books aren't books at all, but mirrors..." / "Zilpha Keatley Snyder may not know it, but she wrote this book about me..." - but have always ended with the same admission of failure, with the same deletion of whatever facile comments I had typed, whatever little bits of text I had produced - text that had inevitably failed to capture the terrible beauty and power of The Changeling, its strange and elusive appeal, its unshakable hold on me. I am haunted by this book, and although I pride myself on being able to articulate even the most difficult of thoughts and emotions, I find it impossible to say why. Just as it once saved me, this seemingly simple children's novel now defeats me. Again and again. I am too close to it, perhaps... I grew up in a beautiful old house on a hill, with a rundown old carriage house behind it, where my sisters and I were wont to play in younger days. A dreamer, always, I lived in my own world, dividing my time between the pages of whatever book I was devouring, and my imaginary (year-round) outdoor games. Naturally, I had a country of my own - ironically, given my childhood ignorance of the word "arcane," it was named Arcania - with its own intricate history, customs and culture. I spent hours creating the Arcanian language, and crafting its script (sadly, all lost to me today), with its superfluity of vowel forms. Arcania was my retreat and my stronghold, in a world that was beginning - just as I was starting to search for meaning in it - to make no sense, and was as real to me as anything I experienced in my more mundane, "workday" life. No author has ever captured - for me - that reality of the imaginary, that power of childhood make-believe, with the same skill as Zilpha Keatly Snyder, in The Changeling. The story of two very different young girls - shy crybaby Martha, so worried about fitting in with her successful family, and wildly idiosyncratic Ivy Carson, daughter of the town's local criminal element - whose friendship is the salvation of both, it perfectly embodies one of the key realities of my own childhood: the role of imagination, and of the internal world, in creating a safe place in a decidedly unsafe existence. Like Ivy and Martha, whose created world was known as Green Sky - a world that Snyder would later use, in creating her brilliant dystopian Green Sky trilogy ( Below the Root , And All Between , Until the Celebration ) - I too enacted a complicated series of rituals and plays surrounding my imagined world. Like them, this had extraordinary meaning for me, and is, to this day, terribly precious to me. One of my favorite works of literature, of ANY kind, The Changeling is a book that has become entwined with my memories of my childhood, to the point that I cannot separate it out. I have lived in this book, as surely as Ivy and Martha did, and while I wouldn't venture to guarantee that it will speak to every young reader as it did (and does) to me, can readily attest to the fact that every word in it is true.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susann

    Might be ZKS' best. It's certainly one of my favorites and certainly one of her most sophisticated. The girl friendship/coming of age theme is nothing new, but if ZKS had written for an adult audience, she could have been the Elena Ferrante of her time. ZKS creates that perfect blend of mostly realism, with just a whisper of magic. I would still love to join Martha and Ivy and the Tree People at Bent Oaks Grove. I had forgotten (or maybe my childhood self didn't quite get) just how funny young Might be ZKS' best. It's certainly one of my favorites and certainly one of her most sophisticated. The girl friendship/coming of age theme is nothing new, but if ZKS had written for an adult audience, she could have been the Elena Ferrante of her time. ZKS creates that perfect blend of mostly realism, with just a whisper of magic. I would still love to join Martha and Ivy and the Tree People at Bent Oaks Grove. I had forgotten (or maybe my childhood self didn't quite get) just how funny young Martha and Ivy are. The porkchop/paint scene and the attempted rescue of Dolly are hysterical. Although my heart aches for Ivy, I am so impressed with how ZKS captures Martha's social anxiety and introverted nature: "...but a lot of things that seemed as simple as breathing to other people, still seemed as far away as the stars for Martha." In an interesting way, the climactic reveal with Tom is both dated and not dated.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't remember when I first read this book. I think I got it from the Scholastic Book Company when I was in second grade (1971 or 1972); we lived in a very rural area in northern New Mexico and my mother basically allowed me to order every book I wanted when the Scholastic catalog came. I know I then read it many, many times over the years that followed... and then, of course, at some point it got packed away with the rest of my "kid's books" and I haven't touched it in ages. But now, as it goe I don't remember when I first read this book. I think I got it from the Scholastic Book Company when I was in second grade (1971 or 1972); we lived in a very rural area in northern New Mexico and my mother basically allowed me to order every book I wanted when the Scholastic catalog came. I know I then read it many, many times over the years that followed... and then, of course, at some point it got packed away with the rest of my "kid's books" and I haven't touched it in ages. But now, as it goes, I'm "old enough for fairy tales again" (not that I really ever stopped - I'm not a Gryffindor for nothing), and I found it again when I was recommended other books by Keatley-Snyder. While looking those up, I found "The Changeling" again. I knew this book had been very formative for my young mind, I just had forgotten quite how MUCH. I was Martha -- chubby, frightened of everything, burst into tears at the slightest thing; the main difference was I was the oldest child in the family, and, of course, I never had an Ivy. I wanted to be like Martha when I was young, because I was sure I would grow up like she did, tall and slim and loved by everyone... but I never made it THERE. I stayed chubby, but I did end up in all the plays in high school, as a character actor. I made up stories, I wrote them down, I dreamed and wished and never wanted to grow up (and really, that spell DOES work)... I never got thin, but I eventually met my own "Ivy." I didn't meet her early enough to dream with me on that childhood level, but we plan on growing old together, if possibly never grown UP together (because she loved the book, too). I know I don't say a whole lot about the actual book here, but my review is based on feelings and impressions rather than the events in the story. Needless to say, it still holds up just as beautifully as it did then -- sure, now it only took me about two hours to read instead of weeks... but I still lost myself just as deeply within the beautiful lines that Keatley-Snyder wove here. I only wish I could be as brilliant a storyteller (not to say I don't TRY). I still love this book - I love the story, the characters, my feelings and impressions when I read it and how it makes me feel afterward. Beautiful, dreamy, mystic, alien, lost, found, sure of myself, unsure, scared, exhilarated, joyous... everything. Everything. I think this book may have been everything to my growing up. I've never lost it. Know all the questions, but never the answers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This, along with The Egypt Game, is one my favorite Zilpha Keatley Snyder books. It's just a beautiful story about the changing friendship between two girls--Martha, who is painfully shy, and Ivy, the unique child of a nomadic family. This book made me want to stay age 11 forever, just to experience the freedom of childhood that these girls did. This, along with The Egypt Game, is one my favorite Zilpha Keatley Snyder books. It's just a beautiful story about the changing friendship between two girls--Martha, who is painfully shy, and Ivy, the unique child of a nomadic family. This book made me want to stay age 11 forever, just to experience the freedom of childhood that these girls did.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nilsson

    It's too bad that it never got to the part about her being a changeling and it was only about the human side of things. Does anyone know which kind of faeries she was descended from? It's too bad that it never got to the part about her being a changeling and it was only about the human side of things. Does anyone know which kind of faeries she was descended from?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Juushika

    Chubby, mousy Martha's childhood best friend is Ivy, daughter from a no-good family who claims to be a changeling. This has an episodic structure that threatens to be overbearing: the adventures of two imaginative outsiders are charming, evocative, sympathetic, but also frivolous. It's the cumulative effect which matters more, and while Martha's arc is dated (fat reader surrogates are fantastic; fat reader surrogates who lose weight while gaining confidence is problematic) her emotional growth s Chubby, mousy Martha's childhood best friend is Ivy, daughter from a no-good family who claims to be a changeling. This has an episodic structure that threatens to be overbearing: the adventures of two imaginative outsiders are charming, evocative, sympathetic, but also frivolous. It's the cumulative effect which matters more, and while Martha's arc is dated (fat reader surrogates are fantastic; fat reader surrogates who lose weight while gaining confidence is problematic) her emotional growth still resonates and the relationship between the girls has sincere chemistry. Ivy is by far the more interesting, dynamic character; Martha is a conservative PoV choice, but Snyder's compassion prevents Ivy's story from becoming a morality lesson and off-centering the most thoughtful parts of the narrative is something I suspect would age well with the reader. I would have liked this more as a younger reader; the restrained, episodic style means there's nothing especially engaging for an incoming adult reader. But I think I would have liked it very much indeed, and still appreciate Snyder's humor and humanity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Christenson Lang

    I loved this book so much as a child and was a bit nervous to reread it, as many of my favorites have not held up well. But this did! I have zero qualms about passing to my own children and I hope they too will feel a sense of kinship with these girls.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I accidentally deleted my review, but I do remember that this was a coming-of-age story with an interesting twist. And the girls both had strong imaginations, which I value.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Smith

    This was one of my absolute favorite books when I was a kid! I should read it again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    Loved this book as a kid. I thought it was about magic. I took all my books out of my parents' house and am re-reading them. I discovered this book is actually about class and friendships. It's well done and the ending is pitch perfect. Loved this book as a kid. I thought it was about magic. I took all my books out of my parents' house and am re-reading them. I discovered this book is actually about class and friendships. It's well done and the ending is pitch perfect.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I read this book for the first time as an adult, despite knowing about it since I was a kid, and my first thought was "Why didn't I ever read this when I was in middle school?" I went through something similar as Martha, and my bully was also named Kelly. I also liked making up stories and lived in a bit of a fantasy world as a kid. I felt like this book really told a great story of what it's like to be a kid. The main story revolves around a friendship between two girls, Martha and Ivy. Martha c I read this book for the first time as an adult, despite knowing about it since I was a kid, and my first thought was "Why didn't I ever read this when I was in middle school?" I went through something similar as Martha, and my bully was also named Kelly. I also liked making up stories and lived in a bit of a fantasy world as a kid. I felt like this book really told a great story of what it's like to be a kid. The main story revolves around a friendship between two girls, Martha and Ivy. Martha comes from a upper middle class family, and Ivy comes from a sketchier background. Ivy has many siblings and her family is always taking up and leaving at random, usually because someone in the family has gotten into some trouble. Martha's family doesn't approve of Ivy and discourages her from spending time with Ivy. Martha ends up hanging out with Ivy in most of her spare time anyway, and they invent elaborate fantasy stories. Ivy claims to be a "changeling," which is a baby born to a magical being and is switched at birth with a human baby. Considering how unusual Ivy is compared to most everyone else Martha knows, she figures Ivy just might be telling the truth. Martha has a neighbor, Kelly, who is the most popular girl in their class and likes to give Martha a hard time. With Ivy's help, Martha is able to gain more confidence throughout the story. I would recommend this book to anyone. It may have been written for children and teenagers, but I think most people could find something to relate to in the characters. A very well-written book and completely deserving of the awards it won.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Thrasher

    If Martha Abbott was alive today, she'd be in her mid-50s, give or take a few years. I wonder what happened to her after that fateful sophomore year? I'm sure, in fact I hope, that she didn't marry Rufus. That she moved to New York City, and became a Broadway actress. Hung out with Andy Warhol, went to Studio 54. In the late 80s, she gave it all up and moved to Vermont, where she opened a small theater that did summer stock. Or maybe an acting school. In her 50s, she's made a comeback on Broadwa If Martha Abbott was alive today, she'd be in her mid-50s, give or take a few years. I wonder what happened to her after that fateful sophomore year? I'm sure, in fact I hope, that she didn't marry Rufus. That she moved to New York City, and became a Broadway actress. Hung out with Andy Warhol, went to Studio 54. In the late 80s, she gave it all up and moved to Vermont, where she opened a small theater that did summer stock. Or maybe an acting school. In her 50s, she's made a comeback on Broadway. Or she's doing voice over work for an animated superhero series. Or she starred in Company as Joanne. Or more likely, she moved to San Francisco, where she had lots of gay friends who died of AIDs in the 80s, became politically active, started an underground theater group, married the guy of her dreams, had some fabulous children, outshone Cath and Tom (who are in their sixties now; her parents are at least in their 80s, probably in their 90s). Ivy became a modern ballet dancer, moved to New York. Or Paris. Had a string of lovers. Flirted with bisexuality. Knew and was known by everyone. Currently writing her memoir, where she will reveal everything. Kelly Peters is fat and lives in Modesto. The Changeling is a really terrific book, and hasn't really grown stale with age. It's still just as poignant as when I first read it, so many years ago.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bryn Olsen

    Zilpha Keatley Snyder was one of my favorite authors back in middle school when I started reading like crazy. In fact, The Velvet Room, is my all time favorite from that time. I was recently reminded of that fact and was considering re-reading it, but was afraid it would be a bit disappointing as an adult. As a trial, I picked another book of hers I remembered enjoying and figured if I still liked that as much, I would read Velvet Room again. Sadly, the Changeling was good but not great, at leas Zilpha Keatley Snyder was one of my favorite authors back in middle school when I started reading like crazy. In fact, The Velvet Room, is my all time favorite from that time. I was recently reminded of that fact and was considering re-reading it, but was afraid it would be a bit disappointing as an adult. As a trial, I picked another book of hers I remembered enjoying and figured if I still liked that as much, I would read Velvet Room again. Sadly, the Changeling was good but not great, at least from an adult point of view. It does have good messages for kids and the story isn't bad, but it just wasn't as engaging as I remembered it. Interestingly, my recollection of this book was that it was entirely fantasy, when in fact the "fantasy" portion is actually the real children's make believe and is a very small portion of the story. Apparently over time my mind substantially over-inflated the part I liked best. Consensus: I think I'll keep my love for The Velvet Room a much cherished memory.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    It's a simple story, really. Two girls, their friendship over the years of their childhood. But there is magic in it, too. Magic in the story, and in the reshaping of their realities into what they wanted, and needed, them to be, and magic in their friendship. This is a beautiful book about the power of imagination, and female friendship, and those crazy years between being a kid and being a teenager. Martha is every kid who feels like they don't belong and Ivy is the one kid who has never been It's a simple story, really. Two girls, their friendship over the years of their childhood. But there is magic in it, too. Magic in the story, and in the reshaping of their realities into what they wanted, and needed, them to be, and magic in their friendship. This is a beautiful book about the power of imagination, and female friendship, and those crazy years between being a kid and being a teenager. Martha is every kid who feels like they don't belong and Ivy is the one kid who has never been concerned with belonging. I think Ivy is the kid adults wish they had been... not in such a hurry to grow up, continuing to believe in magic long after most had given it up, and who dreams and runs and dances with joy and without caring what the world thinks. I read this with my 11 year-old daughter and I want those things for her. To have an Ivy or to BE an Ivy. To play and dream and create and to just be a kid, as long as possible.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    A re-read. Snyder's sure hand at the wheel gives this story a ring of truth and an immediacy flavored with the not-quite-supernatural. When I read it as a kid, I identified so closely with Ivy that I fancied myself a changeling too. Reading it as an adult, I have much more insight into both Ivy and me, and I still identify with her. I want to know what happened to her, where she's dancing now. A lovely, transcendent book. A re-read. Snyder's sure hand at the wheel gives this story a ring of truth and an immediacy flavored with the not-quite-supernatural. When I read it as a kid, I identified so closely with Ivy that I fancied myself a changeling too. Reading it as an adult, I have much more insight into both Ivy and me, and I still identify with her. I want to know what happened to her, where she's dancing now. A lovely, transcendent book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I am delighted that Open Road is making some of my most treasured books available as eBooks. Zilpha Keatley Snyder was my very favorite author as a child. My Mama reminds me that I forced her to read a couple of Snyder's books because I loved them so much. The Changeling is a wonderful mix of reality and fantasy. It has terrific characters and a great atmosphere. Ms Snyder at her best. Thank you, Open Road! I am delighted that Open Road is making some of my most treasured books available as eBooks. Zilpha Keatley Snyder was my very favorite author as a child. My Mama reminds me that I forced her to read a couple of Snyder's books because I loved them so much. The Changeling is a wonderful mix of reality and fantasy. It has terrific characters and a great atmosphere. Ms Snyder at her best. Thank you, Open Road!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jean Triceratops

    [I read old fantasy and sci-fi novels written by women authors in search of forgotten gems. See more at forfemfan.com] Martha Abbot is an outsider in her respectable WASP-like family. She's short and plump and doesn't care about group activities or appearances. She doesn't know what she does care about, to be honest. She simply wants to fade into the background and be left alone—in part because most everyone is horrid to her. Ivy Carson comes from a "bad family." She knows exactly what she wants: [I read old fantasy and sci-fi novels written by women authors in search of forgotten gems. See more at forfemfan.com] Martha Abbot is an outsider in her respectable WASP-like family. She's short and plump and doesn't care about group activities or appearances. She doesn't know what she does care about, to be honest. She simply wants to fade into the background and be left alone—in part because most everyone is horrid to her. Ivy Carson comes from a "bad family." She knows exactly what she wants: to be judged based on her own merits, not her family's reputation. And her merits are myriad: she's kindhearted, creative, brave, and resilient. Soon, Martha and Ivy are good friends, charging through childhood, then adolescence, together. But even the best of friendships are tested; people move, people change, people say the wrong thing at the worst time. Can the magic of their friendship last? Based on that premise, it's clear that The Changeling is written for a Young Adult audience and is not the least bit fantastical. Imma count it anyway because I bought it from my local used bookstore's fantasy section. For The Changeling's intended audience of Young Adults, this book has evident soul and merit. It's bound to strike a chord with anyone who has that one friend that makes the world a brighter place. It hints at how friendships change as adulthood looms but doesn't come on too strong with the "savor this moment" nostalgia that I loathed as a child. It also somehow feels timeless; aside from the lack of computers and cell phones, this book's events feel like they could have taken place in the 2010s. As an adult, The Changeling reads more on the sadly nostalgic side of bittersweet. It's not from the story itself; Martha and Ivy's adventures and experiences are slightly larger-than-life most of the time, as they need to drive a story, but they're not so dramatic or emotional. What's emotional is all of the memories that this book will push to the surface. It'll make you remember the beautiful simplicity of childhood friendship. I'm lucky enough to be good friends with my childhood best friend nearly 30 years later, so this book didn't trigger any regret about losing someone important from my life. Abby is still there; I can reach out to her any time, and I know she'll be there for me, as I'd be there for her. Even despite this, The Changeling made me wish, if only for a few minutes, to re-live how it felt to spend easy, mindless time with my best friend as the center of my world. And this is the reason why, as an adult, you might find deep value in reading The Changeling. Just be prepared that you're opting into nostalgia feels.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark Buxton

    My name is Martha, and my best, and only, friend Ivy says she's a changeling. She said she replaced the Carson baby when she was two years old. My parents don't like her as my friend, since I tend to get in more trouble with her. Dumping purple paint on the Girl Scout leader was an accident, but I guess stealing a horse could have been a bigger problem. I feel comfortable around Ivy and get to use more of my imagination. We invented a world in the trees called The Land of the Green Sky, and Ivy My name is Martha, and my best, and only, friend Ivy says she's a changeling. She said she replaced the Carson baby when she was two years old. My parents don't like her as my friend, since I tend to get in more trouble with her. Dumping purple paint on the Girl Scout leader was an accident, but I guess stealing a horse could have been a bigger problem. I feel comfortable around Ivy and get to use more of my imagination. We invented a world in the trees called The Land of the Green Sky, and Ivy just announced she doesn't plan on getting any older. We like to act out our creative lives, and Ivy says I'm really good at pretending to be the evil queen. The only problem is we always need to leave the tree and return to the real world. I never would have imagined the problems between Ivy and my neighbor Kelly Peters would result in such dramatic consequences. I was puzzled as I read the book, since the big conflict wasn't clear and I wasn't sure if it was actually a speculative fiction book. Ivy called herself a changeling and said she had abilities, but she didn't seem that different. She was confident and free-spirited but didn't do anything fantastic. The magic in the book was found in the girls' imaginations. The time span of the plot began with them in elementary school and ended with them in tenth grade. The girls grew from fun-loving little kids into more mature young ladies. The aging process was a bit confusing, as they continued to enjoy their imaginary world. I was surprised they didn't get hassled more by their classmates, as they entered middle school. Strangely, Ivy entered and left the story several times due to her family's shady history. My biggest issue with the book, as mentioned, was that I wasn't sure where the plot was headed. It seemed like a collection of stories until the book neared its end. At that point, a big problem arose and was solved. Overall, it was a good book, but didn't wow me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zev

    This is not a book about a changeling. The book is deliberately misleading, and readers find out why towards the end. I'm okay with this. I read this book when I was eight or nine, and marveled at it. More than twenty years later, I picked it up again. I was curious to learn if it would have the same effect on me. I had forgotten a lot of it, actually. The story is about the friendship between Martha and Ivy. Martha comes from a family with high expectations, high achievers, and strict gender ro This is not a book about a changeling. The book is deliberately misleading, and readers find out why towards the end. I'm okay with this. I read this book when I was eight or nine, and marveled at it. More than twenty years later, I picked it up again. I was curious to learn if it would have the same effect on me. I had forgotten a lot of it, actually. The story is about the friendship between Martha and Ivy. Martha comes from a family with high expectations, high achievers, and strict gender roles. As a child, she is chubby, cries a lot and doesn't like being a Girl Scout. She does not feel a sense of belonging in her own family. Ivy is a respite from all that. She, too, is a misfit in her own family. Creative, imaginative, confident and daring, she is nonetheless constrained by her family's circumstances. They're often on the run from the law, but come back to Martha's town every two years. They own a house there. Ivy's mom is an alcoholic. Her dad has a ton of bad luck in life. Her siblings are following in her parents' footsteps. Ivy's rich imagination helps her cope. Her friendship with Martha helps both girls immensely. Much of the book is dedicated to the games of make believe Ivy and Martha immerse themselves in. This takes a wonderful turn into them doing theater and dance in middle school. And then the plot shows up in the form of the antagonist, Kelly. Regina George is a descendant of hers, in movie form. My heart warmed at how Tom, Martha's star quarterback brother, stood up for his sister and was rightfully cold to Kelly. This was near the book's end, and I welcomed it. I laughed at some of it, delighted. The actual ending was predictable in some ways. I'm glad I read it as an adult now.

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