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Changeover: A Supernatural Romance (Point)
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Changeover: A Supernatural Romance (Point) [Mass Market Paperback]

Margaret Mahy
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1994 Point
"When three-year-old Jacko is stricken with a baffling illness, his teenage sister Laura, a 'sensitive,' is the only one to recognize that demonic possession is the true cause of his malady. . . . The beautiful characters grow with readers and the style is beautiful but ornate. An extraordinarily rich and sensitive novel."--School Library Journal, starred review. Winner of the Carnegie Medal; ALA Notable Book; ALA Best Book for Young Adiults; School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; Booklist Editor's Choice.

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Editorial Reviews


"Original and unforgettable -- a seamless combination of supernatural thriller and teenage love story." The Guardian "Magical and unforgettable." Mizz "The characters are believable, the dialogue sparkles, detailed descriptions hold our attention! First published in 1984, The Changeover has lost nothing of its power." Inis "Some books just stand head and shoulders above the rest, don't they? The Changeover is one such! It's a passionate, electric read!gets a full five star rating! Don't miss it." The Book Bag --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Margaret Mahy was born in New Zealand and has loved telling stories all her life. She has published well over a hundred titles and won several major prizes and awards, including The Order of New Zealand, for her internationally-acclaimed contribution to children's literature. She has twice won the prestigious Carnegie Medal, (The Haunting, 1982, and The Changeover, 1984). Margaret lives in the South Island of New Zealand, in a house which she partially built herself, overlooking Governor's Bay. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Point
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140365990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140365993
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it's the prefects you need to watch out for! December 4, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Margaret Mahy's book is an unusual take on the juvenile magic-user theme. It takes place in New Zealand, in a single-parent home. Laura Chant lives with her divorced mother, and her toddler brother. Nothing is entirely reliable in Laura's world, certainly not her slightly flaky mother, their extremely flaky car, and especially the surrounding landscape, being transformed from forest and farm into a new subdivision.
Chant, perfectly named, can sense things that others can't. She can sense that her brother's rapid descent into illness is supernatural, and that it is linked to the boy's unfortunate contact with the also perfectly named Carmody Braque. She also can sense that the mysterious prefect at her school, an older boy named Sorensen Carlisle, is a "witch" and that he may hold the only key to healing her brother.
Sorry, as he's called, is one of those magnificent characters, the enigmatic boy who shows all the signs of being a proto-romance hero. But here, he's young, sly, and not above using his advantage over Laura. Mahy writes Laura as a strong character, and watching her handle Sorry is a lot of fun.
This novel is full of brooding atmosphere but with a great contemporary setting. Mahy's protagonist carries her weight, but everyone else is equally nuanced and fascinating. The book calls itself a romance, but I've never read an adult romance filled with such menacing ambiguity.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my teenage favorites November 30, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book as a teenager when it originally came out in 1984. The greatest compliment that I can give The Changeover is that twenty+ years later, I still reread it sometimes--and I still enjoy it. I can't say that about too many of my childhood books.

The Changeover was a rare bird back in mid-eighties--there weren't too many well-written books about magic and the supernatural with teenage girls as the protagonists in those days. This was a genre that I adored and could never get enough of back then. So this novel was an instant favorite.

There are certain books that you read when you are young that shape the kind of person that you become--not necessarily in a large way, but in subtle way. The Changeover was one of these books for me. I didn't realize it when I read the book at fourteen, but The Changeover is a metaphor for changing from childhood to adulthood--from becoming a girl to becoming a woman. And this book really captures that--all the insecurity and the fear, and even the pleasure that you feel as a girl in your own new-found, womanly power. I guess this book appealed to me so much because it made me feel better about a lot of the things I was going through at fourteen; it gave me a certain confidence in myself: I wasn't just getting older--I was becoming a different being.

I have read other comments about this book and I agree with the reviewers that say they want a sequel. I still think about Laura from time to time--she and I were the same age when the book came out--and I often wonder what became of her and what type of woman she became.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divorce, adolescence, and witchcraft.... April 29, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the best young adult book I have ever read. Laura and Sorry are unforgettable. Their shared scenes crackle with electricity (remember the munching thunderclouds?) and never has a male witch been so...appealing.
Laura Chant is a sensitive, a girl with supernatural inclinations, with certain glimpses into the future. One day she looks into the mirror and sees herself changed. She is aware that her world is going to change, but doesn't know what to do about it. Then her beloved brother Jacko starts to sicken from what she knows is not a natural cause. She's recognized the school prefect Sorenson Carlisle as a witch, and goes to him for help. He tells her that in order to save Jacko she can be changed over, that is become a witch, but the transformation is irrevocable. She will forever be separate from most others.
Mahy is an incredible writer. She makes the strange seem like home, and also makes the familiar worth another look. Read this book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful coming-of-age story for all ages. January 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a teenager, I first saw The Changeover in the pages of a book club catalogue and I was drawn to it by the promise of a "supernatural romance" (two of my favorite topics in one book!). Once I actually read this book, I fell in love with it and have dragged it out of the old bookcase many times since. Until recently, I hadn't read The Changeover in quite some time. Now, armed with an English degree and an irrepressible need to over-analyze every piece of writing, I am EVEN MORE IMPRESSED! Laura, as a "sensitive", is standing on the threshold between two worlds, caught between the life she has always known as a mere mortal and the promise of a new, powerful existence as a witch. However, as a teenager, Laura is also on the verge of adulthood, waiting to enter a world that is just as foreign and mysterious to her as that of the supernatural. This parallel in the story beautifully expresses how becoming a woman is, in effect, like becoming a witch. The Changeover is not just about one girl who crosses over to a world of magic. It represents the changeover that ALL girls make on their journey to womanhood and, in so doing, attain their full potential and power as a human being (as well as a little "magic"). This is an excellent message for young women, and it is even more impressive for its subtlety.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am almost forty andI love this book
I am almost forty andI love this book. I would check it out at the library once a month when I was younger and then when I got older I would get it once a year and still read it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this book. I've read it over and over again.
Published 6 months ago by cricketd666
4.0 out of 5 stars Shapes up nicely
Laura Chant isn’t your average New Zealand teenager, and I’d say that even if I had a clue what New Zealand teenagers were really like. Read more
Published 9 months ago by E.J. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky girl protects her sibling!
I read this as a middle school kid, I think, and even though the concepts were a bit scary for me, I liked the way it was written. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Swank Ivy
4.0 out of 5 stars A favorite from my teens
I adore this book; it was one of my favorites during my pre-teen and teen years. It follows Laura Chance through a mystical adventure to save her little brother from a psychic... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Miranda
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting me after 30 years
I probably read this when it first came out in 1984. The fact that it dances into my mind once a month or so all these years later is pretty telling, I'd say. Read more
Published 19 months ago by K. Levin
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read even after all these years
I first read The Changeover when I was about twelve, and have reread it many, many times since then. Read more
Published on April 18, 2013 by Shelly84
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong teen read
Laura Chant is a teen growing up with her divorced mom and younger brother in New Zealand. Laura sees that something is happening to her brother but no one else seems to understand... Read more
Published on March 29, 2013 by Debnance at Readerbuzz
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been reading this book for ten years.
I read this book for the first time more than ten years ago and I loved it. I finally decided to look it up again a couple of years ago and I still felt the same way so finally I... Read more
Published on March 24, 2013 by Cynthia Rambo
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised this book hasn't gained more of a following
...given the recent upsurge in the supernatural teen genre. This book surpasses all of them. Others have given a good breakdown of the plot, so I won't repeat it here. Read more
Published on May 6, 2012 by M. Salisbury
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More About the Author

Margaret Mahy lives in New Zealand and is internationally acknowledged as one of the most outstanding children's writers today. She is the author of more than two hundred books for children of all ages, two of which have received England's Carnegie Medal and others of which have garnered numerous citations from the American Library Association. She is also the recipient of An Order of New Zealand, the highest honor a citizen can receive. In 2006 she received the Hans Christian Andersen award for her contributions to international children's literature.

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