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The Changeling Paperback – June 8, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sometimes a book turns up with what might be called instant appeal: you really want to know the next move, to go where the characters take you. The Changling seemed to me, as I read it, a book of that kind." Naomi Lewis, in The Newsagent and Bookshop "Amusing, perceptive and touching, written with ease and point, this is an almost classic example of the book programmed directly for young readers - none the worse for it, but proving, perhaps, that there is such a thing as a 'children's book'." Growing Point --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm, Zilpha Keatly Snyde's first book was published in 1964. Since that time she has authored 42 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younger children and a book of poetry.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Backinprint.com (June 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595321801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595321803
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,187,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A previous reviewer noted this book was for little (and Big) girls everywhere. But this is truly a story for everyone. Like many other reviewers, I first read this story when I was 10. I loved Ivy's free spirit, and empathized with Martha, shy and worried about others, but allowing herself to be pulled into Ivy's world. And I was devastated when, in Junior High School, Ivy was apparently overcome by the cruel assesments of those around her.
Part of Zilpha K. Snyder's magic as a writer is her ability to create young characters who face real tragedies and traumas and yet somehow overcome what seem to be the insurmountable odds of suviving adolescence. Facing my own crises as I approached Junior High, I found her books at once inspiring and reassuring.
Reading them again now, almost 30 years later, I am shocked at what I didn't see before, and what my favorite nine year old girl sees that I don't. I can't read the first or final two chapters of this book now without crying for Ivy, even as I know that in the end she is able to pursue her dream. She became a messiah-like figure for Martha, saving her from the expectations of Martha's own family, and giving her the confidence to discover herself and live life to the fullest. But she suffered greatly and was even briefly rejected by Martha when Ivy herself was hurting the most. And still she triumphs and forgives. Would that we all had such friends.
This book should definitely become a yearling edition. It is one of the best works of childrens literature ever penned.
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Format: Paperback
Am I the only male that read books like this and loved them as a teenager??? I can vividly remember reading this and carrying it around for an entire school year re-reading it. I think reviewers are doing the young men of this world an injustice not suggesting that they read books like this as well!
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book almost thirty years ago, and it still touches me just as deeply. This is the story of how the shy and chubby Martha, who feels that she cannot measure up to her superstar family, meets Ivy, the free-spirited, imaginative daughter of the town's most notorious family. Martha becomes Ivy's home and family, and Ivy brings Martha out of her shell and helps her to see her full potential. A story that is truly timeless and everyone can relate to - whether the reader is currently experiencing the painful awkwardness of childhood or simply remembering it. Everyone can remember how it feels to not fit in anywhere, and innocently do things that you are ridiculed and teased for. I think everyone knew a rich bitch in school, someone who was sweet as sugar to adults, but a little two-faced sneak to other kids. Too bad everyone couldn't have Martha's wonderful experience of having a friend like Ivy.
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Format: Paperback
I can't remember when I first read this book, but it was one of the few non-fantasy books I really loved as a girl. Martha and Ivy are drawn with a great deal of feeling, each outcasts in their own way (I identified with shy Martha, and years later was lucky enough to have an unconventional friend somewhat like Ivy). With strong messages about being oneself and not giving in to peer pressure, I feel this book can help give young girls the courage to be different at a very difficult age. I can't believe that it's out of print. Thank god I saved my copy.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike most of the other people who wrote these reviews, I didn't have the luxury of reading The Changeling back in the 70's. (If only...) I read this book first in 4th grade, and I'm now in high school. I came across it in a used bookstore, and about a year later, I decided to read it, since it was sitting, unread, on my book shelf. I loved Ivy, and I wished that I could have been like her, and believed in all that magic. I especially loved the book for all the ceremonies, and it encouraged me to "not grow up too fast" for several years. It was always a great thing to think that Martha and Ivy were still playing pretend in middle school, and so maybe it was okay that I still did in the first year. Another thing that I realize about it though, is that even though it treasures childhood, it does not portray growing up as a terrible thing either. Martha goes to high school, and survives without Ivy. She is happy and has friends, even though she has grown up and become more "normal". I have read it every year since 4th grade, and every year I write my name in the book (an idea which seemed cool in 5th grade). I read a few other books by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and the ones I like most were not her most famous ones. I also reccommend the green-sky trilogy, which (I emailed her to ask this, and she replied!!) was indeed based on Martha and Ivy's pretend play in the treetops at Bent Oaks grove. I highly reccommend the Changeling, it can be appreciated by all ages...especially people who are close to children.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I first read The Changeling when I was 12, and its impact on my life has been so pervasive that I barely know how to begin to talk about it. It's still my favorite book, all these years later; I re-read it about once a year, and every time I notice new things about the characters and their dynamic and the magical ways they transform each other's lives. Martha is the "ordinary" one, quietly suffocating in a relentlessly narcissistic family until her friendship with Ivy transforms her and gives her the strength to become her own individual. Ivy is the "out of this world" one, determined to transcend her family's darkness and chaos; she's the spokesperson for the possibility of magic and beauty in the world, even as the ugliness of her family situation threatens to pull her down. Any capsule description can only fail to do justice to the mystery and beauty of this book, though; the story just glows with magic and wonder, in the many memorable moments and adventures the girls have, and the way they grow and change through their friendship and manage to become strong, creative people who transcend their screwed-up families. And the way that Ms. Snyder explores these themes in such a powerful and magical way that one comes away buoyed with hope and feeling transformed. It's not at all a typical exploration of childhood or adolescent angst; rather it shows the girls' journey toward adulthood and individuality as a mysterious and captivating journey, suffused with wonder.

I love reading these reviews and seeing how others have related to the characters, and how the story is complex enough that people's experiences of it change over the years. When I was a kid, I utterly identified with Ivy. Some time in my twenties I was surprised to realize how much I'm like Martha.
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