Zilpha Keatley Snyder has written over 40 books, three of which were Newbery Honor titles. Several of her books remain on my library shelves, and I felt like it was time to re-visit one of my favorites, The Changeling.
The Changeling is the story of Martha Abbott, who doesn't seem to fit in with her very accomplished, talented, and extremely busy family. She finds a friend in the exotic Ivy Carson, who informs Martha she isn't really one of the Carson clan, but a changeling (a child of magical creatures). The misfit girls become friends, and Ivy introduces Martha to an extraordinary world of make-believe. Martha begins to see she can be so much more than she thought. Each time Ivy leaves with her family, Martha struggles to find her way on her own. Upon Ivy's return, the two girls easily resume their friendship, and their make-believe games. Ivy literally moves in and out of Martha's life over a period of several years. Ivy's vivid imagination is her escape from her own life...the Carsons are notorious for getting in trouble around town and with the law (hence the frequent moves). Through her friendship with Ivy, Martha begins to outgrow her crying "Marty Mouse" self, and emerges as a more-confident, capable teenager. Ivy continues to work to rise above her family reputation and dreams of being a dancer, but as she enters her teen years, the struggle begins to take its toll. When Martha and Ivy are accused of vandalism at the school, their friendship is tested. In the moment of crisis, would you stand up for your friend? And if the world turns on you again and again, would you be able to stay positive and keep believing in your dreams?
This is a wonderful book about growing up, trying to fit in, and working to figure out who you are. The themes of friendship, loyalty, family, and forgiveness still resonate in this classic novel.
I highly recommend this book. It was originally published in 1970, and it was re-issued a few years ago. Although it seems to be out of print again, you could probably find a used copy. If you are fortunate enough to have this book on your shelves, read it again! This one is still one of my favorites!
Have you read this book? Let me know what you think!
Check out "Book Warp 1 - Reading Blue Willow" here.