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The Changeling

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,056 ratings  ·  93 reviews
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 ...more
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Published 2008 by Dell Yearling (first published 1970)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,103)
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Monica!
It’s so funny to reread this book as an adult, friends, because in my memory I was convinced that it was total fantasy, but, um, wow. Not so much.

Not that I remembered much of any of the particulars, except I thought that they were princesses who lived in trees. Apparently that was make-believe. Also, I remembered their spell to always stay young, which in order to be effective needed to be shrieked at the top of one’s lungs whilst running wildly through the woods: “Know all the Questions, but n
...more
Stephanie
Sep 27, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ugly ducklings who want to channel their inner swans
Shelves: favorites, badgirls
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
...more
Miriam
Two very different girls share a secret place in the trees.


(photo by Lisa Kimmell)
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 ...more
Kim
Apr 22, 2013 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noncomformists and those who want to be
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.
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.
Francesca Forrest
One of my all-time favorite books and a big influence on my *everything*.
Bryn
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 ...more
Alberto
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?
NC
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!
Aly
This is a great coming of age story. Martha and Ivy are, in many ways, opposites, but they form a friendship that lasts and grows over the years, through the cycle of the disappearance from and return to the community where Martha's proper family lives by Ivy's less-than-savory one every couple of years or so. There are a few glimpses of the difficulties of Ivy's life, and while there are hints of worse trials for her, the details are never really fleshed out and the tragedy doesn't overshadow t ...more
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.
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
...more
D.M. Dutcher
It's a typical coming of age story about two girls from opposite sides of the tracks, but Snyder manages to make it fresh, compelling, and not a little sad.

This is the story of Martha, a shy somewhat overlooked child from a well-to-do family, and Ivy, a wild creative girl from a clan of people always down on their luck. Together or apart, the two grow up and change each other as they play in worlds both real and of their own making.

It's hard to explain why it works so well. It's hard to describe
...more
Char Freund
I enjoy young adult reads as they often know how to handle deep topics with a lighter touch. The Changeling deals with sibling rivalry, true friendship, bullying, and most of all resiliency despite family dynamics of alcoholism and lawbreaking.

Ivy finds escape through her imagination and creative play. This also benefits her shy friend, Martha. But there is something haunting in how Ivy weaves the story of how she was exchanged at birth and thus not like her other family members. This stings de
...more
Alissa Bach
Apr 04, 2009 Alissa Bach rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen & tween girls
A sophomore in high school, the pretty and popular Martha Abbott is worlds different from who she used to be: A shy, chubby outcast known to her family as Marty Mouse, a little girl who cried often and who used books and daydreams to escape from the reality of the world around her. Back then, the only person who truly understood Martha was Ivy Carson, the second-youngest daughter of a large, low-income family from the other side of town. The Carsons have earned themselves quite a bad reputation ...more
Haley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Juliette
My Brother in law bought me the first book of Zilpha's Green Sky Trilogy and I have become quite a fan of this author. I'm so glad that the author's guild brought these little treasures back into print.

The Changeling reminded me very much of Bridge to Terabithia in that there is two children from different backgrounds creating their own world and changing and growing because of it. Martha and Ivy are such well created characters that many readers could identify with some part or another of eithe
...more
Nerija
Excerpts from my Postcards from La-La Land combo review of Snyder's The Changeling and Janet Taylor Lisle's Afternoon of the Elves:

. . . . .

Back when I wrote my first Nostalgic Review, I mentioned that Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling had a similar story line [as Janet Taylor Lisle's Afternoon of the Elves]. I used to think Snyder’s story was a re-interpretation of Lisle’s, but in fact it’s the other way around, since The Changeling was published in 1970. Not that Lisle was necessarily con
...more
Jen
The Changeling was originally published in 1970 and republished in Dec. of 2012. When my children were young, we read Snyder's The Egypt Game, which remains one of my favorite juvenile books.

The Changeling won a Newbery Honor Book Award, the Christopher Medal, and was named an outstanding book for young people by the Junior Library Guild.

This is a YA novel about growing up, friendship, imagination, and trust. When seven-year-old Martha Abbot, a little overweight and shy, meets Ivy Carson, a fri
...more
Alyson
Childhood is magic. I read Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Headless Cupid and The Egypt Game when I was a kid and enjoyed them very much, but somehow The Changeling slipped past my radar until recently. I realized, as I was reading The Changeling for the first time, that all three of these books are a paean to the magic of childhood. The setting of each book is firmly grounded in reality—there are no apparent gates to other worlds or fairies tiptoeing about, just ordinary, everyday neighborhoods in ...more
Azar
Aug 06, 2009 Azar rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Bridge to Terabithia
I read this book for the first time when I was probably ten years old, ironically long before I picked up Bridge to Terabithia. Now years later after having read and loved both, it's genuinely difficult to say which is my favorite of the two.

Both books deal with a certain number of similar themes: an "ordinary" child whose life is transformed by an imaginative friend who opens their mind to a world of possibilities, then those friends are parted. The difference is that Ivy comes and goes from Ma
...more
Excalibur Snape
Prefered the cover on netgalley.
This is a middle grade book.
I could really relate with Martha ( Martey Mouse) I was a lot like her at that age. I still am.
Ivey was an interesting character like me she has the peter pan complex. Seriously who wants to growup being a grownup sucks.
The title is misleading I thought it was going to be a supernatural read but it wasn't.
There is no action just a lot of drama.
This was an entertaining read and I do recommend it.
Brown
It wasn't a bad book, but I was disappointed that it wasn't about real changelings at all. It wasn't even a fantasy book. When I found an old beat up copy at my library with no picture on the cover and a title that said, "The Changeling," I was expecting something more mysterious when I picked it up. I'm beginning to suspect no good books about real changelings really exist. It's not this book's fault, but the title was a little misleading to me.
Ann aka Iftcan
I will say that I emphasised with the secondary character in this book more than the main character. I was always "the odd one" as a kid--partly because we were Navy, and moved a lot, partly because I was the "plain" child in my family and partly because I was smart and finally because I was blind as a bat until at the age of 8 my Mum finally found an eye doctor who realized it. As a result, I really LOVED this book, with its main characters NOT being the pretty, popular girls that, until this b ...more
SARIT
HI
I read the book in one night.

This is my 1st time to read one of Zilpha Keatley Snyder. In some ways it reminde another book: "Afternoon of the Elves" by Janet Taylor Lisle.

Like Janet Taylor Lisle, Snyder also giving a different meaning tothe word "different" and like her it has almost magical meaning.

Snyder also, open a window to other worlds in her magical way. She also have carckters: one poor and burning with imaganation and other who came from a "good" family but a meek kind. The influence
...more
Shawn Thrasher
I think this book is now out of print, which is a shame. I wonder why it's not more popular? I don't think it feels stale or old fashioned (except for the covers), and it doesn't really have a slice of time sort of feel that some books from the sixties or seventies have. It pre-dates Judy Blume by a few years, but has that aura about it - kids alone in the world, against one another, surrounded by clueless or cruel or busy adults; Ivy Carson and Martha Abbott could go to school with all those aw ...more
Gina
I read this book a long time ago, so this is based on distant memory. I think it captures well the common feeling of not fitting in, and being something alien. The metaphor of the changeling is used with the protagonist's friend, Ivy, but even though Ivy is different from part of her family, she is similar to her younger sister, which is made very clear at the end. And even though the main character feels out of place in her family and school, that is improving towards the end. So, we do feel es ...more
Mrs. O' Leary
This sounds like a sci-fi book, but it's not. This is a classic. It's a truly beautiful book that all ages will appreciate.
Kelly
Great book. I read this more than once as a kid... there was a somewhat dark side to it that appealed to me!
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game", "The Headless Cupid" and "The Witches of Worm", Zilpha Keatley Snyder has been writing books for children since 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies", was published. Since that time she has completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younge ...more
More about Zilpha Keatley Snyder...
The Egypt Game (Game, #1) The Headless Cupid (Stanley Family, #1) The Witches of Worm The Velvet Room The Gypsy Game (Game, #2)

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“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”
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“The answers aren't important really... What's important is- knowing all the questions.” 6 likes
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