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The Changeling

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,328 ratings  ·  122 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
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published 1970 by Atheneum
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,328 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hilary by: Alexandra
4.5 stars. 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 respectabi
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
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, younger, realism
Two very different girls share a secret place in the trees.

(photo by Lisa Kimmell)
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Francesca Forrest
One of my all-time favorite books and a big influence on my *everything*.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Sherwood Smith
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
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 ...more
Sharon Smith
This was one of my absolute favorite books when I was a kid!

I should read it again.
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.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-fic-post1948
By the end of the first chapter, I wasn't liking this story. Martha sounded more like a 12 or 13 year old girl than the 15 year old teen that she was supposed to be. (Note: The illustration on the cover of my edition of the book may have thrown me off.) Fortunately, I was too sleepy to pick up another book, so I kept reading.

"Look for the different instead of the same." This is such an important statement, and because it is so contrary to the beliefs of most school age kids, it's nice to see it
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, with-mia
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 ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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?
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 ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was an engaging read about belonging (or not) and finding people who help cultivate your individuality instead of trying to mold you. The ending was a little underwhelming. The author had dropped a lot of interesting bread crumbs throughout the book that I was hoping she would explore more. Overall, though, I enjoyed this story about a friendship between two very different girls who supported each other when their (also very different) families did not. Parts of it definitely remind ...more
Maria Waltner
This reads like a Nancy Drew if Nancy had been younger, not solving mysteries and was a bit of an awkward crybaby with a very original friend.

The friend, Ivy, is really the main part of the story. Ivy and Martha's friendship grows and evolves as time passes. Ivy never seems to change and is always, authentically, 100% herself. Martha however changes from page to page becoming more imaginative, more confident and more herself (less swayed by the wishes of others).

Ivy comes and goes in the story
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a lot when I was a kid, so much that even all these years later, i remember certain passages and descriptions exactly. Martha and Ivy make friends in school and their friendship grows under some objections of Martha's family. Ivy's family is poor and the dad and the brothers are often in trouble with the law.

But Martha loves Ivy and her imagination and stories and the two invent a world they play in. It is a sweet friendship that is tested as they get older. I love the way Snyd
Genesis Hansen
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
What a gorgeous and wonderful story! The author beautifully captures the friendship between two young girls, both social misfits but for different reasons, who share a rich imagination and sense of the inherent drama and magic of life. Loved it.
I never read this as a child, but I totally devoured it as an adult. Really well-done and stands the test of time. Martha's and Ivy's characterizations are so subtle yet vivid. And Alton Raible's illustrations of this edition really enhance the story.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-oh, ya
I know I would have loved this book much more if I had read out as a preteen, but out still was a pretty good book. Not what I expected, but in a good way.
Sharon Buxton
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A. YA, fiction, coming of age, Mom's stash, keep.
Ms. B
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, childrens, magic
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.
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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 began writing books for children in 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies," was published. Over the course of the career she completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for y ...more
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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”
“The answers aren't important really... What's important is- knowing all the questions.” 5 likes
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