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Give and Take

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Twelve-year-old Maggie knows her new baby sister who smells like powder isn’t her sister for keeps. Izzie is a foster baby awaiting adoption. So in a day or a week, she’ll go to her forever family and all that sweetness will be gone. Except for those things Maggie’s secretly saving in the cardboard boxes in her closet and under her bed. Baby socks, binkies, and a button fr ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  294 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Victoria Coe
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If the blue whale has the biggest heart in the entire world, Maggie Hunt has the second biggest. She loves her family, her friends, and her animals so big and so hard, she wants to treasure every memory of the everyday wonderful of every single day. And she's terrified that she won't be able to do that without her treasures.

Maggie's treasures range from gum wrappers to a special necklace and everything in between. But when the treasures begin to get out of control, Maggie finds she's unable to l
mindful.librarian ☀️
(free review copy) Swartz has given the middle grade market yet another heartfelt story that will resonate with so many readers! In GIVE AND TAKE, 7th grader Maggie is dealing with major anxiety that manifests in hoarding behaviors, along with sadness about the death of her grandmother and uncertainty about her family's new role fostering infants before adoption. She is also on a trap-shooting team and is dealing with changes to her team. There are such strong family dynamics in the story, and I ...more
Sarah Aronson
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just woke up extra early to finish Elly Swartz's newest novel, GIVE AND TAKE. (I couldn't put it down!!!) I was so lucky to receive an early ARC through #booksojourn and Elly.

This book is overflowing with heart and yearning and the real fears kids experience when it comes to the confusing and painful nature of loss. It's also about friendship and family--and real and tough choices. And big emotions. Maggie and her family are interesting and will give young readers much to think about.

Only spoil
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.2

Do you like to collect things? Baseball cards...Coins...Action Figures? But what about when you start collecting things like gum wrappers, used plates and straws, milk cartons? Maggie is a fun-loving kid who has great friends, a loving family, and is a pro at trapshooting. However, Maggie has a lot of stress in her life. Her family is becoming a foster family for a newborn baby while she is awaiting her forever adopted family. Maggie loves Izzie so much tha
Kristin Crouch
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC of Give and Take with Collabookation.
Wowza, Elly Swartz does it again: creates a real (not perfect) family that I'd gladly live next door to. This story centers around Maggie, a big hearted girl who recently lost her grandma to dementia and it's complications. Despite her having so many wonderful things in her life: wonderful parents, a supportive grandpa nearby who knows when it's the right time to just sit together, an adoring little brother, a busy
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it

Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!

I am clearly a huge fan of books featuring turtle pets in them.

All hail Bert the Turtle.


Years ago, I read Elly Swartz's debut novel Finding Perfect, and adored it. Swartz has this amazing ability to tackle tough subjects in middle grade in such a way where it is both gentle and effective. Give & Take looks at twelve-year-old Maggie, who falls in love with a baby her parents are fostering, but is forced to learn that not everything in permanen
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maggie's beloved grandmother recently died after a bout with dementia. And now her family is fostering a pre-adoption baby, Izzie. Maggie already was dealing with her anxiety by hoarding, but the knowledge that this tiny baby she loves so much is going to leave and won't remember her, is too much for Maggie. Terrified that she will start to forget things as well, her hoarding kicks into overdrive. After a scary day when she screams at her mother for touching a box of her things, her parents brin ...more
Neelam Babul
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A touching and heart warming story.

This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with many changes in her life, including a baby for whom her family is serving as a temporary foster family and the recent death of her beloved grandmother.

Before her death Maggie’s grandma suffering from dementia, forgot Maggie. This created a deep fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. In order to prevent herself from forgetting what she deems important in her li
Cynthia Parkhill
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
With Give and Take, author Elly Swartz addresses compulsive hoarding. The protagonist, 12-year-old Maggie, suffered a traumatic experience when her beloved grandmother suddenly no longer remembered who Maggie was.

More recently, Maggie faces having to surrender a foster-baby whom her family is caring for, and her trapshooting squad is losing its status as an all "Girl Power" team. One of her friends was transferred to another team and a boy now holds her position. So much upheaval ... and Maggie
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elly Swartz has again brought a perfectly imperfect heroine to middle grade readers. Maggie, a champion skeet shooter, lives with her parents and brothers in a loving home. Maggie’s parents decide to become short term foster parents for babies who are awaiting their adoptive homes. Maggie and the boys are totally on board. But when Baby Isabelle joins the family, they all bond with her immediately. Maggie, who does not handle goodbyes well, begins to keep small insignificant (to others) items to ...more
Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

As someone who struggles with anxiety herself, this book hit REALLY close to home. While I couldn't relate to the hoarding issues that Maggie dealt with in the story, her fears about causing bad things to happen with her thoughts, her worries about forgetting important and happy memories, her struggles with letting go of things, all of that felt achingly real to me. Swar
Brittany Bays
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This. Book. Is. Sunshine. That's the best word of how this book made me feel. Maggie was such a lovable character from start to finish - possibly my favorite middle grade character I've ever read.

My favorite thing about this book is the tough topics it covers, so effortlessly. Death of a grandparent, seeing a therapist, short-term fostering, having compulsions/hoarding issues, tough moments wit
Karen McKenna
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I appreciated the unique elements of this book:
- the sport of trap shooting
- a pet turtle
- anxiety manifesting as holding on to things
- a real look at therapy for kids
- infant foster care and adoption

I really felt Maggie's journey as she struggled with anxiety that threatened to make the "big ugly" come out and spin out of control. Her lists of kept items and how she worked through them was really interesting and I appreciate how it normalizes and destigmatizes anxiety and therapy. I also a
Laura Gardner
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Give and Take by @ellyswartzbooks (thanks for the free book for #kidlitexchange via @kate.olson.reads!) is a classic #mglit problem book about a young girl who is struggling with anxiety. Issues addressed include childhood hoarding, foster care, adoption, friendship problems and more. 4/5; recommended for grades 3+. Definitely recommend to readers who loved Finding Perfect!
Sep 30, 2019 added it
This is another touching story, about a girl who is not perfect, but has a big heart, from Elly Swartz. Maggie is dealing with anxiety, sadness, and the fear of letting go, but with support of friends and family works through her challenges.
Jill Diamond
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved both of Elly Swartz's other books - FINDING PERFECT and SMART COOKIE - so I was excited for GIVE AND TAKE. Once again, Swartz writes an important, touching and heartfelt story, this time about Maggie, a twelve-year-old girl dealing with change, loss, and anxiety. A wonderful book that handles the issues of hoarding and mental health in a compassionate way - highly recommended!
Amber K.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love that Elly tackles mental health issues in kids and this is something we NEED more of in kid lit!!!

In this book, Maggie struggles with letting go of physical things such as gum wrappers, bendy straws and other miscellaneous memorabilia that isn’t significant to her family, but it is significant to her. Maggie is worried she will lose the memory attached to the item if she throws it away. When her parents notice that she is keeping things that she doesn’t need to keep, they take action and
Pam  Page
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Swartz tackles the topics of anxiety and hoarding in this middle grade novel. Maggie's grandmother passed away and in her late stages of dementia she did not recognize Maggie any longer. This led to Maggie not wanting to let go of "things" to enable her to keep her memories. I love the way Maggie's parents handle the issue gently, yet do not just let it go. Beautiful story that I really enjoyed.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been excited to read this book since I first heard about it! Elly writes about complex emotional struggles in children with such tenderness and understanding. In Give and Take, bighearted Maggie loves to save things - hurt or lost animals, the feelings of friends. When dementia causes her beloved grandmother to forget Maggie, she tries to save her own memories by hiding away a growing collection of objects. During this time, her family also begins to foster a newborn, whom Maggie instantl ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
The cover was nice. Unfortunately, this entire book was completely unrealistic. The mindset of the characters, the parents reactions, the whole thing. We have fostered and done this EXACT thing before- except it was a baby boy. This book was really disappointing, and I hope there are books out there that capture what fostering truly is. I could sit here and name all the stuff wrong, but that would take me all day.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elly Swartz is a master storyteller who has a unique way with words. Her books are filled with heart and soul. Give and Take is no different. This powerful story of twelve year old Maggie’s journey will quickly become a favorite for middle grade readers whether they be children or adults.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Give and Take by Elly Swartz, 301 pages. Farrar, Straus, Giroux (Macmillan), 2019. $17

Content: G



Since the day her Nana stopped recognizing her, Maggie has tried to hold tight to every memory – which means she holds onto a thing to help her remember. Maybe it’s the necklace her grandmother gave her, but maybe it’s the milk carton from a great lunch with her friends. Her locker is full; her closet is full. Then her mom announces that they
Olga Barnes
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot praise this book enough! It is so touching, so emotional, so very reflective of our kids' inner worlds! Up to now, I have not seen a lot of books that would include the complex dynamics of fostering a child - not from the standpoint of that child, but from the standpoint of other family members. This book is a first for me! It reflects the relationships between different generations within a family (those grandparents are SO important!), between siblings, friends, members of a team, hum ...more
Michelle Simpson
This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with the many changes in her life, including a baby for whom they are serving as a foster family. Before her death Maggie’s grandma (who suffered with dementia) forgot Maggie. This created a fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. She begins keeping all kinds of objects, including trash, to assure herself that she will remember what is important to her. She becomes obsessive and territorial about her c ...more
J. S.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this incredibly engaging book and the heart-warming way Maggie navigates the hurtles she faces. Give and Take is a beautifully written, touching story that tackles important issues. Elly Swartz seamlessly weaves together each chapter so the reader is completely immersed in the plot twists and Maggie’s emotional growth. From the first to last page, I was pulled into Maggie’s world!
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a girl named Maggie. Maggie and her family have adopted a baby for time being. The baby will stay with them just for a few days, then the baby will go to her forever family. This story is so sweet and sad. This book teaches people how to let go of things. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!
“Truth is, life’s filled with give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It’s a forever thing.”

Maggie and her family have been through a very tragic experience. Maggie calls it the Forgot-me Day. It was the day her Nana no longer remembered her name or who she was. Maggie is devastated by this and the thought of something like that happening to her terrifies her, though she doesn’t tell anyone ... not even her best friend, Ava, who is o
Katie Reilley
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group!

Twelve year old Maggie is going through changes in her life. Before she died, her grandma had dementia which caused her to forget Maggie. Maggie’s all-girl trapshooting team is being reconfigured and now includes a boy. Her parents have decided to foster a baby girl that Maggie fears will have to leave them soon.

Maggie has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever read. After her grandma’s dementia, anxiety sets in, and she’s
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
About Give and Take: Maggie is a caring 12-year-old who loves her family and friends. Her daily life includes trapshooting with her friends at school (with her dad as the coach) and helping to care for Isabella, the family's foster baby. Maggie has 2 brothers, as well, who give her a run for her money. Maggie would love to call Izzy her sister, but mom and dad made it clear that this is a temporary arrangement.
"Temporary" haunts Maggie -- her grandmother recently passed, and didn't remember he
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maggie has a huge heart and loves so deeply that when she experiences loss, she suffers a “giant missing” inside. In Elly Swartz’s touching third novel, GIVE AND TAKE (set to release on October 15) you’ll fall in love with Maggie who is dealing with tremendous grief because of the second worst day of her life: her grandmother’s funeral last year. She is so worried that she’ll forget her precious memories of her friends and family because of the first worst day of her life: when her grandmother f ...more
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Elly Swartz loves writing for kids, Twizzlers, and anything with her family. She grew up in Yardley, Pennsylvania, studied psychology at Boston University, and received a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Elly is the author of 4 contemporary middle grade novels. Her debut novel, FINDING PERFECT (FSG 2016) is about 12-year-old Molly, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will dete

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