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Give and Take

4.70  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  37 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
Expected publication: October 15th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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4.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  70 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Kate ☀️ Olson
(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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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!
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
Mandy Stallard
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookposse
Maggie keeps things that are sentimental to her and stores them in boxes in her room. She doesn't want to forget anyone or any experience like her grandmother forgot her. Everybody keeps mementos, but Maggie keeps items that most people throw away: gum wrappers, sticks, and empty milk cartons to name a few. If anyone in her family dares to get close to her boxes and find out her secret, she gets enraged. Maggie wants to hold onto everything and everyone she loves, so she is having an especially ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
“My insides are filled with a missing that can’t be fixed with words.” (85) Twelve-year-old Maggie’s world seems to be filled with good-byes. It all began on the first worst day of her life—"Forgot Me Day,” the day her Nana forgot who Maggie was, and then the second worst day, the day Nana died. Maggie becomes anxious that she will forget what is special in her life, and she starts collecting mementoes of small moments. She hides boxes under her bed and in her closet, boxes filled with gifts but ...more
Lorie Barber
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to the author for sharing Give and Take with our reading group. This unique and heartfelt realistic fiction published in October.
By unique, I mean the characters and the story. I’ve never read a book where the protagonist shoots trap, nor have I read a MG that explores anxiety with such symptoms. Swartz clearly did meticulous research, and it shows throughout the narrative. Maggie’s inner thoughts and reactions to stress are so genuine that I times I found myself thinking about form
Haley Shaffer
I’ve struggled with anxiety for my whole life, so when my four year old began chewing his shirt, having meltdowns when our plans would change, and started asking lots of what if questions I knew he needed help. And I knew it was okay even though people told me he’d grow out of it or he needed to toughen up.

This book spoke to my heart because I saw so much of myself and my child in it.

Maggie collects pieces of her life so she can remember moments, both big and small. But when she finds her mom
N. Moss
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got to read an ARC of this book, and honestly, I didn't plan to read the whole thing. The cover is sort of BLAH which should not have anything to do with whether or not I read the book, but it didn't enchant me. Well, I read the first chapter and I was ENCHANTED. Maggie is the sweetest, most loving big sister (12 years old) but she is fearful, after having suffered some loss. Her family decides to embark on very short term fostering of newborns awaiting adoption papers, and Maggie is incredibl ...more
Amber Webb
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elly Swartz has a knack for writing about children with challenges that aren’t often discussed in children’s literature.
In Give and Take Maggie has a wonderful family who has a lot of love to give, but they have also faced their share of loss. Maggie continues to grieve the loss of her grandmother in ways that no one really knows about until one day her anger bubbles over in a way that not even she was prepared for. Maggie struggles with holding on to things in order to save her memories and it
Ray Lee
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for any middle grade classroom library or read aloud. Readers enter Maggie's world and learn about having empathy for someone who is struggling with things a lot of our young students go through. We all fear letting go, taking risks, trying new things, and forgetting. Thank you Elly Swartz for creating a story that jumps off the pages into our hearts. There are many ways students can interact with the text from STEAM connections, identifying theme, and discussing character c ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this one. With family currently fostering an infant, it hit very close to home. Temporary love seems nearly impossible, and letting go is even harder to imagine when these little people take up residence in our hearts.

I liked too how this one tackled hoarding in children, with explanation and understanding. It dealt with being a good friend and the challenge of doing the right thing when it
Tonya Foster
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stayed up late to finish the Maggie’s story. In a story of a child that struggles to let go of items, I was not surprised about her feelings of loss, worry, and embarrassment. Maggie’s anger was surprising to me, but after contemplation that makes total sense when one thinks of the nature of her mental illness. It is wonderful to have books such as this one to allow us to talk about these anxiety and loss.
I really liked this book. I just kept wishing someone would tell Maggie that she could remember all the special people and events in her life by writing about them in her Go On, Change the World! notebook.

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Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EARC from Edelweiss
As she did in Finding Perfect, Elly Swartz has written a story with a character whose problem will resonate with many readers. In this case, Maggie collects/saves too many things. This is skillfully addressed within a great story and the author includes backmatter to help guide someone working through this issue.
Rachel Yoder
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ms-books
I just love the families in Elly Swartz’s books. Although the character in this one has anxiety that manifests itself in a specific way, I think many kids who find themselves worrying about things will find something to relate and hold onto.
Jennifer Guyor Jowett
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a heartfelt read. From the very first chapter, you will fall in love with Maggie, Izzy, and Charlie. Elly Swartz has a deft hand in sharing all the layers of a character and the complications that unfold.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I fell in love with Maggie and her big heart right from the start. And what an amazing family Maggie comes from with so much love to give. Elly Swartz did an incredible job portraying Maggie's anxiety and how it manifested itself. I also appreciated how she portrayed the parents' steps to help Maggie. Middle grade readers will adore this book!
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Elly Swartz loves writing for kids, Twizzlers, and anything with her family. Her debut novel, FINDING PERFECT (FSG 2016) is about twelve-year-old Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. In her second book, SMART COOKIE (Scholastic, 2018), you meet the spunky and big-hearted Frankie. Frankie’s all about family with a dash of mischief and mystery ...more
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