Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1682
Another Book that Inspires Empathy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
I had the privilege of reading and reviewing The Secret Tree a couple of years ago, and so I was excited to dig into Switched at Birthday, which turned out to be another great book by Natalie Standiford. In it, we get the classic combination of the popular, pretty girl juxtaposed with the nerdy, not-very-pretty girl. Scarlet and Lavender both turn 13 on the same day, and they inadvertently wish to be another person, and based off the title of the book I'm sure you can guess what happens next.

At times, this book can be difficult to follow, since each chapter switches between the two girls, who are inhabiting one another's body. However, I found it to be much less so than expected, and the most important aspect of this story, which is learning how to see beyond the exterior of someone's life and appreciating what is inside, is not lost at all. Lavender learns to appreciate things that us girls who are not "the pretty ones" tend to make fun of, like having great hygiene and dressing well (things I definitely used to shrug off but now want to teach my girls--with care, of course), and Scarlet learns even deeper things; namely, that being popular should not come at the sacrifice of others' character or reputation. Just as The Secret Tree used the power of a great story to show children and tweens to look for the bigger picture, and in doing so, teaches them how to empathize with others and show compassion, Switched at Birthday does the same, yet in a rather hilarious manner. This is a great book I am going to share with the tweens in my life!
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