Review Blog

May 31 2009

The switch by Anthony Horowitz

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Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781406305715 (Age 11+) Highly recommended. Previously published in 1996. The title of The switch gives a clue to the book theme which revolves around the consequences of a thirteen year old boy wishing he was someone else and the body swap that evolves. Tad Spencer, comfortably at home in Snatchmore Hall, with an affluent lifestyle filled with overseas trips, a chauffeur, housekeeper, and nanny is transposed into Bob Snarby, the son of not so loving fairground workers. His home becomes an unhygienic caravan, and he is co-opted into burglaries. Even Bob finds that living as some one else is far from perfect, as he found his more toffy life a little suffocating. Efforts by Tad to regain his former life almost result in his death as he stumbles upon conspiracy and murder in his father's cosmetics business. Issues such as the ethics of how products are tested; arms selling; and the exploitation of poorer cultures are all woven into the storyline. The final chapters are really creative and give constant surprises to the reader. The Switch will be thoroughly enjoyed by upper primary and secondary students and particularly by boys. It is so entertaining that most will read it in one sitting. Kay Haarsma

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