Monday, April 03, 2023

MMGM-- The Sister Switch

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
and #IMWAYR day 

Rigaud, Debbie and Mlynowski, Sarah. The Sister Switch
April 4, 2023 by Scholastic Press
E ARC Provided by Edelweiss Plus

Addie Asante lives in Columbus, Ohio (hooray!) and struggles with being the middle sister. She has to share a room with kindergartener Camille and her Legos, and doesn't feel she can live up to her big sister Sophie's academic success. After being told by her parents that she can't be in the school talent show because she is struggling with math, and after fighting with Sophie, Addie wishes that she weren't always stuck in the middle. Fortunately or unfortunately, she has just gotten a mysterious package in the mail, which had a bracelet in it. This is the bracelet that Becca from Best Wishes had sent to her when Addie's name appeared on the package. Addie hadn't had a chance to read the note Becca included about being careful what she wished for. It takes a bit to figure out what has happened. Not only has Addie become Sophie, but Sophie has become Camille and Camille is now Addie! They are all confused, and after Addie (as Sophie) finds out that Camille (who is really Sophie) has been sent home for throwing a chair in her class, Addie takes her other sister and asks to be sent home. Once at home, the girls try to figure out what is wrong, and try to plot a path forward. Addie isn't comfortable with Sophie's classes, but is glad to have her own room and phone, and hopes that she can still take place in the talent show. Sophie is cautioned to behave herself even if Camille's classmates eat play dough. Addie hopes that she can convince Camille not to go to school as her, but Camille is thrilled to be a "big kid" and to be so tall. Unfortunately, she uses her exuberance to stage a flash mob in the cafeteria. Having the sisters switch bodies is just as confusing as it sounds, and Addie isn't sure what she needs to do in order for the bracelet to unlatch itself. She does contact Becca, who warns her about the blonde woman, Eloise, who is trying to steal the bracelet. Sure enough, she shows up on rollerskates, chasing the girls near a park, and later shows up in their home, selling their mother makeup! She tells Addie a story about her sister being sick, and wanting to use the bracelet to wish to make her well. Addie's not buying it. When the talent show arrives, the sisters throw themselves into a variety of acts. Will they be able to figure out what needs to be done so that they can return to their own bodies?
Strengths: Ahhhh! Paige's coffee house on Morse Road is really Java Central here in my hometown of Westerville! I met Debbie Rigaud in the fall, and she said she did a lot of her writing there. There is even a drawing of it! (Below.) It's always exciting to read books set in Ohio! Oh, the book? Solid story. I am a big fan of the Freaky Friday trope (were there body switching stories before that 1972 one?), and applying it to sisters who each think the others have it better off is brilliant. This was fast paced, and should be popular with fans of Mlynowshi's Whatever After books and other magical realism titles. I also appreciated the message of Addie finding her own voice. The illustrations are delightful. 
Weaknesses: It did get a little confusing with the three girls, and I'm not quite sure where the story is going with Eloise trying to steal the bracelet. 
What I really think: I am very much looking forward to the Mlyownski and Soontornvat Time After Time, (out November 7, 2023) where the bracelet travels to Texas!


  1. I enjoyed the first Best Wishes so I'm looking forward to reading the newest. Thanks for the critique. It's always fun to dive into a book with the setting close to home. Happy MMGM!

  2. Sounds a fun story, and - as a middle child - perhaps I should hold of that bracelet! Lovely to have the local connection too. :)

  3. Hadn't heard of this book but it does sound interesting, and loved that connection to your local coffee place.. I am keeping an eye out for Soontornvat's next book(s) as well.. (always!)
    My IMWAYR post for this week is here

  4. Oooh, I'm now looking forward to the book by Mlyownski and Soontornvat!

  5. The multi-author format of this series is intriguing.

  6. Thanks for the heads up about this series. I am embarrassed to admit that I had almost forgotten about Sarah Mlynowski, who is a sold Canadian author!