It’s the start of a new school year and shy seventh grader Ellie O’Brien is under attack from her former best friend and now the school’s reigning mean girl and her new sidekick and popular eighth grader Jack Mallory is suffering from extreme overbearing fatheritis in Megan Shull’s The Swap.
Inadvertently they both end up in the nurse’s office nursing their wounds one Friday afternoon. What happens in the short time they are together ends up being a life changing experience when the two jokingly talk about changing places. A strange rhyme uttered by the school nurse and the next thing they know, Jack has long red hair and Ellie has a shiner. Unable to find her, the two kids realize that they will just have to make it through a weekend of soccer tryouts, hockey practices and sleepovers the best they can until Monday when they hope the nurse will restore everything back to where it should be.
What results are at times funny situations, Jack's brothers use slang that leaves Ellie clueless and Jack getting a designer haircut and do, and at times challenging when the two excellent athletes have to play unfamiliar sports. Ellie and Jack each tell their own story in alternating chapters leaving no detail untold in this hard to put down story for grades 6 to 8.