Switched at Birthday is such a cute middle-grade novel. And it has a fabulous title too. Lavender and Scarlet don't seem to have much in common. Scarlet is pretty and popular, a star soccer player, but her home life is difficult. Lavender is picked on at school, klutzy, and sarcastic. The one thing the two share is a birthday. And on their thirteenth birthday they each make a wish to be someone else. The next morning they wake up to find they've switched bodies. Seeing the two navigate another life is both hilarious and poignant. And, to make things work Lavender and Scarlet have to talk and get along. In the process they build a friendship. They learn that everyone has value and that people are dealing with so many things that are not obvious from the surface.
Natalie Standiford is from Baltimore and many of her stories are set in her hometown, including this one. It's fun for me to support a local author. Switched at Birthday is out February 25th, 2014. Review copy from NetGalley.
Desi Bascomb lives an unsatisfying life in Sproutville, Idaho. Her parents seem to love her baby sister more than her. Her ex-best friend is making her life miserable. Her long-time crush can't seem to remember her name. And her job involves wearing a rodent costume. Desi wishes to make an impact or at least have a better job. Enter Meredith. She gives Desi the chance to be a princess sub (they prefer the term surrogate). Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire is darling. It is a little younger than the books I've been reading lately (Desi is only 13), and it reminded me why I used to read so much children's (rather than YA) fiction: because those books can be so darn cute. I would highly recommend this one. The series continues with The Royal Treatment and Farewell to Charms. They are just as darling as the original.