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TRADING PLACES by Claudia Mills

TRADING PLACES

By Claudia Mills

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 11th, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-31798-4
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Twins, Todd and Amy, are completely different. She’s blond, messy and poetic while he’s dark-haired, organized and analytical. Life for the twins has just gotten complicated and troubling. Their father has been unemployed for some months and is slipping into depression. Their mother has taken a job that doesn’t pay the bills and their beloved dog, Wiggy, is ailing. Their fifth-grade class project is a mini-society in which every student must create a product. Todd, who always has brilliant ideas, is unexpectedly at a loss and Amy gets paired with the class crybaby. As their story progresses so do the problems escalate. A satisfactory resolution comes when the twins switch roles. Amy uses her head and Todd his heart. Details of the workings of democracy and capitalism are woven interestingly into the main story. A crisp drama that aptly shows how things rarely turn out perfectly in life, but they often work out well enough. Mills level-headedly speaks for and to ‘tweens about the ways we adjust to fit into an ever-changing world. (Fiction. 8-12)