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GAME CHANGER by Margaret Peterson Haddix

GAME CHANGER

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-689-87380-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

An elite athlete, KT is on the fast track to softball stardom when her world is turned upside down.

The eighth-grader’s life drastically changes when she collapses while pitching during a major tournament. Awakening to an alternate reality, KT discovers the traditional roles of academics and sports have been reversed. Now, KT’s younger and supremely nonathletic brother, Max, is the focus of family life due to his status on the school’s math team. Yet KT soon realizes she is not the only one who wants out of this other world. Ultimately, she must figure out the common ground among an athlete, a genius and a video gamer and determine what issues drove them into this altered reality. While the premise of the sports/academics switch provides some humorous scenarios, it also conveys a powerful message. Haddix illuminates the pressure middle school–aged students often feel to conform to predetermined roles. Her cleverly constructed tale gives a voice to all students, encouraging them to look beyond the labels of sporty, smart and so on, to define themselves. KT’s transition from athlete to advocate is calculated to inspire readers to celebrate their individuality.

Haddix’s insightful tale is a compelling blend of sports, action and mystery. (Fantasy. 12-14)