A wish, a shared birthday and some “theater magic” transform the lives of two young teens.
Although Lavender’s and Scarlet’s birthdays are on the same day, their lives are polar opposites. Scarlet reigns as a popular girl at their middle school, while Lavender’s status falls much lower on the social scale. Yet both are determined to audition for the lead, Marian, in their school production of The Music Man. The mysterious intervention of their music teacher—who harbors a magical secret—leads to the pair waking up the day after their 13th birthdays in each other’s bodies. Suddenly, Lavender experiences the popular life as Scarlet, and Scarlet endures the many taunts that punctuate Lavender’s school days. As they scramble to resolve their dilemma, the girls form a reluctant collaboration. Standiford’s adept portrayal of the evolution of the girls’ self-awareness conveys a meaningful message about empathy and forgiveness. While the switch enables the girls to learn about each other, it also gives them greater insight into their own lives, allowing them each to discover their strengths and to recognize their foibles. The girls emerge from their experiences with an appreciation of their genuine friendship and the courage to make positive changes in their lives.
A characteristically insightful tale that affirms the importance of true friendship and self-acceptance. (Fantasy. 9-13)