Peni R. Griffin Switching Well

ISBN 13: 9780689505812

Switching Well

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9780689505812: Switching Well
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Transported back in time to 1891 San Antonio, twelve-year-old Amber finds that she has taken the place of Ada, a twelve-year-old who was transported to 1991.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-- In this captivating time-travel fantasy, two girls from different centuries inadvertently trade places for several weeks. Sitting by an old well near her San Antonio home in 1891, 13-year-old Ada wishes herself 100 years into the future. Simultaneously, in 1991, Amber, another discontented young teen seated by the same well, wishes herself back in time, when, she believes, life was simpler. They both learn that no era is without its problems, and that only their nature changes. Both girls resourcefully manipulate their way through the welfare systems of the day, having adventures but longing for home. Ada is befriended by a black girl who has monumental difficulties of her own. Amber, placed in an orphanage, discovers that a friend's brother is not feeble-minded, as the teachers believe, but deaf as a result of scarlet fever. Griffin skillfully uses the dual viewpoints to compare and contrast the manners and mores of two very different time periods. The story is rich in details. Its underlying message flows freely and clearly from the plot line. Descriptions of clothing, food, the role of women and children, and societal attitudes about race and religion bring authenticity to the girls' experiences. The ending is particularly clever. Both girls are plucky, intelligent characters who are believable and easy to like. Even minor characters appear as well-developed individuals. A thought-provoking book that makes for enjoyable and informative reading, both as historical fiction and fantasy. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

On the day of San Antonio's 1891 ``Battle of the Flowers,'' Ada Bauer, chafing under a teacher's criticism of her essay on women's rights, stands over a well and wishes she ``lived a hundred years from now.'' On the same day in 1991, Amber Burak- -who's just learned that her parents are divorcing and who's distressed by the children's troubles in a home where her mom is a social worker--makes the same wish in reverse. Both come true. In alternating chapters, using parallel experiences, each girl makes friends, endures the rigors of a children's home, and is taken in by the other's parents. With each era viewed from the perspective of the other, the wealth of social history here is put into sharp relief, with some surprising similarities (there were drug addicts and unhappy marriages in 1891, too) as well as advantages and disadvantages in each. While bringing in many amusing details (neither girl's money is usable--inflation renders Ada's worthless; Amber's coins bear unknown faces) and several serious themes (Ada's heritage is German; Amber is Jewish, with a passionately anti-German grandfather, a Holocaust survivor), Griffin keeps events moving briskly and gets the girls home again via a clever mechanism, meanwhile making some satisfying revelations about Ada's later life and its impact on the characters of the present. Thoughtful, expertly plotted, richly imaginative and entertaining. (Fiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140369106: Switching Well

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0140369104 ISBN 13:  9780140369106
Publisher: Puffin, 1994
Softcover

9780780748200: Switching Well

Perfec..., 1994
Hardcover

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