My daughters love to read, but only occasionally do I hear them laugh out loud as they’re reading a book. But as they read this week’s review book, I heard not just laughter, but outright cackling. And not just occasionally either! Even the second time through, my oldest laughed through nearly every page!
The book is Switched, book number five in Bill Myers’ TJ and the Time Stumblers series. TJ Finkelstein is the new girl in town, caught in that awkward phase of becoming a teenager. Things only get worse for her when Tuna and Herby, two kids from the 23rd century, show up. Only she can see them, but she’s not the only one who can see the results of their insane antics!
In Switched, things go from bad to worse when TJ and her archenemy Hester Breakahart find that they have switched bodies! And that’s only the beginning! But somehow through the course of switches and disasters, TJ stumbles across the truth about forgiveness and loving the unlovable – even when they don’t love back.
Switched was our first introduction to TJ and the Time Stumblers, but my girls were able to jump right in to the story without any difficulty. Of course, now they’re hooked and ready to read the entire series!
According to my girls, Switched was hilarious and attention-grabbing. They loved the way Myers could literally create sound effects in a book, and they liked that they were able to easily figure out what was going on with TJ, Herby, and Tuna without having read the previous books. My oldest loved how humor was included even in the places that normal life would find serious.
This particular review was targeted toward homeschoolers, asking how we might incorporate Switched into our lesson plans.
To be honest, the only way I could see working it into homeschooling would be as a reader or read-aloud. Although Switched deals with issues such as forgiveness and loving our enemies, I don’t know that there is any strictly academic value in the book. The writing style is rather unconventional. While it is a lot of fun to read, it is not one I would want my girls to emulate right now in their own writing. So, I would not use it for copywork or dictation. Meanwhile, there is no real way to connect it to science or history as it leans more toward fantasy than anything realistic. As a reader or read-aloud, however, we could have fun working through questions about the values presented. I can see this being a good way to encourage reluctant readers to dive in and enjoy a fun new book.
Check out the series trailer here:
This book was sent to me by Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.