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Grades 3 - 7n/an/an/an/a

"A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true." —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

For readers who loved Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Lois Lowry's The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

Paperback, 288 pages
Published on October 2, 2018 by Walden Pond Press
ISBN-10: 0062443429
ISBN-13: 9780062443427
6 Book Reviews
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  • 13iamgroot
    13iamgrootMonday, February 3, 2020 at 4:29 pm55 starsFeatured
    This is an absolutely amazing book by beloved author Laurel Snyder. Many of my friends said that they didn't like the book because of how it ended, since it ended on a total cliffhanger with many questions left unanswered. I personally love this book because of how it ended, I felt it was necessary to end the book where it did because otherwise you are left with nothing afterwards. This book leaves you wondering long after you have closed its pages, because you get to make up your own ending and answer your own questions. If all the questions that might have arose while reading this book were answered, it would ruin the mystery that the whole story is written around. Now that I have talked about the ending, let's go to the beginning. This book starts on a very important day, "The Changing" where the little green boat floats up to the island, carrying a small snot-faced child, who then gets replaced with the Elder on the island, who floats away to the horizon, never to be seen again. This is how it has always gone, and this is how it will always go, because it is what the rules say, "Nine on the island, orphans all. Any more, the sky might fall." But Jinny doesn't follow the rules, this year she is the Elder, and this year she has a Care, and this year she is holding on. Ever since Deen, Jinny's best friend, left, Jinny as been lost, the island her only grounding point. So when it is her turn to step into the little green boat, she doesn't. Things start going wrong all over the island, things that have been so predictable in the past, suddenly turn unpredictable, things on the inside of Jinny, and on the outside. Even though Jinny is confused, she is the Elder and she has to fix this, because it was her that caused it. I love this book because it covers topics that aren't usually mentioned in books aimed towards children, but are bound to happen no matter what. I think there is a deeper message to this book, which is that you can't hold on too long to your childhood because life will keep on moving on around you and within you, and you have to become more responsible, because you will get more responsibility. This book is good for kids 10 and up, and even if you think you won't like the ending I still encourage you to read it because there is still the whole book left that can get you thinking and get you questioning.
    • applemango
      applemangoFriday, August 16, 2019 at 11:12 pm44 stars
      This was a good book, however the only thing I don't like about it is that it ends as a cliff hanger. Jinny's best friend changed as he left the island Deen. He grew colder, and much less friendlier. Jinny however has a different plan in mind she is going to stay on the island. However, is staying the best option? Is it for Jinny or really her younger partner Ess? Does Evie too, have a scratch in her heart? However when Jinny doesn't leave bad things start to happen, things like the children walking into a beehive....there is the verse and the rules or else the sky will fall. In the end though, will Jinny leave on the green boat?
      • lains24
        lains24Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm44 stars
        Ya. Good book, but I think it's meant for girls. Sorry to guy readers... you guys don't need to know about what the stuff on her legs was.
        • YasSaturday, September 29, 2018 at 11:07 am
          this book is awesome! definitely in my top 10 ( and i read A LOT of books :)
          • emilyryu
            emilyryuWednesday, March 7, 2018 at 8:49 pm55 stars
            It is the best book ever. It is like so warming and sad but it gives you hope. Also, I really recommend this book to everyone.
            • **********Friday, November 17, 2017 at 10:29 pm
              A really cute book