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Twelve-year-old Maggie knows her new baby sister who smells like powder isn’t her sister for keeps. Izzie is a foster baby awaiting adoption. So in a day or a week, she’ll go to her forever family and all that sweetness will be gone. Except for those things Maggie’s secretly saving in the cardboard boxes in her closet and under her bed. Baby socks, binkies, and a button fr Twelve-year-old Maggie knows her new baby sister who smells like powder isn’t her sister for keeps. Izzie is a foster baby awaiting adoption. So in a day or a week, she’ll go to her forever family and all that sweetness will be gone. Except for those things Maggie’s secretly saving in the cardboard boxes in her closet and under her bed. Baby socks, binkies, and a button from Bud the Bear. Rocks, sticks, and candy wrappers. Maggie holds on tight. To her things. Her pet turtle. Her memories of Nana. And her friends. But when Maggie has to say goodbye to Izzie, and her friend gets bumped from their all-girl trapshooting squad to make room for a boy, Maggie’s hoarding grows far beyond her control and she needs to find the courage to let go.


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Twelve-year-old Maggie knows her new baby sister who smells like powder isn’t her sister for keeps. Izzie is a foster baby awaiting adoption. So in a day or a week, she’ll go to her forever family and all that sweetness will be gone. Except for those things Maggie’s secretly saving in the cardboard boxes in her closet and under her bed. Baby socks, binkies, and a button fr Twelve-year-old Maggie knows her new baby sister who smells like powder isn’t her sister for keeps. Izzie is a foster baby awaiting adoption. So in a day or a week, she’ll go to her forever family and all that sweetness will be gone. Except for those things Maggie’s secretly saving in the cardboard boxes in her closet and under her bed. Baby socks, binkies, and a button from Bud the Bear. Rocks, sticks, and candy wrappers. Maggie holds on tight. To her things. Her pet turtle. Her memories of Nana. And her friends. But when Maggie has to say goodbye to Izzie, and her friend gets bumped from their all-girl trapshooting squad to make room for a boy, Maggie’s hoarding grows far beyond her control and she needs to find the courage to let go.

30 review for Give and Take

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate ☀️ Olson

    (free review copy) Swartz has given the middle grade market yet another heartfelt story that will resonate with so many readers! In GIVE AND TAKE, 7th grader Maggie is dealing with major anxiety that manifests in hoarding behaviors, along with sadness about the death of her grandmother and uncertainty about her family's new role fostering infants before adoption. She is also on a trap-shooting team and is dealing with changes to her team. There are such strong family dynamics in the story, and I (free review copy) Swartz has given the middle grade market yet another heartfelt story that will resonate with so many readers! In GIVE AND TAKE, 7th grader Maggie is dealing with major anxiety that manifests in hoarding behaviors, along with sadness about the death of her grandmother and uncertainty about her family's new role fostering infants before adoption. She is also on a trap-shooting team and is dealing with changes to her team. There are such strong family dynamics in the story, and I really love how her parents dealt with her mental health crisis. This is a highly accessible text and I think the sweet spot for it is grades 3-6 - Maggie reads younger to me than her 7th grade status, but we all know that every child is different. I will definitely be purchasing this book for my school libraries!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Coe

    If the blue whale has the biggest heart in the entire world, Maggie Hunt has the second biggest. She loves her family, her friends, and her animals so big and so hard, she wants to treasure every memory of the everyday wonderful of every single day. And she's terrified that she won't be able to do that without her treasures. Maggie's treasures range from gum wrappers to a special necklace and everything in between. But when the treasures begin to get out of control, Maggie finds she's If the blue whale has the biggest heart in the entire world, Maggie Hunt has the second biggest. She loves her family, her friends, and her animals so big and so hard, she wants to treasure every memory of the everyday wonderful of every single day. And she's terrified that she won't be able to do that without her treasures. Maggie's treasures range from gum wrappers to a special necklace and everything in between. But when the treasures begin to get out of control, Maggie finds she's unable to let go. My heart broke for this girl who loves so big and so hard, and rooted for her to find a way to understand that life is full of give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It's a forever thing. (Go, Gramps!) I cannot wait for October 2019 when middle grade readers get to connect with this big-hearted character and cheer for her all the way. Highly recommend! I received an advance reader's edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.2 Do you like to collect things? Baseball cards...Coins...Action Figures? But what about when you start collecting things like gum wrappers, used plates and straws, milk cartons? Maggie is a fun-loving kid who has great friends, a loving family, and is a pro at trapshooting. However, Maggie has a lot of stress in her life. Her family is becoming a foster family for a newborn baby while she is awaiting her forever adopted family. Maggie loves Izzie Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 4.2 Do you like to collect things? Baseball cards...Coins...Action Figures? But what about when you start collecting things like gum wrappers, used plates and straws, milk cartons? Maggie is a fun-loving kid who has great friends, a loving family, and is a pro at trapshooting. However, Maggie has a lot of stress in her life. Her family is becoming a foster family for a newborn baby while she is awaiting her forever adopted family. Maggie loves Izzie so much that she wants to be her forever sister, but she knows that she can't so she takes things that belong to Izzie to help her always remember her - one of her baby socks, diaper tabs, and a piece from a disposable bottle. Maggie is also dealing with the loss of her Nana. Maggie has saved a tassel from her favorite scarf, butterscotch wrappers, and a used plate from a holiday picnic. She also has an issue going on with her all-girl trapshooting team. One of the girls is being transferred off of the team and a boy is being added. She has collected things like straws, milk cartons, and gum wrappers from her friends. All in all, Maggie has seven boxes hidden in her closet, three under her bed, and a locker full of stuff. When Maggie's mom stumbles upon all of her stuff she realizes that Maggie has a problem, Maggie explodes in anger and treats her mom in a way that she knows is not right. Maggie's supportive parents realizes that she needs help and they take her to a doctor who helps her with her hoarding problem. Maggie watched her grandmother deal with dementia, a disease that affects the brain and its memory. Maggie is so afraid that she will forget things that she collects things, even trash, to help her alway remember. Will Maggie be able to get a handle on her hoarding issues or will it go spiraling out of control? Will she be able to convince her parents that they need to keep Izzie or will she have to say good-bye to her? Will the safety of her trapshooting team be shattered or will she be able to hold it all together? Read this incredible book to find out!! This book was absolutely amazing! From the first page Elly Swartz pulls you into Maggie's world and you become one fo the family. You will feel the hurt, sorrow, love, and desperation as Maggie deals with each situation As Maggie deals with her hoarding issues you will want to cheer for her with each baby step that she takes. I love that at the end of this book it has a section about childhood hoarding from a clinical psychologist. This is a fantastic book for anyone, but especially if you know anyone who is dealing with childhood hoarding. Do not miss this book!!!! Follow me: Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.com/ Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra... Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr... Twitter - @laurieevans27 https://twitter.com/laurieevans27?lan... Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1... Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2... YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulD... Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-ev...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Crouch

    Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC of Give and Take with Collabookation. Wowza, Elly Swartz does it again: creates a real (not perfect) family that I'd gladly live next door to. This story centers around Maggie, a big hearted girl who recently lost her grandma to dementia and it's complications. Despite her having so many wonderful things in her life: wonderful parents, a supportive grandpa nearby who knows when it's the right time to just sit together, an adoring little brother, a busy Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC of Give and Take with Collabookation. Wowza, Elly Swartz does it again: creates a real (not perfect) family that I'd gladly live next door to. This story centers around Maggie, a big hearted girl who recently lost her grandma to dementia and it's complications. Despite her having so many wonderful things in her life: wonderful parents, a supportive grandpa nearby who knows when it's the right time to just sit together, an adoring little brother, a busy yet caring older brother, a good friend network, and interests outside of school (I'll get to this in a bit), she finds herself sinking into some anxiety and she's starting to have anger issues. Her anxiety causes her to start collecting things, small things. Soon enough, her closet and locker are full of stuff she's saved, and so is under her bed. Eventually she can't hide it anymore, but when her mother tries to clean it up, she can't bear the thought of that either. This story is heartbreaking in the best of ways, because it's the story of Maggie and her family working through some serious stuff. Like so many wonderful authors, Swartz handles her characters with care, and in my opinion, it is so necessary. Yes, it's true I spend time every day with kids who wouldn't have the support Maggie has, so maybe on my worst days I think a supportive family might be too idealistic. BUT, hear me out: it isn't. Because when I'm able to hand my students stories of kids struggling through serious and difficult issues with support ~ my students might feel that support. They can see it, think about it, know it. And if that's what I'm able to provide because of authors like Elly Swartz, then my students with less-than-supportive homes still win. I might have gone a little off-topic there. Back to the book: not only does Ms. Swartz care for her characters, she cares enough to make no one perfect. This comes up with Maggie's chosen sport, and one that I had never known about: trap. Having seen it in movies, I knew it's people shooting clay pigeons, but it was a wonderful sport to learn more about. I love reading MG that widens my lense of the world, and my students do too. I recommend Give and Take highly to anybody and everybody, but if you do have that student who does seem to be anxious, this book could be a particular support to them. Whether or not people act on their anxiety, as Maggie did, the therapy sessions do provide some coping mechanisms that could be helpful. At the very least, readers who find themselves increasingly anxious could learn that they are not alone in those feelings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    4.5 Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC! I am clearly a huge fan of books featuring turtle pets in them. All hail Bert the Turtle. Anyways, Years ago, I read Elly Swartz's debut novel Finding Perfect, and adored it. Swartz has this amazing ability to tackle tough subjects in middle grade in such a way where it is both gentle and effective. Give & Take looks at twelve-year-old Maggie, who falls in love with a baby her parents are fostering, but is forced to learn that not everything in/>Huge 4.5 Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC! I am clearly a huge fan of books featuring turtle pets in them. All hail Bert the Turtle. Anyways, Years ago, I read Elly Swartz's debut novel Finding Perfect, and adored it. Swartz has this amazing ability to tackle tough subjects in middle grade in such a way where it is both gentle and effective. Give & Take looks at twelve-year-old Maggie, who falls in love with a baby her parents are fostering, but is forced to learn that not everything in permanent and change can be challenging. What I love about this book is it's portrayal of coping mechanisms. In this story Maggie hordes anything and everything. She has an compulsion to keep things like candy wrappers and garbage, but treats it with the utmost care. She knows where everything is in her room, and throughout the story is grasping with two concepts: the idea that she has a lot of things but struggles to part with them, and the understanding that she attributes value to items that are deemed valueless. When Izzie, the baby her parents are fostering comes and goes in the story, Maggie's triggers become clearer in the story and she is aware in a lot of ways that she is grieving something beyond her control. This book is beautiful and sad, but super hopeful as well. Maggie learning to manage herself is difficult to read at times, but Swartz does it in a way where the reader is rooting for her. We want to see her succeed, we want to see her grow, we want her to know that grieving is a natural thing. There's a lot of emotional impact in this story, but it's very subtle throughout. Give & Take is a fantastic read for those who love gentler books but want them to still have an emotional punch. This book took me awhile to read, and that's mainly because I was so absorbed in Maggie's world and wanting to understand her and her thought process. I think many readers will be able to identify with Maggie in some way, and her voice and charm really do make her the MVP of this very emotional read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carin

    Maggie's beloved grandmother recently died after a bout with dementia. And now her family is fostering a pre-adoption baby, Izzie. Maggie already was dealing with her anxiety by hoarding, but the knowledge that this tiny baby she loves so much is going to leave and won't remember her, is too much for Maggie. Terrified that she will start to forget things as well, her hoarding kicks into overdrive. After a scary day when she screams at her mother for touching a box of her things, her parents brin Maggie's beloved grandmother recently died after a bout with dementia. And now her family is fostering a pre-adoption baby, Izzie. Maggie already was dealing with her anxiety by hoarding, but the knowledge that this tiny baby she loves so much is going to leave and won't remember her, is too much for Maggie. Terrified that she will start to forget things as well, her hoarding kicks into overdrive. After a scary day when she screams at her mother for touching a box of her things, her parents bring her to a therapist who helps her deal with her feelings and with her not-good coping method. Meanwhile, her all-girls trap shooting team gets a new member: a boy, Mason, and loses one of her friends, which throws Maggie for a further loop, even though it means the team is better. When her pet turtle goes missing in her grandfather's yard, will it be more than Maggie can cope with? The hoarding is portrayed realistically (along with the defensive thinking that as long as she doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders and can still walk through her room, there's no problem here.) In fact, I think most of us will think back to a box in the closet filled with old birthday cards and movie ticket stubs and other mementos. Where do you draw the line? Her family is lovingly portrayed, Maggie as the middle sister between two brothers has a lot of emotions on her back, and the issue of very-short-term infant fostering is an interesting and new one to me. As is the hobby of trap shooting. I really appreciated the author's creativity and research in not going with the usual suspects in both issues and after-school activities. There's an explanation at the end of research she did and further resources for anxiety and hoarding in children.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neelam Babul

    A touching and heart warming story. This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with many changes in her life, including a baby for whom her family is serving as a temporary foster family and the recent death of her beloved grandmother. Before her death Maggie’s grandma suffering from dementia, forgot Maggie. This created a deep fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. In order to prevent herself from forgetting what she deems important in her li A touching and heart warming story. This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with many changes in her life, including a baby for whom her family is serving as a temporary foster family and the recent death of her beloved grandmother. Before her death Maggie’s grandma suffering from dementia, forgot Maggie. This created a deep fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. In order to prevent herself from forgetting what she deems important in her life, she begins keeping all kinds of objects, including trash, as a keepsake to assure herself that she will remember what is important to her. She becomes obsessive and territorial about her collections, to the point it affects her moods and interactions with others due to her fear of someone finding her stash of items and disposing them. Maggie’s parents recognize her anxiety and seek help from a professional psychologist who aims to help Maggie understand that what is doing is hoarding and being healthy she is capable of remembering what is important to her. This is a really unique story with great characters and relationships. It is a touching story which made me cry at the end of the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Parkhill

    With Give and Take, author Elly Swartz addresses compulsive hoarding. The protagonist, 12-year-old Maggie, suffered a traumatic experience when her beloved grandmother suddenly no longer remembered who Maggie was. More recently, Maggie faces having to surrender a foster-baby whom her family is caring for, and her trapshooting squad is losing its status as an all "Girl Power" team. One of her friends was transferred to another team and a boy now holds her position. So much upheaval ... and With Give and Take, author Elly Swartz addresses compulsive hoarding. The protagonist, 12-year-old Maggie, suffered a traumatic experience when her beloved grandmother suddenly no longer remembered who Maggie was. More recently, Maggie faces having to surrender a foster-baby whom her family is caring for, and her trapshooting squad is losing its status as an all "Girl Power" team. One of her friends was transferred to another team and a boy now holds her position. So much upheaval ... and Maggie is afraid that she will forget, like her Nana, so Maggie secretly hoards items that are reminders of her memories. I thought that Swartz's treatment of Maggie was very compassionate and believable; she's a well-rounded character, and I cared about knowing what would happen to her. Give and Take offers a valuable perspective on childhood mental health. (I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Elly Swartz has again brought a perfectly imperfect heroine to middle grade readers. Maggie, a champion skeet shooter, lives with her parents and brothers in a loving home. Maggie’s parents decide to become short term foster parents for babies who are awaiting their adoptive homes. Maggie and the boys are totally on board. But when Baby Isabelle joins the family, they all bond with her immediately. Maggie, who does not handle goodbyes well, begins to keep small insignificant (to others) items to Elly Swartz has again brought a perfectly imperfect heroine to middle grade readers. Maggie, a champion skeet shooter, lives with her parents and brothers in a loving home. Maggie’s parents decide to become short term foster parents for babies who are awaiting their adoptive homes. Maggie and the boys are totally on board. But when Baby Isabelle joins the family, they all bond with her immediately. Maggie, who does not handle goodbyes well, begins to keep small insignificant (to others) items to help her remember happy times in her life. However, her boxes full of her memories begin to overflow and cause problems both at home and at school. Maggie’s family is realistic, and I love the support they give all their children. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be an early reader. I won’t quickly forget Maggie.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. As someone who struggles with anxiety herself, this book hit REALLY close to home. While I couldn't relate to the hoarding issues that Maggie dealt with in the story, her fears about causing bad things to happen with her thoughts, her worries about forgetting important and happy memories, her struggles with letting go of things, all of that felt achingly real Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. As someone who struggles with anxiety herself, this book hit REALLY close to home. While I couldn't relate to the hoarding issues that Maggie dealt with in the story, her fears about causing bad things to happen with her thoughts, her worries about forgetting important and happy memories, her struggles with letting go of things, all of that felt achingly real to me. Swartz has done an amazing job capturing what it's like to live with a voice in your head that contradicts what the rest of the world would consider typical. She was someone that you could completely relate to as you read the book. Highly recommend this and would consider it a first purchase for those schools/collections that serve students in grades 4-8.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Bays

    ** THANKS TO THE @KIDLITEXCHANGE NETWORK FOR THE REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK -- ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN** This. Book. Is. Sunshine. That's the best word of how this book made me feel. Maggie was such a lovable character from start to finish - possibly my favorite middle grade character I've ever read. My favorite thing about this book is the tough topics it covers, so effortlessly. Death of a grandparent, seeing a therapist, short-term fostering, having compulsions/hoarding issues, tough ** THANKS TO THE @KIDLITEXCHANGE NETWORK FOR THE REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK -- ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN** This. Book. Is. Sunshine. That's the best word of how this book made me feel. Maggie was such a lovable character from start to finish - possibly my favorite middle grade character I've ever read. My favorite thing about this book is the tough topics it covers, so effortlessly. Death of a grandparent, seeing a therapist, short-term fostering, having compulsions/hoarding issues, tough moments with friends and family... every chapter there was a new chance for a reader to see themselves in the writing. I even found connections for myself as a grown adult! This book NEEDS to be in your classrooms, your homes - buy it, pass it along, gift it, it's truly something special. OCTOBER 15TH 2019 - GRAB IT!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is another touching story, about a girl who is not perfect, but has a big heart, from Elly Swartz. Maggie is dealing with anxiety, sadness, and the fear of letting go, but with support of friends and family works through her challenges.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Give and Take by @ellyswartzbooks (thanks for the free book for #kidlitexchange via @kate.olson.reads!) is a classic #mglit problem book about a young girl who is struggling with anxiety. Issues addressed include childhood hoarding, foster care, adoption, friendship problems and more. 4/5; recommended for grades 3+. Definitely recommend to readers who loved Finding Perfect!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Aronson

    Just woke up extra early to finish Elly Swartz's newest novel, GIVE AND TAKE. (I couldn't put it down!!!) I was so lucky to receive an early ARC through #booksojourn and Elly. This book is overflowing with heart and yearning and the real fears kids experience when it comes to the confusing and painful nature of loss. It's also about friendship and family--and real and tough choices. And big emotions. Maggie and her family are interesting and will give young readers much to think about.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shari

    I have been excited to read this book since I first heard about it! Elly writes about complex emotional struggles in children with such tenderness and understanding. In Give and Take, bighearted Maggie loves to save things - hurt or lost animals, the feelings of friends. When dementia causes her beloved grandmother to forget Maggie, she tries to save her own memories by hiding away a growing collection of objects. During this time, her family also begins to foster a newborn, whom Maggie instantl I have been excited to read this book since I first heard about it! Elly writes about complex emotional struggles in children with such tenderness and understanding. In Give and Take, bighearted Maggie loves to save things - hurt or lost animals, the feelings of friends. When dementia causes her beloved grandmother to forget Maggie, she tries to save her own memories by hiding away a growing collection of objects. During this time, her family also begins to foster a newborn, whom Maggie instantly adores, knowing (and worrying) that she will have to let go when the baby is adopted by her "forever family." As Maggie's anxiety and her collection grow, they become unmanageable. Fortunately, Maggie is not on her own, and her family and therapist support her efforts to overcome her hoarding and cope with her anxiety. I really love that the story doesn't end with Maggie getting help, but that we see her struggle through the process of letting go of her hoard. This book will be so helpful for young readers to understand something that many people struggle with, yet that is mocked and denigrated all too often. Also, for kids to see Maggie work through it - how it affects other aspects of her life, and how she handles challenges and setbacks. I'm so thankful for stories like this, which can tenderly shepherd children through difficult experiences, give them hope, and let them know they are not alone. I also loved that this book deals with adoption/fostering in such a loving way. I have three foster-to-adopt nieces/nephew, and their stories need to be included in positive ways too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Elly Swartz is a master storyteller who has a unique way with words. Her books are filled with heart and soul. Give and Take is no different. This powerful story of twelve year old Maggie’s journey will quickly become a favorite for middle grade readers whether they be children or adults.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Olga Barnes

    I cannot praise this book enough! It is so touching, so emotional, so very reflective of our kids' inner worlds! Up to now, I have not seen a lot of books that would include the complex dynamics of fostering a child - not from the standpoint of that child, but from the standpoint of other family members. This book is a first for me! It reflects the relationships between different generations within a family (those grandparents are SO important!), between siblings, friends, members of a team, hum I cannot praise this book enough! It is so touching, so emotional, so very reflective of our kids' inner worlds! Up to now, I have not seen a lot of books that would include the complex dynamics of fostering a child - not from the standpoint of that child, but from the standpoint of other family members. This book is a first for me! It reflects the relationships between different generations within a family (those grandparents are SO important!), between siblings, friends, members of a team, humans and pets - you name it, the book has it. I absolutely loved the fact that I found factual information at the end of the book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Simpson

    This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with the many changes in her life, including a baby for whom they are serving as a foster family. Before her death Maggie’s grandma (who suffered with dementia) forgot Maggie. This created a fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. She begins keeping all kinds of objects, including trash, to assure herself that she will remember what is important to her. She becomes obsessive and territorial about her c This is a heartfelt story about Maggie, who is struggling with the many changes in her life, including a baby for whom they are serving as a foster family. Before her death Maggie’s grandma (who suffered with dementia) forgot Maggie. This created a fear in Maggie about forgetting the important people and events in her life. She begins keeping all kinds of objects, including trash, to assure herself that she will remember what is important to her. She becomes obsessive and territorial about her collections, to the point it affects her moods and interactions with others. Maggie’s parents recognize her anxiety and seek help from a professional. This is a really unique story with great characters and relationships. Early digital copy provided by Edelweiss.

  19. 5 out of 5

    J. S.

    I loved this incredibly engaging book and the heart-warming way Maggie navigates the hurtles she faces. Give and Take is a beautifully written, touching story that tackles important issues. Elly Swartz seamlessly weaves together each chapter so the reader is completely immersed in the plot twists and Maggie’s emotional growth. From the first to last page, I was pulled into Maggie’s world!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    “Truth is, life’s filled with give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It’s a forever thing.” Maggie and her family have been through a very tragic experience. Maggie calls it the Forgot-me Day. It was the day her Nana no longer remembered her name or who she was. Maggie is devastated by this and the thought of something like that happening to her terrifies her, though she doesn’t tell anyone ... not even her best friend, Ava, “Truth is, life’s filled with give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It’s a forever thing.” Maggie and her family have been through a very tragic experience. Maggie calls it the Forgot-me Day. It was the day her Nana no longer remembered her name or who she was. Maggie is devastated by this and the thought of something like that happening to her terrifies her, though she doesn’t tell anyone ... not even her best friend, Ava, who is on the Fish, Fur and Fly’s Eagle the all-girl trap shooting squad. To complicate the situation, her family has taken in an infant to foster while adoptive parents are being finalized. Maggie loves this baby, whom she names Izzie. She knows in her head that the baby won’t be with them long, but in her heart she can’t accept losing someone else. “In my head, I know she’s not my sister, but in my heart, she’s all mine.” Another disturbing event in Maggie’s life is that her trap-shooting squad is about to lose one of its members. The coach, Maggie’s dad, is trying to put the best shooting team together for the state competition. And that means replacing one of the girls, Belle, with Mason, a boy who doesn’t seem to want to be there and whose dad definitely doesn’t want him to be on a team of girls. With all this emotional upheaval going on in her life, Maggie has begun collecting things: scraps of paper, candy wrappers, milk cartons, Chinese takeout boxes, even one of Izzie’s pacifiers. She stores them in hidden boxes in her bedroom. “ ... my boxes. A place where memories last and specks of happiness live forever.” When Charlie, her little brother, gets into one of her boxes, even Maggie is surprised at how angry she becomes. “My mad flipped on when you moved toward my boxes under my bed, I want to say. And I couldn’t stuff it back in until you were far away from my things. But I can’t tell him that, because I don’t even understand it.” Things finally come to a head one day when Maggie’s mother sees what’s inside the boxes. “Honey, what is all this stuff? Why do you have pieces of random things dumped all over the floor? Why are you keeping empty containers and old clothes and trash?” An explosion of anger leads to her parents deciding she needs to get some help for whatever this problem might be. Maggie’s not sure about Dr. Sparrow, at first. But some of what the doctor says makes sense and she truly wants to understand what is happening to her. “ ... what’s wrong with me? What made my anger so big I didn’t know it could even fit inside my body.” And slowly, she begins the process of dealing with her anxiety. “What is helpful is understanding that lots of kids worry. And your worry is tied to letting go. So that’s what we’re going to work on.” Maggie must begin giving up some of things that she has been hanging onto for too long. It’s not easy, at first, but her family and friends are there to support her, even Mason, who is dealing with his own issues. “Family’s not something that lasts days or weeks. It’s an always thing.” A moving story on a topic not normally discussed with kids, but needs to be. Includes an author’s note in the back about the experts consulted with regards to Hoarding in children and Short term foster care.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Twelve year old Maggie is going through changes in her life. Before she died, her grandma had dementia which caused her to forget Maggie. Maggie’s all-girl trapshooting team is being reconfigured and now includes a boy. Her parents have decided to foster a baby girl that Maggie fears will have to leave them soon. Maggie has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever read. After her grandma’s dementia, anxiety sets in, and she’s Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Twelve year old Maggie is going through changes in her life. Before she died, her grandma had dementia which caused her to forget Maggie. Maggie’s all-girl trapshooting team is being reconfigured and now includes a boy. Her parents have decided to foster a baby girl that Maggie fears will have to leave them soon. Maggie has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever read. After her grandma’s dementia, anxiety sets in, and she’s worried that she too will forget her important memories. So she begins to collect things in boxes in her room, and those boxes become unmanageable. Her collections, combined with the worry that her foster baby sister will soon need to go to her forever family, cause Maggie to lose control of her emotions and anger takes hold. Fortunately, Maggie has a wonderful supportive family that come up with a plan to help. I loved, loved, loved this book. Some of my favorite things: • Her trap-shooting team. I’ve never read a MG book with this sport featured! •Her younger brother’s knowledge of random facts (interspersed throughout the book at perfect moments). •Her relationship with her Gramps. ❤️ •The way her family supports her with her anxiety. •The portrayal of fostering to adopt families. Favorite lines: P 133 from Gramps: “Truth is, life’s filled with give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It’s a forever thing.” P 206 from Dr. Sparrow: “...sometimes we do a wonderful thing just because we can. Because it’s the right thing to do. Not because we’ll be remembered for it.” With themes of family, friendship, and mental health support, I can not wait to put this book in my classroom library for my 4/5th grade students in October 2019.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    About Give and Take: Maggie is a caring 12-year-old who loves her family and friends. Her daily life includes trapshooting with her friends at school (with her dad as the coach) and helping to care for Isabella, the family's foster baby. Maggie has 2 brothers, as well, who give her a run for her money. Maggie would love to call Izzy her sister, but mom and dad made it clear that this is a temporary arrangement. "Temporary" haunts Maggie -- her grandmother recently passed, and didn't remem About Give and Take: Maggie is a caring 12-year-old who loves her family and friends. Her daily life includes trapshooting with her friends at school (with her dad as the coach) and helping to care for Isabella, the family's foster baby. Maggie has 2 brothers, as well, who give her a run for her money. Maggie would love to call Izzy her sister, but mom and dad made it clear that this is a temporary arrangement. "Temporary" haunts Maggie -- her grandmother recently passed, and didn't remember her in the end. This devastates Maggie, and the thought of giving up another family member is too much. Maggie is obsessed with remembering every conversation, encounter, and memory that is important to her. Maggie doesn't want to make the same "mistake" as her grandmother, so she collects artifacts in boxes and places them in her closet and under her bed. Even baby Izzie's sock and pacifier sit in a new box of memories. When Mom finds Maggie's overwhelming secret stashes, she is more than concerned about the anxiety that has taken over her daughter's mind. With the help of a doctor, family, and friends, Maggie must learn to cope with life's give and take. With Izzie leaving to go to her forever family soon, it's not going to be easy for Maggie to let go of anything. Why I Loved Give and Take by Elly Swartz: I learned about the sport of trapshooting, child hoarding, and more about life as a foster family member. I was rooting for Maggie (and her friends) the whole time, and also got to relive a little bit of middle school (for better or worse!). This story is one that appeals to readers of all ages. Why You Should Read Give and Take: Everyone will find something in common with Maggie, Mom, Dad, or her brothers. The family dynamics are realistic and well-written. The back matter includes information and resources that help families; I love "further reading" opportunities. This book is an inspiring story of family, friendships, and growing up. Read Give and Take -- take the story into your heart, and give the book to your friends when you're done reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Maggie has a huge heart and loves so deeply that when she experiences loss, she suffers a “giant missing” inside. In Elly Swartz’s touching third novel, GIVE AND TAKE (set to release on October 15) you’ll fall in love with Maggie who is dealing with tremendous grief because of the second worst day of her life: her grandmother’s funeral last year. She is so worried that she’ll forget her precious memories of her friends and family because of the first worst day of her life: when her grandmother f Maggie has a huge heart and loves so deeply that when she experiences loss, she suffers a “giant missing” inside. In Elly Swartz’s touching third novel, GIVE AND TAKE (set to release on October 15) you’ll fall in love with Maggie who is dealing with tremendous grief because of the second worst day of her life: her grandmother’s funeral last year. She is so worried that she’ll forget her precious memories of her friends and family because of the first worst day of her life: when her grandmother forgot her due to dementia. Maggie becomes so anxious that she begins hoarding objects to keep her memories alive—hiding trinkets, rocks, trash and more in boxes in her room. Some of her recent items come from Izzie, the infant they are fostering until a family is found to adopt her as Maggie struggles with her temporary stay. Elly Swartz writes so openly and thoroughly of Maggie’s emotional journey to healing that I’m sure readers will be empathetic towards her situation and even reflect upon how they’ve dealt with such sadness. I savored all of the heartwarming sentiments from the adults in her life, enjoyed the friendships made on her trapshooting team, and learned (and giggled) a lot of random facts from her younger brother Charlie. GIVE AND TAKE should most definitely be included in libraries because is explores a well-researched topic not commonly found in middle grade literature and does it so beautifully with sensitivity, compassion, and love.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Stallard

    Maggie keeps things that are sentimental to her and stores them in boxes in her room. She doesn't want to forget anyone or any experience like her grandmother forgot her. Everybody keeps mementos, but Maggie keeps items that most people throw away: gum wrappers, sticks, and empty milk cartons to name a few. If anyone in her family dares to get close to her boxes and find out her secret, she gets enraged. Maggie wants to hold onto everything and everyone she loves, so she is having an especially Maggie keeps things that are sentimental to her and stores them in boxes in her room. She doesn't want to forget anyone or any experience like her grandmother forgot her. Everybody keeps mementos, but Maggie keeps items that most people throw away: gum wrappers, sticks, and empty milk cartons to name a few. If anyone in her family dares to get close to her boxes and find out her secret, she gets enraged. Maggie wants to hold onto everything and everyone she loves, so she is having an especially hard time with the fact that her baby foster sister, Izzie, is about to leave her home to live with her forever family. How can she let go of someone that she already loves so much? Elly Swartz has tackled a topic that I've never seen in children's literature before: childhood hoarding. This book hit close to home for me because someone I love very much could be considered a hoarder. This person cannot throw anything away, and I've never understood why. It infuriates her if someone suggests that she throw her "junk" away. After reading this novel, I feel like I understand her a little better now. Maggie's hoarding stems from her anxiety about loss, and sometimes her anxiety causes big anger to bubble up and explode. I have seen my own child struggle with anxiety, and I'm sure it is way more common in children than we realize. Children who personally struggle with anxiety or live with someone who does will feel seen and heard after reading this book. Give and Take is a must-add to your MG collection.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    “My insides are filled with a missing that can’t be fixed with words.” (85) Twelve-year-old Maggie’s world seems to be filled with good-byes. It all began on the first worst day of her life—"Forgot Me Day,” the day her Nana forgot who Maggie was, and then the second worst day, the day Nana died. Maggie becomes anxious that she will forget what is special in her life, and she starts collecting mementoes of small moments. She hides boxes under her bed and in her closet, boxes filled with gifts but “My insides are filled with a missing that can’t be fixed with words.” (85) Twelve-year-old Maggie’s world seems to be filled with good-byes. It all began on the first worst day of her life—"Forgot Me Day,” the day her Nana forgot who Maggie was, and then the second worst day, the day Nana died. Maggie becomes anxious that she will forget what is special in her life, and she starts collecting mementoes of small moments. She hides boxes under her bed and in her closet, boxes filled with gifts but also milk cartons and straws from lunches, sticks, rocks, anything that will help her remember. When the family takes in a foster baby, Maggie knows it is temporary to give the baby a good start until she gets her forever family but Maggie hides away baby socks and diaper tabs. “A little something. To remember. So my memories don’t disappear.” (13) Baby Izzie is adopted and Maggie is filled with a “giant missing.” When her secret is discovered, her parents send her to work with Dr. Sparrow, who helps her work toward “a heart big enough to love a lot and a brain healthy enough to let go.” (267) During all this, Maggie meets a new friend, Mason, who joins their formerly all-girl trapshooting team; helps her little brother Charlie makes friends; finds—and loses—a pet turtle; and has to decide whether to tell a friend’s secret, a secret that could be hurtful to others, risking the loss of that friendship. Maggie, who struggles with anxiety manifested through hoarding, joins her author-Elly-Swartz-sisters Frankie, who in Smart Cookie is dealing with the loss of her mother, and Molly who struggles with OCD in Finding Perfect in my heart. Their stories will help some young adolescents see their lives reflected and challenges honored and will give others the empathy to understand their peers. For the adult who read these novels, they may provide a flash of insight into those in our classrooms and families.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    We cling to happy (and not so happy) memories of special places, events and people. We tuck them into the sacred corners of our mind to inspire and educate us, to rekindle passionate pursuits, and to keep the sparks of love and hope ignited. Collectively these moments comprise the story of our lives. They are how we connect to each other. Many of us, at any age, can be forgetful but when you see an elderly person struggle and search for words during a conversation, you realize how dis We cling to happy (and not so happy) memories of special places, events and people. We tuck them into the sacred corners of our mind to inspire and educate us, to rekindle passionate pursuits, and to keep the sparks of love and hope ignited. Collectively these moments comprise the story of our lives. They are how we connect to each other. Many of us, at any age, can be forgetful but when you see an elderly person struggle and search for words during a conversation, you realize how disheartening the loss of memory is for them and for those who love them. Elly Swartz, author of Finding Perfect (Farrar Straus Giroux, October 18, 2016) and Smart Cookie (Scholastic Press, January 30, 2018) has penned another exceptional middle grade novel about a twelve-year-old girl, Maggie, filled with anxiety and a fear of forgetting. It is an illuminating look at the power of our minds and the importance of family. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley. Swartz brings awareness to grief, fear and childhood hoarding. Maggie has struggled with her fear of forgetting ever since her grandmother's dementia caused her to forget Maggie. This anxiety causes her to save something from each memory so she won't forget too. She saves a variety of items that most regard as trash. Her parents discover her stash of boxes and seek help for her. Readers see her time i I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley. Swartz brings awareness to grief, fear and childhood hoarding. Maggie has struggled with her fear of forgetting ever since her grandmother's dementia caused her to forget Maggie. This anxiety causes her to save something from each memory so she won't forget too. She saves a variety of items that most regard as trash. Her parents discover her stash of boxes and seek help for her. Readers see her time in therapy and with her parents. Swartz creates an average family coping with life's issues. The writing flows smoothly and pulls the reader in to Maggie's life. They can relate to middle school classes and friend issues as well as seeing that everyone is dealing with some fear or grief in their lives. Interesting to see Trap Shooting incorporated as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Elly Swartz has written another compelling and compassionate middle grade novel that opens minds and hearts to some of the fierce challenges our children face. In Give and Take we meet 12 year old Maggie whose grandmother recently passed away from dementia, whose family is temporarily fostering a newborn about to be adopted, and whose friend is bumped from their all-girl trap shooting team. Seems like Maggie is has had to say goodbye so much that she finds she can't let go of things and saving m Elly Swartz has written another compelling and compassionate middle grade novel that opens minds and hearts to some of the fierce challenges our children face. In Give and Take we meet 12 year old Maggie whose grandmother recently passed away from dementia, whose family is temporarily fostering a newborn about to be adopted, and whose friend is bumped from their all-girl trap shooting team. Seems like Maggie is has had to say goodbye so much that she finds she can't let go of things and saving mementos turns into a problem with hoarding that she can't control. Swartz background in psychology has helped her create characters that need to work through mental health challenges and allow readers some insights and empathy for the human condition while crafting engaging storylines that pull you in and have you turning pages long into the night.

  29. 4 out of 5

    N. Moss

    I got to read an ARC of this book, and honestly, I didn't plan to read the whole thing. The cover is sort of BLAH which should not have anything to do with whether or not I read the book, but it didn't enchant me. Well, I read the first chapter and I was ENCHANTED. Maggie is the sweetest, most loving big sister (12 years old) but she is fearful, after having suffered some loss. Her family decides to embark on very short term fostering of newborns awaiting adoption papers, and Maggie is incredibl I got to read an ARC of this book, and honestly, I didn't plan to read the whole thing. The cover is sort of BLAH which should not have anything to do with whether or not I read the book, but it didn't enchant me. Well, I read the first chapter and I was ENCHANTED. Maggie is the sweetest, most loving big sister (12 years old) but she is fearful, after having suffered some loss. Her family decides to embark on very short term fostering of newborns awaiting adoption papers, and Maggie is incredible with the first baby. but in her secret heart, she desperately wants the baby to stay, to be part of their family. It is so vulnerable and honest. I just couldn't stop reading. The book comes out in October I think but I see online that you can pre-order now

  30. 4 out of 5

    Haley Shaffer

    I’ve struggled with anxiety for my whole life, so when my four year old began chewing his shirt, having meltdowns when our plans would change, and started asking lots of what if questions I knew he needed help. And I knew it was okay even though people told me he’d grow out of it or he needed to toughen up. This book spoke to my heart because I saw so much of myself and my child in it. Maggie collects pieces of her life so she can remember moments, both big and small. But when she finds her mom I’ve struggled with anxiety for my whole life, so when my four year old began chewing his shirt, having meltdowns when our plans would change, and started asking lots of what if questions I knew he needed help. And I knew it was okay even though people told me he’d grow out of it or he needed to toughen up. This book spoke to my heart because I saw so much of myself and my child in it. Maggie collects pieces of her life so she can remember moments, both big and small. But when she finds her mom trying to dispose of these items, she loses control. Up until this point her anxiety has been subtle, creeping up on her until she finally exploded. As her friends and family do their best to help her cope, she finds comfort in their support.

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