by Kim Gruschow
Laura Chant feels a warning before her little brother Jacko begins to weaken at the hands of a terrible demon. She knows she’ll need the help of that strange boy Sorenson Carlisle and his family if she wants to save her brother’s life. The Changeover is a powerful story of transformation, and of magic that feels instinctive and natural, while Laura shifts toward adulthood. It’s a supernatural romance and coming-of-age novel that was published long before sparkling vampires hit the shelves.
There’s a moment in the book where a sinister being stamps a permanent imprint on Laura’s little brother. Scenes and characters from the book have been similarly etched in my brain since I first read it as a tween a few decades ago. Mahy’s writing is smart and beautiful, dotted with philosophy and wit. From the details of Laura’s family life, to the surreal changeover process, the book is never frilly, yet it is entirely and extraordinarily vivid.
Kim Gruschow is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda.
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