Cover Image: Give and Take

Give and Take

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Member Reviews

Another heartfelt book from author, Elly Swartz, that tackles important social emotional issues. Definitely recommend adding this to school libraries and classrooms.
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Another beautiful novel by Elly Swartz that is poignant, uplifting, and heartbreaking all at once. Everyone should read this!
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A review copy was provided by #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Maggie is concerned that she will forget people and experiences like her grandmother forgot her.  By collecting (hoarding) small items, she believes that she can trigger memories of people, places and events forever.  When her parents discover her stash, they take her for treatment to overcome her desire to hold on to things.  The story is filled with a strong family dynamic (closeness with her parents, siblings and grandparents), girl drama and trap shooting side stories.  Great middle grade novel.
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Love this story! The characters are real and relatable. Maggie deals with some tough issues in a very realistic manner. Anxiety, hoarding, Fostering, death, separation, therapy - all very real and very relatable for many. Many readers will see themselves  or someone they know in this story.  So important to have that mirror for readers to look into! Excellent read - highly recommend!
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Thanks NetGalley for the preview!

I really enjoyed my glimpse into Maggie's life! I found her interest in trap shooting refreshing and learned a few new things about an otherwise unknown sport.  Her "hoarding" or anxiety was complex and the feelings were in  explained in great detail.  I appreciated seeing her get treatment and how she vs. her family dealt with the struggles.  Overall, Charlie was my favorite character-I felt like his random facts allowed a lighthearted nature to many scenes and I even learned a thing or two.  This book is ideal for middle school age students!
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This book gives insight into two topics I don’t have a lot if familiarity with: hoarding and trap shooting.  I really liked the insight into how anxiety manifests itself through hoarding.  I see this with kids and their obsessions with things.  The trap shooting was interesting but not a selling point for me.  Maggie has to make a tough decision at the end... it was nice to see her healing process.  It was also nice to see a foster family that loved and cared for their fosters.
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I received a free ARC from NetGalley. Elly Swartz explored OCD and anxiety in her novel Finding Perfect. In Give and Take she revisits anxiety. Maggie is afraid she is going to forget the past if she doesn't hold on to items that remind her of important memories after her grandmother passes away from Alzheimer's disease. She is also dealing with letting go of the baby her family is fostering short term. Maggie overcomes personal hurdles with heart. Perfect for any kid who needs a mirror or a window into dealing with anxiety.
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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!!!!
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I loved everything about this book and the characters in it! It was interesting to see this family deal with some lesser known but very real problems. Maggie's anxiety and hoarding were relatable and I liked that Maggie's problem with fostering was attachment rather than the typical jealousy that often comes with a new baby. They've got a great family dynamic, I especially enjoyed how much the grandparents were a part of their daily life. Charlie was awesome with all of his random facts. Even the sport Maggie does was something new to me and sounds fun.
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A heartbreaking story of a young girl dealing with grief in several forms. I felt so badly for Maggie, and I think young readers will relate to her as a character. There were several instances in this book where I felt like Elly Swartz did tremendous amounts of research to make the book as accurate as can be. I am happy to be using this book as apart of my Mock Newbery book club for 2019.

When a children’s novel can keep the attention of an adult, the book becomes very special. I enjoyed all of the characters and really liked the hoarding angle. This is a new reaction to trauma that I’ve not yet seen in a middle grades book. I really liked Dr. Sparrow as a character. I think all kids can learn from her, with or without the hoarding issue.

I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
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“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.
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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.
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Thank you to @NetGalley and the publisher of the book Give and Take for allowing me to preview this book. I found Maggie fascinating. She has a type of anxiety that I had never heard of. I am so thankful to have met her.
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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.
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Maggie has a strong, supportive family. Her father coaches her all girl trap shooting team, her older brother, Dillon, is generally supportive and not mean, and her younger brother Charlie is a trove of odd facts that make Maggie smile. But Maggie is struggling. Her grandmother passes away from complications due to Alzheimers, and Maggie was traumatized when her beloved grandmother didn't recognize her. Her father changes the members of the team, adding a boy and sending one girl to another team to balance the strengths. In addition, Maggie's family takes on a foster infant, Izzie, for just a little while, until her adoption is completed. This takes longer than it should, since a hurricane in the South affects the adoptive parents. Even though she is told from the beginning that the baby will not be with them long, Maggie doesn't want to let her go. Maggie has been dealing with all of her losses by compulsively saving small objects, like gum wrappers, Izzie's binky, and even milk cartons from school. When her mother finds one of her seven boxes (with ants in it!), she yells at her mother. Luckily, her mother realizes this is a problem, and schedules an appointment with a psychologist. Maggie doesn't want to go, but eventually finds that it helps to talk about her fears of forgetting people, and the tactics the doctor suggests to cut down on the hoarding seem to help. Unfortunately, her pet turtle, Bert, accidentally escapes when her brothers bring it to her grandfather's, and this does not help Maggie's anxiety. Eventually, Maggie learns to deal with her feelings and forgive her brothers so that she can engage in her life without so much fear.

Strengths: I really appreciated Maggie's strong family, as well as the fact that her mother got her into therapy immediately when it was clear she had a problem. I can't think of any other books involving trap shooting, so that was interesting. This is on trend with books like We Are Party People and Not if I Can Help It which depict children with similar issues.

Weaknesses: I am not convinced that tweens feel as strongly about babies as books portray; I remember being Maggie's age and living in fear that my parents would have another baby. It seemed like SUCH a bad idea, but a friend's mother was pregnant. My friend was also not very pleased.

What I really think: Interesting story with valid social concerns that are well addressed.Will purchase, if only so I can display this title with Sovern's The Meaning of Maggie (2014) and confuse everyone!
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I loved, loved, loved this book! Like her previous novel Finding Perfect, Elly Swartz deals with mental health in a compassionate, realistic manner. Maggie is a young girl dealing with anxiety which manifests itself through her hoarding. Rather than the book being about a sick girl, the story focuses on a girl whose condition is just one aspect of her life. Fantastic!!
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Elly Swartz has a knack for writing about children with challenges that aren’t often discussed in children’s literature. 
In Give and Take Maggie has a wonderful family who has a lot of love to give, but they have also faced their share of loss. Maggie continues to grieve the loss of her grandmother in ways that no one really knows about until one day her anger bubbles over in a way that not even she was prepared for. Maggie struggles with holding on to things in order to save her memories and it starts to get out of hand. With the support of her family and friends, she is able to let go while still savoring memories. 
The characters had depth, the story line flowed and as with Elly’s other books, you are immediately transported into the setting. You love the story alongside the characters. Another great story for Elly Swartz!
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This book was great! It will make an excellent addition to our empathy unit for 6th grade. I am always excited to read anything Elly has writes!!
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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! It is a must read!
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Elly Swartz once again writes a great middle-grade book that will pull students into a difficult topic without being too overbearing.  The story was interesting and realistic.  The cover is also great because it does not look like a middle-grade book, which tends to be a harder sell to my 7th graders.
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