The Art of the Swap

The Art of the Swap

Two girls trade places in time to solve a legendary art heist across two centuries! As the daughter of a caretaker for a mansion-turned-museum, twelve-year-old Hannah Jordan has spent nearly all her life steeped in the history of the Gilded Age of Newport, Rhode Island. The Elms, the mansion where her dad works (and they both live), is one of the most esteemed historical p...

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Title:The Art of the Swap
Author:Kristine Carlson Asselin
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Art of the Swap Reviews

  • Jen Petro-Roy

    Oh, I loved this! Swapping identity stories are always so fun, but the dual time periods of this book makes it extra fascinating.

  • Patty Palmer

    Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

    If you could switch places with someone, who would you choose? For Hannah Jordan, daughter of the caretaker at The Elms Mansion in Newport, RI, it’s Margaret, a.k.a. “Maggie” Dunlap, the young heiress who summered at The Elms in the early twentieth century.

    In a “Freaky Friday”-like time travel experience, Hannah no longer has to wonder what it was like to live in the Gilded Age. Her wish is granted when both girls appear on opposite sides of a mystery mirro

    Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

    If you could switch places with someone, who would you choose? For Hannah Jordan, daughter of the caretaker at The Elms Mansion in Newport, RI, it’s Margaret, a.k.a. “Maggie” Dunlap, the young heiress who summered at The Elms in the early twentieth century.

    In a “Freaky Friday”-like time travel experience, Hannah no longer has to wonder what it was like to live in the Gilded Age. Her wish is granted when both girls appear on opposite sides of a mystery mirror, completely swapping full-body identities – Hannah moving back in time, and Maggie leaping forward into the 21st century.

    Maggie is initially horrified to find that she’s wearing trousers instead of a dress, but rather enjoys the freedom of movement they allow! And what is the small rectangular object that vibrates and lights up with letters and a photo? She frets over how she will possibly be able to play soccer without perspiring. What would Aunt think about all this? Meanwhile, Hannah marvels at how much is exactly the same at The Elms in 1905, and quickly learns that she/Maggie enjoys many freedoms not afforded to those keeping the house running smoothly beneath her in the basement. She puts all her efforts into trying to prevent the commissioned painting of Maggie from being stolen in the famous 1905 art heist.

    Will Hannah’s best be enough? The girls can’t help but wonder if the grass greener on the other side. A temporary swap threatens to become permanent and the girls reflect on their old lives with yearning. In a race against time, Hannah and Maggie try to solve the mystery of the missing portrait without affecting the rest of history as written in the books.

    Spending most of my childhood summers in Newport: on the beach, walking through the shops in historic downtown, and visiting The Breakers and Rosecliff on school field trips, I appreciated all of the historical references embedded in the story, then and now.

    With equal parts mystery, science fiction, and ultimate girl power, The Art of the Swap, co-written by Kristine Asselin and Jen Malone, is a delightful title to seek on or after it’s Book Birthday on February 13, 2018.

  • Patrick Hodges

    What a delightful story. I loved every part of it.

    Hannah has the privilege of living in the stately Elms manor, a remnant of the Gilded Age of the early 20th century. She's big on history, and often gets into trouble because she knows more about the place than the docents who give tours. One day, she happens upon a hidden mirror which gives her a tiny window into the past. She sees Maggie, a girl her age from 1905 whose portrait Hannah has admired for many years. Both girls, full of curiosity, t

    What a delightful story. I loved every part of it.

    Hannah has the privilege of living in the stately Elms manor, a remnant of the Gilded Age of the early 20th century. She's big on history, and often gets into trouble because she knows more about the place than the docents who give tours. One day, she happens upon a hidden mirror which gives her a tiny window into the past. She sees Maggie, a girl her age from 1905 whose portrait Hannah has admired for many years. Both girls, full of curiosity, touch the mirror - and switch bodies.

    Hannah is magically transported to 1905, where her devil-may-care attitude is NOT proper. Meanwhile, Maggie now finds herself in a time with technological marvels such as cell phones, airplanes, and television. Both girls find themselves trying to solve a century-old mystery of a missing painting, not to mention how they're going to get back to their proper times!

    The amount of research the authors did is obvious - every detail was crafted with loving care. I adored the personalities of both girls, despite them being polar opposites. The character of Jonah, a servant boy who becomes embroiled in the mystery, was also wonderful. The story was full of suspense and intrigue and funny moments, and I found myself turning page after page in anticipation.

    Young readers who love history and mysteries and GIRL POWER! will take to this story in a heartbeat. I highly recommend it.

  • Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Netgalley

    Hannah lives in Newport, Rhode Island in The Elms, a fabulous mansion from the Gilded Age. Of course, her father is the caretaker of the 1905 edifice, so she lives in a small apartment, but she does have the opportunity to roam around, and she loves learning about the history of the time, a fact which sometimes gets her into trouble with the docents! She is intrigued by the portrait of Margaret Dunlap-- the original painting by Mary Cassat was stolen the night of the unveilin

    E ARC from Netgalley

    Hannah lives in Newport, Rhode Island in The Elms, a fabulous mansion from the Gilded Age. Of course, her father is the caretaker of the 1905 edifice, so she lives in a small apartment, but she does have the opportunity to roam around, and she loves learning about the history of the time, a fact which sometimes gets her into trouble with the docents! She is intrigued by the portrait of Margaret Dunlap-- the original painting by Mary Cassat was stolen the night of the unveiling party and never recovered, although there is a copy hanging in its place. When Hannah is investigating the fram while dusting, she finds the outline of a key on the back... and somehow, she is able to talk to Maggie. Even more thrilling is the fact that the girls swap places! Hannah is sure that this swap must be about the theft of the painting and sets out to investigate, with the help of the main suspect, a kitchen boy named Jonah. Maggie finds it harder to insert herself into Hannah's life, since she doesn't have the background knowledge that Hannah has about the people, and there are so many new technologies and clothes to deal with! The two girls communicate frequently and manage to find out the fate of the original painting, and try to find a way to unveil it in the present day. They try to swap back, but are stopped, and continue to work in the time they inhabit to make things right.

    Strengths: This put me in mind of both Tom's Midnight Garden, as well as Konigsberg's The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler AND made me really want to take a tour of the historic houses of Newport! The time travel method was highly acceptable, the mystery solid, and the relationahip between the girls very charming. Hannah's realization that the history she knows so well really did happen, and had some ramifications she hadn't fully understood, is well done and tempers her somewhat bratty personality at the beginning of the book. Maggie's awe at the freedom of modern girls and her embracing that freedom when she returns to her own time were both heartfelt and touching. There are a lot of art mysteries, but this wasn't as much about the art. Modern girls would do well to understand that the freedoms they enjoy have not been around forever, and this book is an excellent way for them to gain more details about women's rights and how they affected every day life.

    Weaknesses: This was on the long side. Since Maggie's exploits in the modern day are not as crucial to the plot, I think I would have gone a bit lighter on them.

    What I really think: Will definitely purchase, since Malone has a huge fan base in my library. I am impressed with the seamless work of these two authors-- definitely a success story for Google docs!

  • Edshara

    I had to power through a book hangover, when I started this, but I really enjoyed it.

    Maggie and Hannah were great characters with relatable strengths and weaknesses. It was interesting to see that even though they were so different, they were a perfect pair. I found it refreshing that this book featured two female protagonists and they weren’t whiny and didn’t waste time bickering.

    Maggie and Hannah responded to their time travel, in ways, that I felt truly fit their characters. Each made mistake

    I had to power through a book hangover, when I started this, but I really enjoyed it.

    Maggie and Hannah were great characters with relatable strengths and weaknesses. It was interesting to see that even though they were so different, they were a perfect pair. I found it refreshing that this book featured two female protagonists and they weren’t whiny and didn’t waste time bickering.

    Maggie and Hannah responded to their time travel, in ways, that I felt truly fit their characters. Each made mistakes and fumbled, although, they were able to regroup and stay on task. I liked that their experiences, outside of the time travel, were believable. Their were no quick fixes or miraculous abilities. They had to work with the skills they had and that was really interesting to see. It was also nice to see that each girl got to step up and take the lead. The book even addressed the weirdness of Maggie and Hannah’s situation after they time traveled and I thought that was a fun bonus.

    Jonah was a great character as well. He was easy to like and I though he was wise. The method of time travel was unique and I liked how it fed into the history of the story. The book also does a good job of incorporating women’s rights, pop culture, family, friendship, mystery and other typical tween situations. I really appreciate the authors, for all the additional resources, they provided at the end of the book.

    As for flaws, their was a point when I felt that the pop culture references were excessive and sometimes the slang dialogue felt forced. It also seemed like things wrapped up a little too easily, especially for Jonah. Overall though, this book was a fun read and I’m glad I was able to get my library to pick up a copy.

  • Jen Dee

    Fun young teen historical switcheroo with some mystery solving thrown in. I recommend it for ages 8+.

  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Asselin, Kristine and Jen Malone The Art of the Swap, 333 pages. Aladdin (Simon), 2018. $17. Content: G.

    Hannah, 12, loves living in The Elms museum with her caretaker father. She does, however, sometimes get I trouble for correcting the docents in front of the patrons. Always fascinated by mystery of the missing portrait of Maggie Dunlap, the tween heiress who grew up in the home over 100 years ago. One day while looking at the replacement portrait, Hannah sees something in a mirror – Maggie! Wh

    Asselin, Kristine and Jen Malone The Art of the Swap, 333 pages. Aladdin (Simon), 2018. $17. Content: G.

    Hannah, 12, loves living in The Elms museum with her caretaker father. She does, however, sometimes get I trouble for correcting the docents in front of the patrons. Always fascinated by mystery of the missing portrait of Maggie Dunlap, the tween heiress who grew up in the home over 100 years ago. One day while looking at the replacement portrait, Hannah sees something in a mirror – Maggie! When Maggie sees her, they can talk; but when they both touch the mirror, they trade places. Now Hannah is in the perfect position to solve the ages old mystery and Maggie can help on the modern end – while adjusting to a world where girls are allowed to run and wears shorts!

    I love a good time switch novel – from all the way back to Switching Well by Peni Griffin. Asselin and Malone keep the narrative interesting and moving while letting us see the challenges and success of each girl. If your students enjoy this one, you should recommend The Sixty-Eight Rooms series by Marianne Malone as a follow-up.

    EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

  • Yapha

    Twelve year olds Hannah Jordan and Maggie Dunlop both live in Newport, Rhode Island in the same house, except Maggie lives there in 1905 and Hannah lives there now. Maggie is the niece of the estate's owner, and enjoys the many luxuries (and restrictions) of a girl from upper class society in the gilded age. Hannah is the daughter of the caretaker of the museum that the house has become. Through a twist of fate, the two girls manage to switch bodies and places in time. Suddenly, Hannah is in Mag

    Twelve year olds Hannah Jordan and Maggie Dunlop both live in Newport, Rhode Island in the same house, except Maggie lives there in 1905 and Hannah lives there now. Maggie is the niece of the estate's owner, and enjoys the many luxuries (and restrictions) of a girl from upper class society in the gilded age. Hannah is the daughter of the caretaker of the museum that the house has become. Through a twist of fate, the two girls manage to switch bodies and places in time. Suddenly, Hannah is in Maggie's body in 1905, living in the world she has been obsessed with for years. For Maggie the future is a strange place indeed, but she begins to enjoy the freedom that girls have in many aspects of their lives (No corsets! Wearing pants! Running on the soccer field! Running for president!). Hannah decides that they must have been switched so that she can stop a theft from happening, but it is not as easy it seemed to be from the future. A very fun time-travel, body-swapping adventure! Highly recommended to grades 4 and up.

  • Pam

    I personally do not like books that alternate between the characters narrating the chapters. For me I just get into the flow of the story and wham I have to reestablish the story in my head and try to get back into reading. Then wham it happens again and again. I suspect there are many people like me and perhaps especially many young readers starting out. As a result I don't recommend this book.

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