Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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"His heart is under a lot of strain from something – some pathological condition no doubt – which I cannot recognize or prescribe any treatment for. The glucose and protein solution probably added to his capacity to last out, but that is all we’ve been able to do for him. When you’ve guessed at everything but the one thing, then maybe that one thing is the only possibility you’re left with."

The Changeover

Carnegie winner: 1984
Author: Margaret Mahy

Fourteen year old Laura Chant has psychic abilities and has an uneasy premonition that some misfortune is about to befall her or her family.   When Carmody Braque, a junk shop owner, stamps her brother Jacko’s hand with an image of his face, it becomes clear that the premonition she felt was for a mysterious illness that would exert a talon-like grip upon her brother, threatening his life.

Desperate to aid Jacko who lies unconscious in a nearby hospital, Laura seeks the aid of school-mate, Sorenson Carlisle.  Sorenson is the child in a family line of witches, and as Jacko’s condition worsens, he tries to convince Laura that she should make the change to witchcraft herself and seek to help her brother using magic.  Having undertaken the change, Laura must confront Carmody Braque and stamp his hand with a mark of her own power in the hope that this will severe the link between Braque and Jacko.

There is a genuinely chilling quality about Braque and the way his life-force preys and feeds upon the young.  Jacko's predicament feels all too real and the sense of desperation on those around him and their powerlessness is tangible.  Laura’s changeover is powerful and is driven by some of the changes in her home life and the changes accompanying these.

An unsettlingly dark and creepy novel where Laura\'s shift into the paranormal acts as a high impact allegory for the switch from childhood to adulthood with all of the responsibility that this entails.


coming of age / families / witches /