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Amy by Any Other Name

by Maureen Garvie

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list price: $12.95
published: 2009
publisher: Key Porter Books
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Amy By Any Other Name

When 16-year-old Amy wakes up in a hospital bed, seriously injured from a diving accident, the wealthy, overachieving Toronto teen discovers that she has somehow switched bodies with Krystal, a troubled girl from north-end Kingston, who also faced death after being hit by a truck. Unable to get anyone to believe her, she begins to build a new life, while secretly trying to find a way back to the life she once had. But is the past what she really wants, when the future holds so much possibility?

Amy By Any Other Name poses some interesting questions. What would you do if you suddenly woke up in a body that wasn’t yours, forced to step into a life that was the polar opposite from yours? And what role do circumstances play in shaping who we are? Amy has everything going for her. She’s got looks, smarts, and athletic talent, and she’s grown up in a loving and privileged household, her future completely ensured. By contrast, Krystal is not especially driven, she’s “Goth” in appearance, has few friends, and has precarious relationships with the adults in her life.

By using first person narration, and telling the story from Amy’s point of view, readers’ exposure to Krystal comes primarily through Amy’s eyes, and through her imagination, making it seem like Krystal is the only winner in this scenario. Amy is frantic to reclaim her old life, and all of her actions are building towards what truly is a selfish goal, and gives little consideration to how others (particularly Krystal) might be affected by it. She embraces her future because she’s forced to, but there is always the sense that she will never fully let go of her past.

Amy By Any Other Name is a well-written, complex and thought-provoking story, and teens will be intrigued by this unusual premise. What Amy and Krystal do with their new lives demonstrates the control and choice that individuals have in shaping their own destiny and rising above circumstance, making this a title worth studying and discussing in more detail.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2009. Vol.32 No.4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Amy by Any Other Name

Sixteen-year-old Amy is an overachiever from a rich Toronto family. When she wakes up in the hospital after a diving accident, she finds herself in the body of a troubled Kingston girl named Krystal. She explains her problem to others, but they don’t believe her. All Amy wants is to find her way back to the life she once had. Or does she?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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When sixteen-year-old Amy wakes up in a hospital bed, terribly injured from a dive onto hidden rocks in a quarry, her shattered body is not the worst of her troubles. The worst of it is the fact that the body isn?t her own. An over-achiever from a wealthy Toronto family, Amy has somehow ended up in the body of Krystal, a troubled girl from North-End Kingston. No one, of course, believes what Amy says. Amy's drive and determination help her to build a new life, but all she really wants is to find her way back to the one she once had. Or does she?
Amy by Any Other Name is a story about identity--and about the human capacity to grow and change.

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About the Author

Maureen Garvie

MAUREEN GARVIE is a former teacher, journalist and librarian who now works as an editor for McGill-Queen’s University Press. She grew up in Kingston, Ontario, and returned there after a long stint living and teaching in New Zealand. She is the author of three books for young readers, including George Johnson’s War, co-written with Mary Beaty (Groundwood, 2002), Lake Rules (Key Porter, 2005) and Amy by Any Other Name (Key Porter, 2009). Maureen now lives in Kingston on the shores of the St. Lawrence, in the same house where she grew up.

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