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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Middle School)

Released June 2009

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Amanda Beeson is Meadowbrook Middle School's most popular student. If you fit into her crowd, you have it made. If not, expect to be picked on. Amanda's latest target, Tracey Devon, is a nobody. Her plain looks make it obvious that she puts no effort into attempting to be fashionable.

Amanda has a secret. By being cruel to others, she keeps herself from feeling pity. When she feels pity, she winds up in the other person's body. Amanda's in for the surprise of her life when she wakes up in Tracey's shoes.

Once the most popular, somehow Amanda's in Tracey's body and experiencing the wrath of the popular crowd. She's definitely not happy with this new situation and wants out! However, unlike past experiences where the body swap lasts minutes, this time she can't get out.

Marilyn Kaye's Gifted Series introduces nine middle schoolers with unusual powers. It's surprising just how much I came to admire the snobbish Amanda. The author does a great job of portraying Amanda in a new light, making it easy for the reader to understand her actions and sympathize with her plight.

Having finished OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND in one sitting. I find myself eager to read the other stories now. I'm especially interested in seeing the author handle the male perspective, particularly with Ken and Charles.

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