cover image If I Were You

If I Were You

Leslie Margolis. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $15.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-30068-5

At the end of the summer, 12-year-old best friends Melody and Katie are no longer speaking, having fallen out over a boy. But the rift actually cuts deeper: each girl envies the other’s life. So when their bus to the beach passes through what Melody has always believed is a magical tunnel, both girls wish to relive the summer as the other, and the summer reboots, with Katie as Melody and vice versa. Margolis (the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series) takes her Freaky Friday–style setup down a typical path, with the girls’ initial enjoyment of their new lives giving way to deeper understanding. Katie loves Melody’s curvy body while Melody appreciates looking more childlike again. The freedoms of Melody’s house (not to mention dating the boy who came between them) thrill Katie, while Katie’s close-knit family is all Melody ever wanted. Margolis uses a light touch as she navigates the challenges of growing up and changing friendships. Her characters are fully formed and sympathetic in a fresh take on the age-old idea that there’s no place like home. Ages 10–14. Agent: Laura Langlie, Laura Langlie Agency. (May)