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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are lots of children in today’s world who spend half their lives at one home and the other half at another. Whether their parents have separated, divorced, or were never married, having two homes can be confusing for a young child. But, when both families work together and help each other, this confusion can be lovingly sorted out. Some children call moving from one house to another switching houses; others call it exchanging or swapping. It doesn’t matter what it’s called, as long as both sides of this extended blended family work together to make the transitions smooth. There are advantages to a child having two homes: two birthdays each year, two Christmases, in fact, two of just about everything.
Lauren Gould’s picture book story, When Kids Switch Houses (When Kids Series Volume 1), is a clever way to help young children who have to face this challenge of living in two homes. The book deals with a difficult and complicated situation which is part of the new norm in today’s society. The book also helps young readers who only have one home to understand when their friends live in two homes. There are a growing number of children who ‘switch’ houses regularly. The story is written in the first person, so the account is from a child’s perspective, sharing her experiences ‘switching’ houses. The colorful illustrations help lead the story along. The story is told tenderly and with compassion, allowing young readers to appreciate and understand that it’s okay to have two homes. In fact, sometimes there are double bonuses, like two of everything.