Give and Take by Elly Swartz

You don’t want to lose the things or people that leave imprints on your heart.

–Elly Swartz

Maggie: A twelve-year-old girl who describes herself as someone who cannot love in small doses. She has been missing Nana since Forgot-Me Day, hoping to adopt Izzie as her little sister for keeps, and longs for her trap-shooting team to remain as the Original Five.


4Q readers visited Wellesley Books for Elly’s launch party on October 18th. We enjoyed the reading of Chapter 1, an interview session, and some delicious Give and Take cake!


This work of heart is a reminder to parents and teachers to check in with their children and students. Do we know what they are worried about? More importantly, do we understand what their worries make them feel like they should or should not do? Maggie’s story is also reassurance for kiddos that it’s okay to share their worries– BIG and small. Anxiety is real. Anxiety is common. Anxiety can be all-consuming, but we cannot let our worries boss us around. We are in control. Have you checked in with the ones you love lately? You could be the one who offers some hope.

What the author says:

  • “This book is all about loving BIG!”
  • “Every emotion in this book is mine.”
  • “I felt really proud of it [the book] early on.”

What the characters say:

  • “Family’s not something that lasts days or weeks. It’s an always thing.” –Dillon
  • “This is our moon,” I tell Izzie. “Ours to share. If we see the same moon night after night in the sky, then we can stay connected. Be connected.” –Maggie
  • “Memories stay with you. In your heart.” –Mom
  • “Truth is, life’s filled with give and take. Details fade. Or even erase entirely. But love never leaves. It carves into your heart. It’s a forever thing.” –Gramps
  • “I promise that your heart and brain will remember the things that are important to you.” — Dr. Sparrow

What readers say:

  • “I want to read all of the Elly Swartz books!”
  • “Maggie is complicated because she wants to be nice to her brothers, but she gets mad when people touch her stuff.”
  • “The big life issues in this book are loss, friendship, and family struggles.”
I’ve tucked these theme jots into the back of my book for safe keeping. Watching readers grow overtime, in their engagement and thinking, is so rewarding.
Elly shares her positive spirit and Chapter 1 on her YouTube channel!

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