Game Changer



Story of softballer in alternate world picks up as it goes.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Game Changer presents a detailed, insider's view of what it's like to play softball at a highly competitive level. Various aspects of training and strategy are discussed.

Positive messages

The characters in Game Changer gradually learn to see the value in both sports and academics. They begin to understand how their prejudices have limited themselves and their loved ones and that a balance can be struck between athleticism and bookishness.

Positive role models

For much of Game Changer, KT Sutton and her family are all rather unpleasant: too focused on either softball or math, impatient and sarcastic with each other, disrespectful of one another's interests. But as KT struggles to understand the alternate world she has entered, she learns to change her attitudes about her sport and her family, for the betterment of all.


There's a small amount of violence in Game Changer, but it's all accidental. One character gets a concussion. Another collapses because of a medical condition, and a third is severely hurt in an explosion.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Game Changer is an alternate-world fantasy set in a reality where the importance of athletics and academics have been switched. The protagonist, an eighth grade girl, must learn to balance sports and and studies and respect the other interests of her family and friends. There's  no profanity, sex, or drug or alcohol use. There's some violence, all accidental: a concussion, a medical collapse, and an injury in an explosion.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Eighth grader KT Sutton's life revolves around softball until the day she blacks out during a championship game and awakens in a world where everything about her school and family has changed. Suddenly, nobody cares about softball or rewards athletic prowess. Everyone is obsessed with competitions in math, science, and geography. To find her way back to where she belongs, KT must change her attitude about what's truly important in life.

Is it any good?


GAME CHANGER has an intriguing concept, but it takes a very long time for it to develop. KT wakes up in a strange world, and while it's reasonable for her to be confused, it always feels as if she's a step or two behind the alert reader in sussing out what's going on. It also doesn't help that she and her family are all depicted as self-absorbed whiners for much of the book. Eventually, however, the plot takes an interesting twist, and the characters begin acting more sympathetically as the action builds to a suspenseful and affecting climax.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Game Changer and what it might be like to live in a world where sports and academics switched their level of importance in society.

  • What determines whether a certain activity or interest is "cool"? Does it changes given different circumstances?

  • Why do parents sometimes seem to favor one sibling over another? What are good ways to alter this behavior and address alternatives?

Book details

Author:Margaret Peterson Haddix
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:October 16, 2012
Number of pages:256
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byK bug August 5, 2013

Just in the middle

Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of my favorite authors, and while sometimes she writes AMAZING books she disappoints with others. Game Changer was right in between. It was relateable in the sense that KT is a moody and very self-absorbed teen and her brother is stuck in the back round. But when she was transformed it got pretty strange. Overall I wasn't wowed, but it wasn't terrible.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byIceBeast21 May 21, 2013

probably on me top 6 list of favorite book to read :)

It is a great book about a girl who's name is KT well thats what every body calls her then she black's out in one of the most importent softball games of her life probably then she wakes up in a world where everything is flipped the message of the book is to be yourself don't be someone else or something else be YOURSELF because it's what make you uniqe.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old March 27, 2013

Pretty good

It teaches about being yourself & why you should not judge others, but it does have a rather sad ending although she is happy.


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