Changeling (Changeling, #1)

ISBN: 0670059676
ISBN 13: 9780670059676
By: Delia Sherman

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About this book

Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in "New York Between," a Manhattan alongside our own, home to creatures of folklore. Protected by her fairy godmother until she breaks a Fairy Law, now she must face the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park or be sacrificed! Neef is determined, but time is running out.

Reader's Thoughts

Michelle M

Book #8: Changeling, by Delia Sherman.This is a story about a human girl raised in "New York Between" by the magical creatures that live there. She is a changeling, replaced with a fairy creature in the "world outside." She is, as most humans are, a curious and bit foolhardy girl and one innocent mistake throws her whole future into disarray. Only a daunting quest in three parts can restore the only life she knows as home.This was a fast, fun, easy read. Full of puns and twisted meanings and the misconceptions of the human world as seen through the eyes of a pseudo-faerie, I really enjoyed this light read with elements of urban fantasy, myth, and New York travel guide with a tinge of cyberpunk thrown in for good measure. One interesting note about the author, she is one of the founders and president of . I fully intend to check out more of her work.

Warnie B.

Though I never really connected with the main character, Neef, I did enjoy other characters quite a bit--especially Changeling (she's pretty great). It's basically a quest story, and though the plot itself is fairly traditional stuff, the world Sherman's built here is really interesting--it reminds me somewhat of the urban setting in China Mieville's Un Lun Dun (somewhat similar concept, different city). And I kind of loved the moral at the end. I'll definitely give other books of Sherman's a try at some point.

Christina (Reading Thru The Night)

Neef is a human changeling living in New York Between. She has an amazing fairy godmother, Astris, who happens to also be a white rat. Neef has lots of rules to abide by, but that's mainly to keep her safe. She knows that she's a changeling and that there is a fairy living in her place but it really makes no difference to her. She pretty much loves her life.Except she's DYING to attend the Solstice Dance. Astris manages to use magic to keep her asleep during this bi-yearly event but this time around she's determined to stay awake and attend.Unfortunately all those stories about curiosity killing that cat that Astris had told her proved to be true. Unknowingly, she broke a promise and must now deal with the curse. Unless she can acquire the three tokens that the Green Lady challenged her to obtain, Neef will become the food for the Wild Hunt. Using her knowledge of fairy tales, Neef journeys on this quest hoping to right the wrong.Changeling was a pretty fun read. Neef was a likable character and although there were times when I was confused by her actions, overall the story and pacing was perfect.I really liked that Neef meets her Changeling and together they make this journey. I thought that was an interesting twist with the changeling theme in fairy tales. Plus, using New York as the setting made it almost believable, you know. Like, the movie Toy do we know that our stuffed animals don't come alive? New York Between could quite possibly exist!


I finished Changeling in a few days because it is one of the best books I have ever read. If you enjoy a "different" kind of fantasy, then you will love Changeling. This book is mainly about a changeling named Neef who breaks a fairy law, and then her protection of the Green Lady is removed. As she has no protection, her fairy godmother is also taken away. Now Neef and Changeling are on a quest to retrieve 3 diffrent items from the other Geniuses of New York Between. If she does not complete this task, she will be banned from New York Between,and she will be eaten by the Wild Hunt ( a creature half wolf, half demon, 100% nightmare). During this time Changeling and Neef become great freinds. Ms.Mazzole, if you are reading this,I think this is somthing the whole class would love.i recomend this book to EVERYONE!!!!!!! hope you all liked my review. :)


Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies who lives in the Central Park of New York Between, an Otherworld Manhattan that co-exists with our own, inhabited by all sorts of Fairy Folk. Neef (whose real name she doesn’t care to disclose to just anybody since – as you know – real names have power) has been brought up by her fairy godmother the white rat Astris and lives under the protection of The Green Lady, the Genius of the Central Park. Neef’s days are spent in relative tranquillity, learning about Folk Lore and attending lessons at her world’s (awesome) version of the Metropolitan Museum.But Neef is super curious and yearns for adventures. And it is that curiosity that lands her in trouble and she ends up (unknowingly) violating a geas put on her and breaking Fairy law. The result is that she is to be banished from home after losing the protection of the Green Lady, effectively becoming prey to the Wild Hunt. But there is always a way out or a bargain to be made when it comes to the Folk and so Neef and her friends convince the Green Lady to accept a deal: Neef is to go in search of three objects, all of them close to impossible to obtain. Even as scared as she is, Neef takes the challenge as it ought to be taken: as an opportunity to go on a quest and to finally live a Grand Adventure. And a Grand Adventure she has – from being kidnapped to meeting her fairy changeling, from facing mermaids and dragons to meeting the Bull of Wall Street, it’s all very worthy of a cool heroine who deals with all the obstacles with smarts and determination (and sometimes, tears).At the end there is definitely some growth (as any real quester will tell you) and so Neef grows up but interestingly enough, she doesn’t grow human – or at least, I didn’t read it as such. Her sense of ethic is shaped and determined by the Folk stories she knows. She has been completed integrated to her life – she never once thinks about leaving her fairy life for a mortal life, for example. She also knows all the supposed rules of a Quest and everything that relates to stories and she uses this knowledge to her advantage, even when it means breaking those very rules. Part of what made this book such a pleasure to read was the fact that Neef has so much awareness about Fantasy and Folklore tropes. I also loved how varied those stories were as the premise is that the mortal immigrants who moved to NY from all over the world have taken the Folk – and their stories – with them and even beloved book characters become alive in New York Between.That said, I picked Changeling to read after reading and loving Delia Sherman’s amazing The Freedom Maze and I was curious to see how both books compared (or not). I am saying this as a matter of full disclosure: this is how I read this book. So, they are very different books in the end, with very different stories and motives. But I thought it was very interesting that both heroines shared a couple of traits. Both departed on their stories because of the similar impetus that both protagonists shared: the desire to go on an adventure. Plus, both of them loved stories and had a certain awareness of tropes relating to fairytales. The difference lies in how The Freedom Maze’s heroine awareness did not help her at all because, even though there were fantastical elements in that story, she was living in the “real world” whereas Neef uses those to her advantage and with success – but then again, Changeling is a Fantasy story through and through.That also transcribes in how the two stories progress: Changeling is a very, very light romp – even when Neef is at dangerous moments, that danger never really comes through. In fact, that is my biggest problem (if I can even call it that, considering how I enjoyed it) with Changeling: considering the stakes, considering the creatures Neef has to face, the challenges proved to be extremely easy and work out perfectly in the end. I wondered: isn’t it also part of traditional stories that there are great costs to a protagonist on a quest? In that sense, I thought that The Freedom Maze explored that idea much better. Having said that I am also very much aware of the fact that it is not really fair to compare the two books on those grounds but there you have it.Changeling is supposed to be a light, fantastical romp with a very cool heroine and on its own, it is one of the most imaginative Middle Grade Fantasy stories I’ve had the pleasure to read.


This fantasy set in NYC is delightful. It's both scary and funny.


While I never really warmed up to Neef, the protagonist, I thought her changeling counterpart totally, utterly rocked. I loved Changeling from the start, and she made perfect sense to me as what a fairy changeling raised in our world might be like, too.Also, the time spent in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was worth the price of admission (so to speak) by itself.


This book is very light. The subject is almost a subgenre, an alternate city. I read this a very long time ago and remember really liking it, this time not so much. The characters are flat and predictable and the plot to easily accomplished. A twist on an unlikely hero story suitable for younger readers. However the description of scenery and classic characters is very good. This author has a gift for scenery unlike any other. The sheer imagination of the different fabulous creatures really came to life for me. But as for depth there was none. I can clearly see why I liked it so much when I was younger, and would recommend for younger readers


CHANGELING is the kind of fairy tale I love :D Set in the modern day, with a bold young girl names Neff who is trying to survive the fairy realm's elaborate rules. Neef is a Changeling, stolen to be raised by fairies, with a fairy left in her place. Living in Central Park and closely watched by her fairy family, all Neef wants--like any smart kid--is freedom, but in the fairy world, freedom can be deadly. Neef has to use her wits when she breaks the Rules. If she doesn't succeed on a small quest, the Wild Hunt will have her, and she will die. The story is a tense and scary one, the characters wonderful. I love Delia Sherman's adult books, and I am delighted with this one as well the next one in this series comes out in June 2009 I will be keeping my eye out for it as I am excited to see how this Fairy Tale continues!!! ;.D


This is a fantastic children's fantasy/adventure book with some interesting psychological aspects that adults will appreciate. I don't know how much is too much to give away, but the book does wonders with its descriptions of scenery and characters and is great fun for people who know Manhattan, and presents a unique idea for the origin of "changeling" children, those who the fairies leave in place of kidnapped human children.

Melissa Bennett

Neef is human who was switched at birth with a fairy and brought into New York between to become the Changeling of Central Park. She's is an overly curious child and soon becomes aware of a Solstice dance that occurs every year that she somehow always misses. Neef loves to dance and wants very badly to go. She realizes that she has been given a sleeping potion on the previous nights of the dance. She quickly finds a way around that and on the night of the dance, she sneaks down to it. There she causes a ruckous and the Green Lady of the Park states that she was forbidden to attend the dance and must be banished. If she is banished, she will be left for the Wild Hunt who waits in anticipation to get there hands (or claws) on her. She ends up making a deal (with the help of the Pooka)to go on a quest to obtain 3 objects to appease the Green Lady. On her quest she is accompanied by the fairy that was left in her place. Although they look alike, they are very different. They become close during there quest and realize each other's differences are good in their own way. This was a great book that teaches many different morals. I recommend it highly.


I was gonna read a chapter or two, then go to bed, but I had to keep reading to see how it turned out! A fabulous book about a the quest of a young changeling, who had broken a major rule, to get back home, save her earthly counterpart and return her home, get her stepfather back home, and release another changeling from servitude.This is the first book by Ms. Sherman that I have read, but it's clear I shall have to read the others.


This book is deceptive. I nearly regretted buying it because the first few chapters seemed contrived and poorly written - but over the summer, I had nothing better to read, so I kept going. I tell my friends now, at least give it until page 75, because that's when I noticed the change. That's when Changeling suddenly went from bad to very good, and it kept me turning the page until the very end. I've read plenty of modern urban fantasies, but Delia Sherman puts an interesting spin on a New York full of fairies, monsters, and gods. The beginning barely hooked me, yet I was sad for it to end!

Kathryn McCary

Delia Sherman's first novel set in New York Between is splendidly entertaining. Neef, the Central Park changeling, offends the Park's Genius and is sent on a quest that leads her to New York Harbor, Broadway, Wall Street--and some odd spots along the way. New York Between shares the same space, but not quite the same reality, as the New York City we know; the glorious thing is that it is nonetheless recognizably New York. And because New York Between is inhabited by the Folk (meaning, pretty much, any and all supernatural folkloric beings, a goodly number of literary creations, and some denizens of cyberspace), it is NYC writ large and across the ages. Hilarious, but with a good core of introspective growth on Neef's part. What a joy!


Lexile 740L

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