Review: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

29 Jul

Goodbye Stranger

Goodreads Summary:  Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games–or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? 
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl–as a friend? 
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

FTC Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:  I loved Rebecca Stead’s Newbery winning When You Reach Me. I was excited to read this new book, especially as it is appearing on several Mock 2016 Newbery lists.

The bare facts: I enjoyed the book, but I found it sometimes hard to follow. It’s not that the story is told  in alternating view points. That can make a book interesting. It’s the add-in story of the un-named (until the end) high school girl. For me, that just made the story more confusing. I liked the characters, especially Bridge. Bridge has a quirkiness that makes her a joy to read about. As an educator and a parent, I appreciated the message about social media and young people need to realize just how serious, texting, Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media are. As someone has said, “It’s all fun and games until it hits Facebook.”

Will I buy this for my library? Probably not. I might reconsider if it wins the Newbery.  However, I don’t believe its audience is elementary school. (My library is K-5).  I will recommend it to my fellow librarians who work in Middle Schools. And I’ve already recommended it to several friends who have children that are in Middle School and High School. I think it’s a great book for parents and children to read together – provided you can find any who still read books together.

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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