readingcook

Goodbye Stranger

In YA Book Reviews on September 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

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 by Rebecca Stead

Realistic Fiction/©2015/304 Pages/Stand Alone/Recommended for Middle Grade

Publisher’s Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):

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?

My Thoughts:

I loved everything about this book – the engaging plot with the multiple perspectives that tell the story (including the one told in email texts and another one – very mysterious – told in the second person), the truly memorable characters, and the bounty of life lessons at the core of the story. Rebecca Stead is a master at capturing middle school – the drama, the relationships, the issues with social media, and the gamut of all its ups and downs. I especially appreciate how she portrays teachers (Mr. Partridge is a composite of the best teachers I know) and how important they can be in helping kids think, evolve, and navigate the mine field that is middle school. Ms. Stead deftly covers the typical middle school experiences, and, in doing so, she takes it much deeper, helping readers reflect on who they are and who they want to be. At its core, it is a quiet story about love and friendship, but it packs a punch and makes you think. All in all, an outstanding book.

My Rating: 5/5

Other Resources:

The Classroom Bookshelf Review and Teaching Suggestions

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