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Description

Product Description

This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship.
 
Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pact: no fighting. But it’s the start of seventh grade, and everything is changing. Emily’s new curves are attracting attention, and Tab is suddenly a member of the Human Rights Club. And then there’s Bridge. She’s started wearing cat ears and is the only one who’s still tempted to draw funny cartoons on her homework.
 
It’s also the beginning of seventh grade for Sherm Russo. He wonders: what does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?
 
By the time Valentine’s Day approaches, the girls have begun to question the bonds—and the limits—of friendship. Can they grow up without growing apart?
 
“Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love.” — The New York Times
 
A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR, and more!

Review

A New York Times Bestseller
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
A Junior Library Guild Selection  
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR,  Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist
Named to Multiple State Award Lists


"Winsome, bighearted, and altogether rewarding." — Booklist, Starred review

“…Stead’s writing [is]… filled with humor, delightful coincidences… An immensely satisfying addition for Stead’s many fans.” — School Library Journal, Starred review
 
"... [Stead] captures the stomach-churning moments of a misstep or an unplanned betrayal and reworks these events with grace, humor, and polish into possibilities for kindness and redemption. Superb.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred review

“This memorable story about female friendships, silly bets, different kinds of love, and bad decisions is authentic in detail and emotion—another Stead hallmark.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred review

“The handing-down of advice and wisdom from older girls and women is a welcome theme throughout the book and far too rare in female coming-of-age stories; it’s just one of many reasons this astonishingly profound novel is not your average middle-school friendship tale.” — The Horn Book, Starred review

“The author as usual deftly interweaves her plot strands into an organic whole, and between the multifocal plot and the exploration on growth and self-recognition…” — Bulletin, Starred review

“Stead can brilliantly summon what it feels like to be a young adolescent ... [ Goodbye Stranger] is  full of fun and generosity, and ... it is beautifully balanced.” — Wall Street Journal

“This novel not only sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love, it also acknowledges something crucial to the business of growing up: how anyone’s personal ‘we of me’ might look different a little while from now, and later still, different again.” — Meg Wolitzer for New York Times Book Review
 
“Absolutely relatable and full of heart.” — Bustle.com
 
“Beautifully written and perfectly paced ... Stead doesn’t talk down to her intended audience (ages 10 and up) or even to adult readers long past seventh grade who may well be surprised by the flood of real-life memories her fictional world dislodges ...  Goodbye Stranger will remind you of who you are.” — Houston Chronicle
 
“A moving blend of present-day and historic, romantic love and familial love, deep questions and just-for-fun pursuits.” — BookPage
 
“[Stead] can see into the souls of young people as they begin to grow conscious of how others view them from the outside and how they feel on the inside, and she has the skill to illuminate how they grapple with these gaps and overlaps in perception.” — Shelf-Awareness
 
“[A]s authentic as it gets ... This is a landmark in literature on the friendships of young women ...  Goodbye Stranger packs a wallop of emotion that’s a true pleasure to be leveled by.” — The Brooklyn Rail
 
“Stead manages to infuse her book with a timeless quality, particularly in the way she so accurately taps into universal feelings of trying to nail down exactly who one is supposed to be. Stead’s humble story is one that is deeply felt, and perhaps one of the strongest children’s novels of 2015 so far.” — National Post
 
“This marvelous, life-affirming novel, told from three perspectives, explores the unsettling, pivotal changes of adolescence as three best friends start seventh grade.” — Buffalo News
 
“A school story of substance and literary finesse.”— The Toronto Star
 

About the Author

REBECCA STEAD is the author of When You Reach Me, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, and Liar & Spy, which was also a New York Times bestseller, won the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction, and was on multiple state master lists and best of the year lists. Her most recent book, Goodbye Stranger, was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction and a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of First Light, which was nominated for many state awards. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit her online at rebeccasteadbooks.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

The Cat Ears

Bridge started wearing the cat ears in September, on the third Monday of seventh grade.

The cat ears were black, on a black headband. Not exactly the color of her hair, but close. Checking her reflection in the back of her cereal spoon, she thought they looked surprisingly natural.

On the table in front of her was a wrinkled sheet of homework. It wasn’t homework yet, actually. Aside from her name, the paper was blank. She itched to draw a small, round Martian in the upper left-hand corner.

Instead, she put down the spoon, picked up her pen, and wrote:

What is love?

This was her assignment: answer the question “What is love?”

In full sentences.

She looked at the empty blue lines on the page and tried to imagine them full of words.

Love is __________.

Her mom had once told her that love was a kind of music. One day, you could just . . . hear it.

“Was it like that when you met Dad?” Bridge had asked. “Like hearing music for the first time?”

“Oh, I heard the music before that,” her mom had said. “And I danced with a few people before I met Daddy. But when I found him, I knew I had a dance partner for life.”

But Bridge couldn’t write that. And anyway, her mom was a cellist. Everything was about music to her.

Bridge squeezed her eyes closed until she saw glittery things floating in the dark. Then she started writing, quickly.

Love is when you like someone so much that you can’t just call it “like,” so you have to call it “love.”

It was only one sentence, but she was out of time.



Bridge had noticed the cat ears earlier that morning, on the shelf above her desk, where they’d been sitting since the previous Halloween. They felt strange at first, and made the sides of her head throb a tiny bit when she chewed her cereal, but as she walked toward school, the ears became a comforting presence. When she was small, her father would sometimes rest his hand on her head as they went down the street. It was a little bit like that.

Bridge stopped just outside the front doors of her school, slipped her phone out of her pocket, and texted her mom:

At school.

XOXO, her mom texted back.

Bridge’s mother was on an Amtrak train, coming home from a performance in Boston with her string quartet. Bridge’s father, who owned a coffee place a few blocks from their apartment, had to be at the store by seven a.m. And her brother, Jamie, left early for high school. His subway ride was almost an hour long.

So there had been no one at home that morning to make her think twice about the cat ears. Not that anyone in her family was the type to try to stop her from wearing them in the first place. And not that she was the type to be stopped.



Tabitha was next to Bridge’s locker, waiting. “Hurry up, the bell’s about to ring.”

“Okay.” Bridge faced her locker and puckered up. “One, two . . .” She leaned in and kissed the skinny metal door.

“Nice one. You can stop doing that anytime, you know.”

Bridge spun her lock and jerked the door open. “Not until the end of the month.” Seventh grade was the year they finally got to have lockers, and Bridge swore she was going to kiss hers every day until the end of September.

“You have ears,” Tab said. “Extra ones, I mean.”

“Yeah.” Bridge put both hands up and touched the rounded tips of her cat ears. “Soft.”

“They’re sweet. You gonna wear them all day?”

“Maybe.” Madame Lawrence might make her take them off, she knew. But Bridge didn’t have French on Mondays.

If she had French on Mondays, life would really be unfair.



The next day she wore them again.

“Un chat!” Madame Lawrence said, pointing as Bridge took her seat at the very back of the room. And Bridge’s head tingled in the way that happens when someone points. But that was all.

By Wednesday, the ears felt like a regular part of her.



Valentine’s Day

You paint your toenails. You don’t steal nail polish, though.

Vinny calls you chicken: all of her polish comes from the six-dollar manicure place. Every month, she puts another bottle in her pocket while the lady is getting the warm towel for her hands. You told her you want to be a lawyer and can’t be stealing stuff. Vinny rolled her eyes. Then Zoe rolled her eyes. Vinny’s eye-rolls are perfect dives, but Zoe always tries too hard. Her lids tremble and her eyeballs look like they might disappear into her head.

Your mother is shouting that it’s time to leave for school. You suck in air and shout back: “Just a minute!” You are not going to school. She doesn’t realize that, of course.

It turns out that, in high school, not painting your toenails is considered disgusting. You blow on your wet toes, little puffs. “So much for the freshman-year perfect-attendance certificate,” you tell yourself.

“What?” Your mother is standing in the doorway looking impatient.

“Nothing,” you say.

She squeaks about your flip-flops, how it’s February, but you tell her it’s fine, it’s not so cold, there’s no gym today, and nobody cares.

Really you are just going to hang out in the park until she leaves for work. Then you will come back home.



Your feet are ice. The flip-flops were a stupid idea--what were you thinking? The playground swings are freezing and your hands ache, but you hold on, walk yourself back a few steps, and let your body fly.

It feels wonderful.

The playground is deserted. It’s too early for little kids to be out, especially in February, and everyone else is where you’re supposed to be: at school. On your way to the park, you had to dodge Bridge Barsamian, struggling with a big cardboard box, those tatty-looking cat ears she’s been wearing since September peeking over the top. You sidestepped into a bodega just in time.

You lean forward and swing back, lean back and swing forward.

Straight ahead of you is the big rock where you played when you were little. There’s a divot in it, a crater where everyone dumped acorns, leaves, grass, those poison red berries if there were any. You poured them from your shirt-hammocks into the crater and poked the mess with sticks. “Dinner!” You’d all sit in a circle, and Vinny would dare everyone to lick their berry-stained fingers. She was always in charge--even then, before you understood it, her beauty was hard to look away from: glossy dark hair and full red lips. Snow White with a tan and a strut.



It’s windy on the little platform at the top of the wooden climbing tower. The short walls are covered with messages scrawled in thick marker, big sloppy hearts and dirty words. When you were small, you would swing yourself up legs-first, but now you have to stick your head through the opening in the floor and then hoist the rest. You certainly have grown, you tell yourself.

You sit on the rough plank floor and wedge your back into the nearest corner, the one that was always yours. You can almost see them, in their places: Vinny to the left, Zoe to the right. They’re not your friends anymore. They’re both other people now. The girls you can see looking back at you are gone. No one talks about these disappearances. Everyone pretends it’s all right.

Remember the time you found a beer bottle up here? It was empty, but the three of you took turns holding it, staggering around and pretending to drink--though never touching it to your lips; that would have been disgusting. You felt almost drunk for real.

Vinny’s father had been there that afternoon, seen you, and demanded that you all come down. He took the empty bottle with one hand and jerked Vinny’s arm with the other, dragging her toward a garbage can. She tried to cover, acting like she was just walking along next to him, double-time.



You check your phone. Your mom was getting into the shower when you left. You wonder if she has left for work.

You can see the sun touching the tops of the buildings across the street, making its way through the neighborhood like someone whose attention you are careful not to attract. It’s still shady in the playground. But aside from the loneliness, and the cold, it’s all exactly the same. If you keep your own body out of sight, you could be nine years old again.



Another Book on Top

When Bridge came back to school in fourth grade, after the accident, Tabitha introduced her to Emily. And then Tab and Emily showed Bridge how they drew little animals on their homework, in the upper left-hand corners of their papers, underneath their names. Tab always drew a funny bird, and Emily always drew a spotted snake.

They said that Bridge should choose an animal to draw in the upper left-hand corners of her homework, and then they would be a club.

Bridge announced that she was allergic to clubs, that she would rather be a set, like in math. Her mother had homeschooled her. Actually, a lot of it had been hospital school.

“A set?” Tab repeated.

“Yes,” Bridge said. “We could be the set of all fourth graders who draw animals on their homework papers.”

That night, Bridge thought about what her animal should be. A cat? A frog? She decided she would draw a Martian, with a circle body, a circle mouth, two feet but no legs, and three eyes.

The next day, she showed her Martian to Tab and Emily, feeling shy. But Tab clapped when she saw it, and Emily said “Awesome!” And then the three of them held up their papers in a kind of circle on the lunch table, so that their animals could see one another.

“Is a Martian an animal, though?” Bridge asked.

“A Martian is a creature,” Tab said. “And so is a snake. And so is a bird.”

And from then on, they were the set of all fourth graders who drew creatures on their homework. More than that, they were friends.

The next year, Bridge, Tab, and Emily were the set of fifth graders who drew creatures on their homework papers, and they drew the same things they had drawn before: bird, snake, and Martian. Their friendship grew stronger, like a rope that thickened little by little. On the Monday after spring vacation, Emily sighed, rested her chin on the lunchroom table, and said, “Can sets have rules?”

“Sure,” Bridge said.

“What rules?” Tab asked, suspicious.

“It’s only one rule,” Em said. “No fighting.”

“No fighting?” Bridge said.

“Yeah, just--no fighting. Okay?”

“But we have to swear on something,” Tab said. She put her second Twinkie in the middle of the table. “Let’s swear on this.”

Em smiled. “The magic Twinkie of no fighting?”

They each ate a third.

When middle school started, they were the set of sixth graders who drew creatures on their homework and did not fight. That was the year Em’s parents got divorced. The rope became even stronger.



In seventh grade, things were different. Not the rope. Other things.

First of all, now Emily had a “body.” Bridge could see this for herself, and Tab’s older sister, Celeste, who was in high school, confirmed it:

“Look at Emily with the curvy new curves!”

It had happened quickly. Bridge heard her mother telling her father that Emily’s “growth spurt” made her think of those silent four-year-olds who suddenly start speaking in full sentences.

Seventh grade had sports teams and foreign languages. Emily turned out to be not only the second-fastest runner in the grade but also one of the best players on the girls’ JV soccer team, and now even the eighth graders said hi to her. And Tab, who had always spoken French at home but almost never raised her hand at school, became kind of a know-it-all. Madame Lawrence, who was very strict, sometimes chatted and laughed with Tab before class. In French.

Bridge was horrible at French.

And then Bridge’s English teacher handed back the first homework assignment of the year. He had circled her three-eyed Martian and written No doodling on homework, please. Next time I will take off points.

When she showed Emily and Tab and asked if anyone had drawn big red circles around their creatures, they looked at each other and admitted that they hadn’t drawn anything on their homework in the first place.

“You guys.” Bridge dropped her arm so that her paper slapped her thigh. “Seriously?”

Emily grabbed Bridge’s hand and said, “We’re still a set. We’re the set of all seventh graders who used to draw stuff on their homework.”

“And who don’t fight,” Tab added. “Don’t forget the Twinkie.”

“Right,” Em said. She looked at Bridge. “Forever.”

“And ever,” Tab said.

But Bridge understood that life didn’t balance anymore. Life was a too-tall stack of books that had started to lean to one side, and each new day was another book on top.



Maybe

Emily had long legs, and her chest jiggled a little when she moved. She probably jiggled exactly the right amount. And it didn’t slow her down on the soccer field. At all.

“Wow, she just exploded,” Bridge heard someone say after Em scored a goal during the first game of the season. But she wasn’t sure if it was Emily’s speed or her body that was exploding. She and Tab watched the kids running back and forth in the knee-high dust. It was almost October but still summer-hot.

“So what’s with the ears?” Tab asked.

Bridge shrugged. “They’re ears.”

“It’s been a week. How long are you going to wear them?”

“I don’t know.” Bridge could feel Tab studying her, but she didn’t turn her head. “Maybe until it rains?” She touched the cat ears carefully with four fingers. “I don’t want them to get wet.”

“Are you okay?” Tab asked.

“Sure,” Bridge said.



On the last day of September, Bridge kissed her locker for the last time and Emily got a text from a boy. It had not rained. Bridge was still wearing the ears.

The text was from an eighth grader. It said: S’up?

“Wild,” Em said.

“Are you gonna text him back?” Tab asked.

“Maybe,” Emily said.



On the first day of October, Emily got a text from a boy asking for a picture.

“Same boy,” Em said. “That eighth grader. His name is Patrick. Very cute, actually. And he plays soccer.” They were sitting against the fence after Emily’s second win.

“A picture of what?” Tab asked, pulling at the dry grass. She was stirring up dust that made Bridge want to sneeze.

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Top reviews from the United States

safetygirl
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Some Big Positives BUT Also Some Negatives!
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
I purchased multiple copies of this book for our multigenerational, multi family COVID-19 book club. Although it facilitated some excellent parenting moments for important teen topic discussions (peer pressure, friendship issues, etc.), it also lost two of our Zoom... See more
I purchased multiple copies of this book for our multigenerational, multi family COVID-19 book club. Although it facilitated some excellent parenting moments for important teen topic discussions (peer pressure, friendship issues, etc.), it also lost two of our Zoom families and my 13 year old son who simply couldn''t engage with the book. It was a tough start, could be confusing even to mature, educated readers and its more advanced middle school subject matter (boy crushes, sexting, etc.) wasn''t relatable to the twelve and under crowd in general and/or to the boys. There were some excellent aspects of this book but I wouldn''t necessarily go out of my way to recommend it to others. The first two books our book club read - on the other hand - were loved by all of us (grandma, mom and kids 10-14 years old). They were: "The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and "Summerlost" by Ally Condie. I hope reading the sequel to "The War That Saved My Life" ("The War I Finally Won") will be enough to kick start our book club after fizzling our way through "Goodbye Stranger".
6 people found this helpful
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C. Clark
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Rebecca Stead delivers again!
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2015
I discovered Rebecca Stead quite by accident when I picked up a used copy of When You Reach Me. I brought it to school and set it on my bookshelf, and then was puzzled when none of the students picked it up to read. Eventually, during standardized testing, I decided to give... See more
I discovered Rebecca Stead quite by accident when I picked up a used copy of When You Reach Me. I brought it to school and set it on my bookshelf, and then was puzzled when none of the students picked it up to read. Eventually, during standardized testing, I decided to give it a try. Wow, I was blown away! Since then, I''ve read it aloud to several classes, and they all agree it''s a fantastic book.

I was anxious to read Goodbye Stranger because I was hoping it would be as good. It is. Ms Stead has a way with her characters, they''re quirky and unexpected, and I like that. There is always a mystery, in this case another story twists through the main one, and at the end you smack your head and say, "Duh! I should have seen that!" And these mysteries are just as fresh upon subsequent readings, even though you already know what''s going to happen.

The main thread of Goodbye Stranger focuses on a group of seventh graders, and inappropriate pictures posted on social media. As a teacher, I''ve seen this kind of thing happen before, and I''m glad I have this resource now to share with students. Why is it a bad idea to post something without another person''s knowledge? The message here is not shouted, it just plays out in such a way that it gets the point across very poignantly.

Too many times my students want to read supernatural young adult titles. This year, I''ll gently push them toward this book instead. Highly recommended.
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Kat Thomas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Friendships can change
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2016
**Contains a few spoilers, but nothing major*** I read this book with my daughter, along with one of her best friends and the friend''s mother in a book group. Overall, this was a great book. It''s not exactly the type of book I could see myself re-reading, but... See more
**Contains a few spoilers, but nothing major***

I read this book with my daughter, along with one of her best friends and the friend''s mother in a book group. Overall, this was a great book. It''s not exactly the type of book I could see myself re-reading, but everything felt genuine: the characters, the settings, the visual cues. I felt like I was hanging out with this group of people for a few months, watching their lives go by.
Since I didn''t have a cell phone when I was in middle school, the whole sending-picture scandal was interesting to me, but the overall theme of different kinds of friendship and how they change over time is a universal one.

Some stand-alone things that come to mind:

I was genuinely surprised that the nameless girl having trouble with her friend Vinny was Celeste, Tab''s sister. Maybe its because I was reading quickly to finish the book, but I didn''t see it coming.

I really, really wish there had been a resolution to finding out Julie Hopper sent the picture of Em.

I liked the friendship of Bridge and Sherm, how they really just liked hanging out together and, even if they felt weird sometimes, they still just went with it and trusted each other.

I really liked the friendship of Em, Bridge and Tab. Their communication was good, even if that''s not necessarily entirely reflective of real life. But it''s a great standard to aspire to.

I loved all the visuals and unique character details in the story. Bridge and her brother, with their love of the Rudolph Christmas special; Tab and her parents and their fasting ritual; Sherm''s relationship with his grandparents; Em and her brother Evan, who reads tarot cards; the Bean Bar and Adrienne (a boxer with blond dreadlocks!); Bridge''s cat ears, Em''s sportiness, Tab''s emerging feminism; Sherm believing the moon landing was faked, Bridge''s mom playing cello; and on, and on...

This book, in my opinion, definitely stands as a new classic and I think all kids should read it before entering seventh grade. Cheers to Rebecca Stead!
4 people found this helpful
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Susannah Flicker
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book!
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021
I am an eleven year old and I really liked this book. I love how you don''t know who the other perspective is, (not Brige, the other one) until the end. When I read that part, I was actualy really surprised. I recommend this book for maybe nine or ten year olds and up. I... See more
I am an eleven year old and I really liked this book. I love how you don''t know who the other perspective is, (not Brige, the other one) until the end. When I read that part, I was actualy really surprised. I recommend this book for maybe nine or ten year olds and up. I also recommend this book for adults too, yeah, that''s how good it is. I gave it only four stars because it''s not my favorite book ever, and I have definitely read much better books, but I still really liked it and really really REALLY recommend it for every single person looking for a good book to read and reading this review and probably laughing at it. Anyway, I couldn''t put this book down, I finished it in like, two or three days, maybe? I stayed up until like one in the morning every night until I finished it. Sorry, I am kind of getting off track here.
Back to the point, Goodbye Stranger is a great book and I recommend for everyone. All ages over like, nine or ten maybe.
Bye!
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A mysterious eleven year old that talks to much and never stays on the point and is funny and doesn''t know how a end a SINGLE FRICKIN SENTENCE!!!
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Rhys
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good with some problems.
Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2020
I loved this book, some characters were a bit annoying or rude sometimes, like I thought Tab was feminist at first, but then she was a huge jerk later in the story and acted like girls couldn’t do bad things even though she was supposed to be a protagonist. I was also... See more
I loved this book, some characters were a bit annoying or rude sometimes, like I thought Tab was feminist at first, but then she was a huge jerk later in the story and acted like girls couldn’t do bad things even though she was supposed to be a protagonist. I was also confused by the second person perspective and feel that a similar perspective could’ve been achieved with a first person perspective.
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genre-book-lover
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
GodI love this woman''s work
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2017
GodI love this woman''s work. I''m a parent and I read Rebecca''s books to my kids as they grew up, and now, that I''m not doing that anymore, I bought this for myself. And read it. And loved it. Her characters feel real, they are compassionate and good people, even... See more
GodI love this woman''s work. I''m a parent and I read Rebecca''s books to my kids as they grew up, and now, that I''m not doing that anymore, I bought this for myself. And read it. And loved it.

Her characters feel real, they are compassionate and good people, even when they''re good people who make mistakes. The book works as an engaging story, unforced and organic, AND it has a zillion lessons in it for young women growing up in the smart phone age.
One person found this helpful
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Megan Orme-Whitlock
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Real. Middle School. Mayhem. Magnificent.
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2015
This book was snapped up by my more mature Year 8 students (12-13yr) and devoured. Why? Because it addresses this age group without talking down to them, or moving beyond them. The book is told from multiple perspectives, which seems to be a bit of a ''thing'' at the moment,... See more
This book was snapped up by my more mature Year 8 students (12-13yr) and devoured. Why? Because it addresses this age group without talking down to them, or moving beyond them. The book is told from multiple perspectives, which seems to be a bit of a ''thing'' at the moment, but I like that - and so do my students. The writing is beautiful, and the second person narrative of the teen is superb. It is so rare to see effective second person for this age group, that I can''t even think of another example. Essentially, there are three girls who swear to be best friends forever, and never to fight. So of course you know that something happens to stretch that promise to its limits. We also know that middle school is the great unevener. It''s when some kids grow, some don''t. Some get acne, some don''t. Feelings about each other change. Friends have boyfriends or girlfriends when other friends are still saying ''eew!'' Which is why it is so clever that the main character is called ''Bridge.'' Nice. Bridge was hit by a car when she was eight, and shouldn''t have survived. One of her nurses tells her she must have survived for a reason. This niggles at Bridge, but not annoyingly, in a ''what is the meaning of life'' way. It just arises, every now and then. She starts wearing cat ears to school. She gets to know Sherm - my favourite character in the book, whose grandfather has just run off with his girlfriend, and Sherm is trying to make sense of that! The main plot revolves around a selfie shared unwisely and distributed mysteriously. But this doesn''t rule the book. So many things happen to give pause for thought. Goodbye Stranger beautifully captures Middle School and the mysterious changes that bodies, friendships, and people go through as they find out a little more about who they are really. And, if you are as old as me, you can''t help but hear Super Tramp in the background, the whole way through!
6 people found this helpful
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Gerald A. Jennings
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It is a good read for girls and boys and teachers and parents
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2016
Goodbye Stranger by the award-winning author, Rebecca Stead is a novel about seventh graders and their families and friends. It is about growing up: Making decisions; Living with those decisions. It is clearly about friendship and deep friendship and especially a friendship... See more
Goodbye Stranger by the award-winning author, Rebecca Stead is a novel about seventh graders and their families and friends. It is about growing up: Making decisions; Living with those decisions. It is clearly about friendship and deep friendship and especially a friendship between three girls. The plot pulls you toward the ending. The ending, from my point of view, is satisfying. It is a good read for girls and boys and teachers and parents.
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Joanne
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not This Cover
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2021
Enjoying the book so far - but another aspect of buying this one was for the cover and to complete a set. The one sent is completely different and in no way appealing. So, good read. Very disappointing cover edition.
Enjoying the book so far - but another aspect of buying this one was for the cover and to complete a set. The one sent is completely different and in no way appealing. So, good read. Very disappointing cover edition.
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Family Shopper
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
5 Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
My 12 year old daughter has read and re-read this book, she says it''s the best book that she''s ever read (and she''s read a lot!)
My 12 year old daughter has read and re-read this book, she says it''s the best book that she''s ever read (and she''s read a lot!)
One person found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing book, definitely recommend this book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2018
I loved this book! I am very picky about what I read but this really hooked me in and whenever I got home I would come and read it. I rate this book for 11-13 year olds and definitely recommend this book!
I loved this book! I am very picky about what I read but this really hooked me in and whenever I got home I would come and read it. I rate this book for 11-13 year olds and definitely recommend this book!
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Jimmy Just
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not what I expected
Reviewed in Germany on October 14, 2020
I expected a more enjoyable read than this as it had quite a few five-star reviews, However, it seems to me to ramble on in a trendy way about nothing in particular. It was cast aside to join the other books that were not interesting enough to finish. It is possibly more...See more
I expected a more enjoyable read than this as it had quite a few five-star reviews, However, it seems to me to ramble on in a trendy way about nothing in particular. It was cast aside to join the other books that were not interesting enough to finish. It is possibly more suitable for girls than for boys.
I expected a more enjoyable read than this as it had quite a few five-star reviews, However, it seems to me to ramble on in a trendy way about nothing in particular. It was cast aside to join the other books that were not interesting enough to finish. It is possibly more suitable for girls than for boys.
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laura
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Buen precio
Reviewed in Spain on July 7, 2019
Gustó mucho
Gustó mucho
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Praise for the writing of Rebecca Stead:

The List of Things That Will Not Change When You Reach Me Liar & Spy First Light
Read all the bestselling books from Newbery Award-winning author Rebecca Stead! EIGHT STARRED REVIEWS! The reassuring book kids and families need right now. A thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist. The instant New York Times bestselling novel about spies, games, and friendship. This remarkable and acclaimed debut novel introduces readers to a captivating, hidden world below the ice.

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