Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead...

How I Heard About It:   I had read When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy and enjoyed both of them.  When I received an ARC from NetGalley for this new novel, I was excited to read it and see what this story was about.  

What It Is About:  Like all of Stead's books, they are not easy to describe.  She can really write an intriguing plot.  Bridge, Emily, and Tabitha are best friends and are going to try to make their seventh grade year in New York City the best yet.  They make a promise that the three of them will NEVER fight.  No matter what!  As the year goes on, they realize this promise might be harder than they thought.  Bridget meets Sherm and they become friends and wonder if it can be more than that.  Sherm lives with his parents and grandparents, but his grandfather has just left after fifty years of marriage.  These two begin to share their lives and their love for the "tech" crew at school.  Emily has begun to flirt with Patrick who is in eighth grade.  They begin to share digital pictures back and forth, but it goes too far causing much pain for Emily and her friends.  Tabitha has bonded with a teacher and wants to make the world right including her friendships with these two girls.  Her sister Celeste also becomes a part of her world more than she thought.  

What I Thought Of It:  Rebecca Stead is quite a talented writer.  I remember I had to read When You Reach Me twice to really understand all that was going on.  I enjoyed Liar and Spy and the surprises that kept coming at me.  This new book was also enjoyable to me.  I find I can't breeze through them because if I did so there are so many details and important elements that I would miss.  I liked the story of the three girls and their bond toward each other.  I also really liked the friendship between Bridge and Sherm.  I got a bit confused when it came to the chapters about Valentine's Day and told in second person.  It did come together at the end, but all through the story I wondered how this particular part of the book fit with everything else.  Overall, I'm really glad I had the chance to read this ARC.  Thanks NetGalley.  

Who Should Read It:  Her books are not easy to read for an adult let alone a young reader.  In my opinion, I think this book would appeal to a reader in sixth grade or for sure middle-school.  If they have read either of her other books and enjoyed them, then I'm sure this will be a hit also.  Adult readers who are fans of Stead's will find this to be a great read.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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