Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Book: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Genre: MG Contemporary
For: Review
From: Received for free from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: Bridge is a 7th grader dealing with fairly normal 7th grader things. She has a nice group of friends that have promised to never fight... and yet during this year, some stuff happens that tests this promise in a pretty big way. She also becomes friends with a nice sweet boy named Sherm who has his own problems to deal with, namely the fact that his grandparents who live with him have split up after 50 years. We get insights into his thoughts through letters he writes to his grandpa. Everything is leading up to a head, which happens to be Valentines Day. We get a peek into this day from a narrative that is from a POV from a mysterious character that we don't know until the end. Does that all sound complicated? It's not really. It's pretty awesome.

My Response: I loved it. Awesome handling of things that kids this young shouldn't' have to deal with, but do in this day and age. And awesome handling of it perfectly for kids this age. Does that make sense? Not too over the top and/or in your face, just simply and plainly. I also loved that the author had these two characters be attracted, but not "fall in love" quite yet. Way to young! Save that for later! I love the friendship between the girls and how they actually talked if they had an issue. I loved that there were parents involved. Parents! And... I loved the writing. Gah, there's some amazing authors out there! And PS. I really loved this boy Sherm. Like, a lot.

Bottom Line: As I said in my one sentence review over at Goodreads, if you don't think you're that into middle grade fiction, you should definitely try Rebecca Stead's stuff and you'll find out it's just as awesome and thought provoking and emotion inducing as YA.

Let's Talk About: What IS your feeling about MG books? Do you find them not as deep, as a rule, as other books? Do you get frustrated that they lack romance, for instance? Or other stuff? I want to know... what do you think of MG?

Other Reviews:

GOODBYE STRANGER is another terrific novel from a celebrated author in children's fiction. In Bed with Books

I think this would be a very valuable story for middle graders and could generate some excellent discussions. From Rhapsody in Books

While the characters were young, I could still relate to everything they were going through, and I think you would be hard pressed to find any adult who couldn’t relate this book to things hey have experienced both in adolescence and their adult life. From Ex Libris

Despite the number of voices, the book remains clear and shows in many ways the difficult decisions that come from starting to try to figure out who exactly you are going to be. From Waking Brain Cells


  1. I like some MG books. It really depends on the genre and that age level. Some are too young for me and others are just fine. And, I tend to like fantasy MG better than any other genre.

    1. Jenni: I can't decide for sure what makes me like one and not another. I'll have to ponder more...

  2. I really loved this one! I was super taken aback by the sexting story line (but agree that it was very well done); apparently, I really have no idea what is happening in middle schools! I read it in nearly one sitting I liked it so much

  3. I was just over at Book Den's blog saying that in not a huge fan of Middlegrade buy that once in awhile one comes along that restores my faith in them. She reviewed The Nearer Moon and I'm definitely going to check it out. I'll add this one too my list while I'm at it.

  4. As a general rule, I do find MG books too light, but there are some MG books I like :)



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