Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger

Written by Rebecca Stead

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

September 2015 Book of the Month Rebecca Stead loves to set her readers puzzles: there are huge mysteries in her award-winning novels When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy and her new book, Goodbye Stranger also poses questions. Central character Bridge was very nearly killed by a car aged 8, and has never forgotten one of the nurses telling her that ‘you must have been put on this earth for a reason’ – the question what that reason might be circles in her head thereafter. At the time of the book’s action, Bridge is 12 and starting seventh grade, year 7 as we know it, a year that marks a real transition from childhood to the beginning of adulthood. She navigates it cautiously, even reluctantly, in contrast to her long-time best friends Tab and Em who seem more than ready to become young adults. In other plotlines, Bridge’s new friend Sherm tries to work out why his grandfather left his grandmother after fifty years of happy marriage, and – another mystery – which character, unnamed until the very end, is bunking off school in shame after betraying a friend’s trust? Full of ideas, insight and real depth, this beautifully told story examines love and friendship in all their forms, and asks us all to think about who we are. ~ Andrea Reece


Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Bridge has always been a bit of an oddball, but since she recovered from a serious accident, she's found fitting in with her friends increasingly hard. Tab and Em are getting cooler and better and they don't get why she insists on wearing novelty cat ears every day. Bridge just thinks they look good. It's getting harder to keep their promise of no fights, especially when they start keeping secrets from each other. Sherm wants to get to know Bridge better. But he's hiding the anger he feels at his grandfather for walking out. And then there is another girl, who is struggling with an altogether more serious set of friendship troubles...Told from interlinked points of view, this is a bittersweet story about the trials of friendship and growing up.


'Bittersweet story from multi-award-winner Stead. Highly recommended.' The Bookseller, Fiona Noble

'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

'Winsome, bighearted and altogether rewarding' Booklist, starred review

‘Superb’ Kirkus

‘Immensely satisfying’ School Library Journal

About the Author

Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead is an American author who writes books for children and young adults. She won the 2010 Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children's literature for her second novel, When You Reach Me.
Stead enjoyed writing as a child, but as she grew older she felt it was 'impractical' and became a lawyer instead. After years as a public defender she returned to writing after the birth of her two children.

On her website she credits her son with inspiring her to write a children's novel, but not in the way one would expect. For years she had collected story ideas and short stories on a laptop, which the child pushed off a table, destroying it and losing all her 'serious' writing. As a way to lighten her mood she began again with something light-hearted. The creation of First Light followed.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Rebecca Stead
More books by Rebecca Stead

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

3rd September 2015




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

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