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One of my favorite authors. I'm always up for a new book by Rebecca Stead! I got an advance release copy of Goodbye Stranger. It will be out in August.
I was disappointed in the content of this one. Not because I don’t think these type of things are happening in middle school, but because I’m not going to be able to introduce this one to my elementary students.
We’ve all loved When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy, but this one deals with things that are too mature for my kiddos to handle yet. Once you put those images/thoughts in your head, you can’t get them out!
However, it was a wonderful story all-in-all. Perfect for upper middle school and high school readers.
AR level: none yet
Grade appropriate: 8th and up
Overall: 4/5-- I liked the book a lot!
Creativity: 5/5-- it was interesting the way that the story bounced between 2 points of view. I didn't figure out who the second character was until the author revealed it. Very typical of Rebecca Stead.
Characters: 5/5-- believable, realistic, endearing.
Writing: 5/5--my hesitation is related to the mature content...
Appeal to kids: 4/5
Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
Language: mild--"most of the girls in my middle school were such bitches."
"She'd say you put her and your father through a hell full of worry."
Sexuality: mild-- One of the characters texts pictures back and forth with a boy she likes. First it's a picture of her feet, he sends her one of his feet. It escalates to a picture of them in their underwear. (There are steep consequences.)
The girls discuss that Halloween is not a “sex parade.” Meaning they don't want to dress up in skimpy costumes. One of their classmates dress like a playboy bunny.
vague references to girls hitting puberty & bodies changing.
In the end the main character kisses a boy.