Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lean on Me: "Goodbye Stranger" by Rebecca Stead

When Bridget Barsamian was eight years old, she roller-skated into traffic and later woke up in the hospital where the doctor told her she shouldn't be alive, and later, a nurse commented that she must have been put on earth for a reason.
She missed third grade, went through numerous surgeries...and skip ahead a few years and here she is, starting 7th grade. On the third Monday of the new school year, she started wearing a headband with black cat ears attached to it, that seemed to become a comfortable part of her personality.
Bridge is such a wonderfully realized complex girl as are her closest friends, Tabitha and Emily. They have been friends since the fourth grade when Bridge came back to school after her recuperation from the accident. They decide they should be a 'set" of girls who do things together such as drawing on the corners of their homework and later, as their friendship grows over the years, they become the set of girls who never fights.
Goodbye Stranger is also the story of Bridge's brother, Jamie, and of a mysterious un-named alternate girl narrator, and of Sherm Russo, a thoughtful boy who becomes something special to Bridge. Possibly, a best friend.
These girls (and the boys) grow and experience new challenges and ethical dilemmas over the course of the year. As they struggle for acceptance from peers, try to do the right thing and just learn about themselves we come to love them and fear for them and cheer them on in the right directions. These are the kind of kids you'd want to hang out with if you were in 7th grade. And this is a book the Recommender loved so much she just wanted to hug it! I'm betting, once you read it, you will, too!
* Note: This book comes out in August, but I wanted to help get the word out. Thanks to NetGalley for the DRC!

This great song by Bill Withers compliments this wonderful book!
(thank you, Youtube)

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