“Goodbye Stranger” by Rebecca Stead, Wendy Lamb Books, 304 pages, $16.99 hardcover
Emily, Bridget and Tabitha have been friends since their early years together in elementary school. Their promise to never fight is tested as they begin seventh grade.
Bridget increasingly struggles with the effects of being struck by a car years earlier. Emily’s interest in a male classmate leads to some poor choices using her phone. Tabitha’s admiration for a teacher’s cause leads her to be off-putting to her closest friends.
Interspersed throughout the friends’ story is the narration of an unnamed high school girl as she looks back at the betrayal and dishonesty within her own circle of friends and its sad consequences.
This is a noteworthy and admirable middle school novel because of its frank and realistic depictions of young friendships and the challenges tweens face at home, at school and among their peers.
— Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge