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Goodbye Stranger

New York Times Notable Book, 2015

Back in grade five, Bridge, Tabitha and Emily made a pact. Never to fight, ever. Now, two years later, they’re still best friends, but other things are changing. Bridge meets Sherm, and is soon excited and confused by her new, strange feelings. And when Emily starts texting pictures of herself to Patrick, Bridge and Tab find themselves complicit in a naïve plan that quickly spirals out of control.

And while the three friends navigate the challenges of their changing friendship, another story—of betrayal and remorse—keeps you guessing until the very end.

Goodbye Stranger is a tender and intricate story about friendships, and love, and the pain of sometimes making the wrong choices.

Listen to an interview with Rebecca on NPR


New York Times
Alpha Reader
Middle Chapter
Kirkus Reviews


Rebecca Stead
About the Author

Rebecca Stead is the author of the children’s novels First Light and the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

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5 August 2015
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friendship, relationships, love, betrayal
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Praise for Rebecca Stead
andGoodbye Stranger

‘This memorable story about female friendships, silly bets, different kinds of love, and bad decisions is authentic in detail and emotion—another Stead hallmark.’

‘[Stead] captures the stomach-churning moments of a misstep or an unplanned betrayal and reworks these events with grace, humour, and polish into possibilities for kindness and redemption. Superb.’

‘Stead shows how strongly love of all kinds can smooth the juddering path toward adulthood. Winsome, bighearted, and altogether rewarding.’

‘[Stead’s writing is] filled with humor, delightful coincidences, and the sorts of things…that escalate in ways that can seem life-shattering to a 13-year-old. The author keeps all her balls in the air until she catches them safely with ineffable grace.’

‘[Stead] looks at life in funny and profound ways that will allow young readers to come to these questions from multiple entry points, no matter where they are on their own journeys.’

‘Rebecca Stead has such respect for her pre- and early- teen characters, and the girls and boys in this story are so well drawn…The story is about how friendships shift and change, how we shift and change, and how to live through the mistakes that we all inevitably make. I identified with this story so much, and can’t wait to pass it on to my daughter.’

‘Rebecca Stead’s story is multi-layered and sumptuous, beautifully plotted and a real page-turner.’

‘An unforgettable book about young girls coming of age written with wit and compassion.’

‘This novel not only sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love, it also acknowledges something crucial to the business of growing up: how anyone’s personal “we of me” might look different a little while from now, and later still, different again.’

Goodbye Stranger was such a pleasure to read…[Stead’s] teenage characters are so real, and charming and likeable, even when they’re not making the best decisions…I will continue to sing the praises of this new book well into the rest of the year (and probably much longer).’

‘[Stead has] a profound appreciation for the young people she writes for…She creates the kind of situations that would shatter a vulnerable thirteen-year-old girl but somehow manages to do so with a deft, light touch full of empathy and humour.’

Goodbye Stranger is the kind of book you might call a revelation. It is surprising, generous, thoughtful, honest and it paints a picture of the time after childhood and before youth more honestly than I have ever seen depicted.’

‘The language is often dazzling and the minor characters have great appeal. A very satisfying read.’

‘A wonderful story, beautifully and realistically imagined but with a deft touch full of empathy and humour. I loved it!’

‘Rebecca Stead owns my heart, I swear. Her books just make me happy down to my toes, and Goodbye Stranger was more pure joy from this masterful middle-grade author.‘

‘Deeply empathetic and honest.’

‘This gentle and generous novel is beautifully balanced.’

‘As always, Stead’s writing is innovative.’

‘The emotional complexity is deftly done by Stead in a way that is satisfying and accessible for young adults and adults alike, without being patronising, and acknowledging that we all make mistakes along the way.’

Other editions ofGoodbye Stranger
  • Goodbye Stranger
    ISBN: 9781922253132
    5 August 2015
    Buy ebook