I don’t read a lot of middle grade books, but I adore Rebecca Stead.
(Note: the term middle grade refers to the audience [for the middle grades, ages 8-12], not the book’s quality. I mention it because a lot of people simply don’t know that.)
Goodbye Stranger is a lovely book about seventh-grade Bridge, her long-time friends Tab and Emily, and her new friend Sherm. It’s about changing relationships and the staggered rate at which kids mature. It’s about walking that awkward line of caring about someone as more than a friend but not being ready to date.
Plus there is an anonymous second-person voice every few chapters dealing with her own issues. It was fun to try to guess who the person was … and I figured it out (eventually!).
Everything just came together in such a lovely way that feels customary to a Rebecca Stead novel, and it was very satisfying and the epilogue was perfection.
This would be a great novel for, well, anyone— but especially for kids on that cusp of junior high, students who are 10-14. A beautiful book that has me thinking a lot about the novel I’m writing!