The Strangers

The Strangers

Book - 2019
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Ages 8-12.
The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best--acting silly and being adored. They've been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they're shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They're the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers? Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062838377
Characteristics: 405 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lambelet, Anne - Illustrator


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great characters, but I didn't like the Sci-Fi twist

jcljessicaj Apr 07, 2020

Three siblings, Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, see an account of 3 kidnapped children eerily similar to themselves shortly before their mother unexpectedly disappears. Who are these strangers, and how are their lives connected to the Greystone children's? The twists and turns of the plot kept me enticed the whole way through.

JCLChrisK Apr 06, 2020

This is an intelligent, fast-paced science fiction mystery. The perspective alternates between three siblings, ages 8, 10, and 12, as they try to figure out why their mom has suddenly disappeared. The clues lie in codes, puzzles, and their identities as both individuals and a family. It's exciting, hard to put down, and broadly appealing. Deserves to be popular.

Nov 27, 2019

Great book by a great author!

Oct 30, 2019

It’s jarring to realize your parents are flawed, normal human beings. The idea that they have identities outside of yourself is like looking at them in a funhouse mirror, with all of their unexpected interests, likes and dislikes, and unexpected friends.
The Strangers takes this idea to an intriguing extreme when three siblings learn of the disappearance of three children with their exact first names and then their mother disappears. Finding out about an entire different aspect of their mom changes how each of them sees the entire world.
The book shifts between the perspectives of the three children, reflecting how the age of each child impacts their ability to process and notice things, without putting any of those experiences down. Complicating the plot in an interesting and believable way is the fact that they don’t all know the same things and don’t always share everything they know with each other.
Centered on their house, family is the heart of this novel. While they begin almost wary of outsiders, they need to expand out of their circle of safety and learn how to trust the right strangers and fight for their family.
The book is clearly written for children, in the way the first Harry Potter book is simple, but intriguing. Unlike that book, this is less about world-building—although this world does have its own rules—and more about how the characters adapt to some strange situations. There’s nothing earthshattering in this book, but it was a fun ride and my only regret is the next in the series won’t be out for a while yet.

Aug 11, 2019

I do love a good alternate universe story. So many possibilities and mental gymnastics. The three kids in this book each take the narrative forward in alternating chapters. Three children with the same names and birthdays have been kidnapped and then their mom disappears. With the help of Natalie (daughter of their babysitter) they work together to find her and rescue her from unknown enemies. Can't wait for the second installment. There are still people who need rescuing! I might have to watch some episodes of "Fringe" while I wait.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 29, 2019

Haddix is very on-brand with this tale of possible worlds. I can't wait to get more detail on the world from which the Greystone kids' mom originally came in book 2!


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Nov 27, 2019

Monarch_47 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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JCLChrisK Apr 06, 2020

Something surprising occurred to Finn.

"Are you all scared?" he asked. "Just because you don't know where the spinning room took us? Does it scare you that much when you don't know stuff?" He jumped up to the next higher step. "You should all remember what it's like to be a second grader. There's lots of stuff I don't know or understand, and I'm fine.”


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