cover image Goodbye Stranger

Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead, read by Kimberly Farr, Melissa Simhan, and Kirby Heyborne. Listening Library, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-1-101-91629-2

Three tween girls navigate the perils of junior high, boys, and texting, in this friendship novel from Newbery Medal–winning Stead. Veteran audiobook narrator Farr reads the bulk of the novel from the perspective of Bridge, one of the three BFFs. It’s not clear why she has been cast here playing 23-year-olds, since her voice is clearly more suited to play their mothers. Even though she captures the sensitivity and humor of junior high, she’s fundamentally misplaced. The audio production also weaves in strong supporting performances by voice actor Heyborne, who reads the letters written by Sherm, Bridge’s friend turned love interest, and voice actor Simhan, who comes in and out of the story as a slightly older character whose identity is not revealed until the final scenes. Ages 10–up. A Random/Lamb hardcover. (Aug.)