Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye
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Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  686 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Natalie Armstrong has all a girl could want: beauty and intelligence, a loving family and a great boyfriend. But something is missing; the answer to a most important question: "Who is my mother?"To find that answer seventeen-year-old Natalie begins a journey that she hopes will lead to the identity of her biological mother. And what if Natalie finds her? What will happen w...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 15th 1990 by Laurel Leaf Library (first published January 1st 1978)
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Kricket
another piece of teen fiction resurfacing from my youth! natalie armstrong loves her parents and sister, but can't help but wonder about her birth mother, who gave her up for adoption when she was just days old. when natalie graduates from high school, her parents give her the resources to begin her search. but will what she finds answer her questions?

this book is so dated that all the outfits sound awesome again. i think they should re-release it with a snazzy new cover, although the internet w...more
Ms. Yingling
Natalie is perfectly happy with her kooky, artistic mother and her supportive doctor father, but as she is preparing to graduate from high school and make her way in the world, she is curious as to what would have caused her birth mother to give her up for adoption in 1960. For a graduation present, her parents give her all of the documents that they have surrounding her birth, as well as a credit card for expenses, and their best wishes. Before long, she is traveling to the town where she was b...more
Jenny
I thought I had read this book in childhood during my Lois Lowry obsession stage, along with the Anastasia Krupnik books and Number the Stars, but it seemed completely unfamiliar this time around. I think I must have buried all memory of it because it's so completely forgettable. While the plot appeals because it seems somewhat novel for a YA book (adoptee looking for her birth parents before internet, etc. made this a relatively easier task) the stereotypical character development and juvenile...more
Laura Hughes
This is one of the 70s/80s classic kids' books I read because a girl in "The Baby-sitters Club" liked it. The basic plot, a teen finding her birth parents, lends itself well to a detective story that gives way to an emotionally complex, bittersweet ending. I ended up really enjoying it, despite a slow beginning.

This book has a number of YA in the 70s problems, notably stilted, clunky language and an impossibly beautiful, brilliant, introspective Mary Sue of a main character. When Natalie looked...more
Melody
May 01, 2010 Melody rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melody by: Wendy Burton
A thoroughly enjoyable book about a bright, beautiful, successful girl's search for her birth parents. The search for one's self is perhaps universal to teens, and more so for teens with holes in their history for whatever reason. Lowry handles the topic of adoption with grace and sensitivity. The characters just sing- they fairly jump off the pages. Tallie is one of my favorite characters ever, and I can forgive Lowry the execrable The Willoughbys on the strength of this and of course, Anastasi...more
Jenny
I read this when I was a teenager and it spoke to me as an adoptee. I have no idea how I would feel about it now, but I would hope it's still relevant.
Sophia
Q5/ I think the back ground of Natalie is very good because she is adopted child, why can she have a good and wealthy family and everyone is kind to her? If she isn't adopted from good and wealthy, maybe her life will be different, so I want the story to change by putting the main character, Natalie, into the controversial family that don't let her do anything which she wants to do. Also, I would change the personality of Natalie's real mother because i think she's kind of slowly person. why cou...more
Nancy
I have read some of the reviews, and they must be from younger people, who now depend on the Internet to do their searches. The character in this book, Natalie, was born in 1960. She did her search for her birth mother in 1977. Her adoptive parents gave her documents, that easily led her to find her birth mother. She had to do some traveling, and make some phone calls.

I worked as a child welfare worker in the mid 1960's. I worked with unwed mother's, and with adoptions. I have since helped a fe...more
D'Arcy Rowe
Natalie is a girl that has everything: looks, grades, a good family. The summer after her graduation she tells her parents that she wants to find her birth mother.

This book is her quest to understand herself and to find her other family.

I love Lois Lowry's writing. I've read about six of her books now and am going to go on a quest to find them all and read them.
Rachel
I loved The Giver series and was very intrigued to get this author's take on adoption issues. I thought the book was well written, though not as good as The Giver. However I thought the plot was way too... how to put this... politically correct for my taste. I was hoping for an original spin. There was none. That said, I am giving it to my 9-year old daughter to read next so she can understand some of what it means to be adopted.
Caitlin
This book didnt really have feelings on what its like to find ones birth mother. It basically showed steps that the main character took in finding her mother. Maybe it was because this was written in the 70`s and i couldnt relate to what was happening then. The character, Natalie never elaborated on how she felt and what it was like meeting face to face with someone from her past.

To me these characters had little emotion. Sorry.

But i did like Natalie`s adopted mother and grandmother. They are v...more
Tanna
Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye is about Natalie Armstrong’s journey to find the one thing that is missing from her life, her birth mother. As a high school graduation present her adoptive parents give her the documents and funds needed to begin her search for her biological mother. Her life seems perfect, with eccentric yet loving adoptive parents, a great boyfriend, and a bright future. Yet she still feels as though something is missing. In the end, her search takes her to New York where her moth...more
Claire
I was excited to read Lois Lowry's second book. She has long been a favorite author of mine. I always particularly loved A Summer to Die, and I was recently surprised to discover that it was her first book.

I enjoyed this book, but it is not as good as her other offerings. I liked the main character, and I liked the mystery aspect as she pieced together the clues to her parentage. While I was reading it, I was wondering if I would recommend it to fifth graders. I generally love to recommend Lois...more
Julie
When Natalie Armstrong graduates from high shcool, she decides that she wants to go on a search to find her birth mother and learn about her adoption. Her curiosity takes her to the small town of Simmon's Mills. There she meets old Dr. Therrian the man who helped arrange Natalie's adoption. While talking to this dying man she finds out her mother's name. Her real mother's name. But there Natalie is at a dead end. Later, after careful searching Natilie decides to go to New York. This book holds y...more
Sophia
Q5/ I think the back ground of Natallie is very good because she is adopted child, why can she have a good and wealthy family and everyone is kind to her? If she isn't adopted from good and wealthy, maybe her life will be different, so I want the story to change by putting the main character, Natallie, into the controversial family that dont let her do anything which she wants to do. Also, I would change the personality of Natallie'real mother because i think she's kind of slowly person. why cou...more
Judy Birch
Going to see Lois Lowry speak this weekend, so thought I'd pick up some of her older stuff. Not bad.
Kera
Didn't even finish. Had some language and sexual content. I think I'll stick to her YA novels. This one did not interest me.
Emily
This is one of those books that I read when I was actually the intended audience and it has stayed with me. Seventeen-year-old Natalie has it all, but she feels like something is missing. Adopted when she was 5 days old, she knows nothing of her birth parents. Her loving family agrees to let her search. I always loved her eccentric family, and I go back and re-read this one from time to time. It may seems a bit outdated, but I like it, and for the time, difficult topics were handeled quite well.
Christina
A Lois Lowry book I hadn't read yet, so I read it. Interesting to read her earlier work. Some things didn't capture me as much (we get it, the protagonist is BEAUTIFUL and has AMAZING parents) but even so I really liked the protagonist and really loved her amazing parents and extraordinary grandma Tallie. In fact, her parents and Tallie were more interesting to me than some of the main storyline. I'd like a whole book about them, I think.
Pinky
This was a really interesting book I read about a 17 year old girl graduating from high school with a perfect future ahead of her. But she is living with the parents that adopted her and she is fixed on finding her biological mother and while she is at it she learns so many new things about life and what its worth, and she finds out all about the story of her adoption. It's a great story i recommend this book to everyone.
Ashlie
I was very disappointed in this book. I love love love Lois Lowry! I've just eaten up everything she's ever written. This book was one of her first novels, so I suppose she hadn't found her niche-- and her niche is a very reputable one--unsurpassable. The basis of this story is still the same as most of Lowry's novels (one trying to find themselves, their purpose)-- but it just wasn't qualifiable.
Michelle
It's interesting to read older books of Lowry's and see how much her storytelling has matured. This is a good story, but not nearly the caliber of most of her books. It spelled out the moral of the tale a little too explicitly. She even openly acknowledged the cliche of getting pregnant after only one time, but yet it was still there. The characters were strong, but overall the plot was a bit slow.
Rachel
Natalie is an adopted 17-year-old girl who decides she needs to find her biological mother. It's about her search and what she does with the things she learns, both about her past and about herself.

The characters are great! Funny, unique, quirky, enjoyable. The adventure her mom has with getting dandelions to make dandelion wine was hilarious... and the purple tub! I'd read this one again.
Sarah Tilatitsky
This book is talking about who and what a person is, and that finding your past and present can make you feel good, and can tell you a little bit about where you came from. This book is great, but you have to read it for yourselves because it's too hard to explain. If you have a working heart, then read this and you will understand about why knowing where you came from makes a difference.
Melanie
I've been doing a bit of research into Lowry's writing and I decided to read this YA novel that I missed when it first came out. This is the story of a young woman's search for her birth parents. It isn't as compelling as The Giver or as moving as Number the Stars but it is a good read and would be great for a mother/daughter discussion about dating, chastity and choices.
Sharon
Apr 20, 2012 Sharon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I really enjoyed this book for what it was; a glimpse at the mores and life of another time. This was written around when I was born; adoption and families and society have changed a lot (though rural Maine doesn't appear to have). Anyway, I liked it a great deal, but most of its appeal was as a curiosity, and I don't know that I'd recommend it to a contemporary teen.
Wendy
This is a really entertaining and thought-provoking book--it makes the reader think about family, adoption, and teenage relationships. The diary entries are excellent. In many ways it's very dated now, and it reads to me more as historical fiction than contemporary fiction. Natalie's kind of a Mary Sue. Four stars for sheer compelling-ness.
Etta Mcquade
Lois Lowry has crafted a fine book about a difficult subject, and in the process, has created a loving and personable family. When I began reading it, I feared I would regret my decision to not search out my birth mother, but at the end, it was ok. An outstanding book, but I wonder if only adopted children would appreciate it.
Brooke
Lowry, as always, is able to get into the nitty gritty things of life and explore them on whatever level you are willing to put into it. This book is about a girl who is looking for her birth mother. A simple story that discusses some of life's most meaningful questions whether you are adopted or not.
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always...more
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“-a whole world can lie before someone, if love is there when one wakes.” 8 likes
“She was the only doctor's wife in Branford, Maine, who hung her wash on an outdoor clothesline instead of putting it through a dryer, because she liked to look out the window and see the clothes blowing in the wind. She had been especially delighted, one day, when one sleeve of the top of her husband's pajamas, prodded by the stiff breeze off the bay, reached over and grabbed her nightgown around the waist.” 6 likes
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