The Stranger
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The Stranger

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,536 ratings  ·  255 reviews
The enigmatic origins of the stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the weather. Could he be Jack Frost?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 28th 1986 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Great book to use in the classroom to teach inference. Teachers can have students guess the stranger's identity then go back through the book looking for supporting evidence. At first reading, they may think they have no idea who he is, but as they go back through they will spot the clues. This is the kind of book that I like to use in discussions because I like to see kids' faces change as the light bulbs go on in their heads.
Brittany Young
The stranger was a very interesting book to me. It had a nice air of mystery to it. The cover seemed so interesting, but also so simple. There was nothing on the darkly colored back cover, and a thick boarder the same color as the back cover around the image on the front cover. The illustration on the cover was interesting, it looks almost clay like, and the man on the front looks clearly surprised or confused. The illustrations inside the book are very picturesque. It is as if each picture coul...more
Megan Jones
Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger is a peculiar one. At first glance, it can be misconstrued into a confusing, purposeless children's book. Yet, when dug deeper into the underlying meaning emerges and the coincident illustrations emerge from the pages. The Stranger is about a man who was hit by a car who cannot speak nor has any memory of who he is. A farmer and his family take him in and grow fond of him. However, when he notices the trees surrounding the farm are still green, yet all the other...more
Xiaoxiao Zhu
Have you ever encounter such stranger? No, I have never come across such stranger, it's amazing and almost impossible.

After reading it, I have to say Chris really is a creative author for children's book. To be honest, I'm moved by the final words --- "See you next fall." It's friendship, forever friendship.

As far as I'm concerned, this experience is really cool if I encounter a stranger in my favorite season. I will provide the stranger all my favorite food and he can provide me some of my want...more
When a mysterious stranger is accidentally hit by a truck, a farmer brings him home and takes care of the man. But who is he? Why is cold weather not coming to the farm? I love to use this picture book when teaching students about inferences. There are plenty of clues about who the mysterious stranger may be, but many readers don't recognize those clues until the story has been finished. Readers need to have some experience with seasonal change and cold weather as I found that many of my student...more
Shannon Alexander
In "The Stranger," a farmer is driving when he hits something. He first thinks he's hit a deer, but he soon realizes that he's hit a man. He quickly gets out to help the man. The man is too hurt to leave, so the farmer takes him back to his house. Peculiar things start happening when the stranger arrives at the farmer's house. It is discovered that the man can't talk. The farmer and his wife have him examined by a doctor. The doctor's thermometer freezes when the stranger blows on it. The doctor...more
Danielle Boles
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is a story about a farmer who accidentally hit a man with his car. The farmer took the man home to his house and gave him a standard check up. The farmer's daughter saw the man outside the next morning playing with rabbits and noticed it was odd that the rabbits did not run away when the man approached him; she had noticed he had a way with animals. The man could still not remember who he was after two weeks, but the family did not mind. While the man was on th...more
Kyla Frey
This picture book is about a "stranger" who gets hit by a farmer who then takes him home to make sure he is alright. They call a doctor out to make sure the stranger is okay, and the doctor just says he has lost his memory. After a few weeks his memory still had not returned, but he started to blend well with the family. He went outside one day and noticed that the immediate surrounding trees were green, and farther out the trees were red and orange. This did not satisfy the stranger, so he left...more
Emily Scott
This book is about a farmer named Mr. Bailey. In the beginning of the book Mr. Bailey hits a man with his car. He brings him home and gets him looked at. The stranger seems very confused about easily understood things such as blowing on hot soup. Mr. Baileys family wonders if he has trouble talking. They put the stranger to work the next day and he never complained. Two weeks later he still couldn’t remember who he was and Mr. Baileys family started referring to him as a “hermit.” One day the st...more
Jordan Laskoski
This book was kind of weird in a lot of ways. It was definitely a mysterious book to me. I was confused about what was going to happen to the stranger at the end of the book? I think this would be a great book to read to children though because they will be captivated about who the stranger is throughout the whole story. This could also make for an amazing writing activity after reading aloud to the classroom.
Kristen Twitty
This book is about a farmer who accidentally hits a man with his truck, he brings this man back to his house and has a doctor come and check on him. The man is dressed sort of strange, and doesn't remember who he is or where hes from. The man worked with the farmer in the field and never got tired. The stranger was fascinated by birds. Two weeks later he still didn't know who he was but they didn't care, they considered him part of the family. The season did not change while he was there. He got...more
Christina Bergstrom
Personally, I found the book confusing. I would think that a child would be confused by it also. It is never clear who/what The Stranger really is. The illustrations are nicely detailed and I like the colors and the depth that are created by the Van Allsburg. The endpages are in a fall color that matches the theme of the book. The illustrations coincide with the story as it is told.
The Stranger was an excellent story done by Chris Van Allsburg. I never heard of this story before but after reading I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline. I always consistently wondering who the stranger was exactly, why he didn’t know too much, and why the feeling of summer left when he did. I would label this story as a mystery because of the unknown factors of the man. I enjoyed the way the Bailey’s adopted the stranger into their family and were even upset when he left. Even though th...more
Taylor De La Fe
This book is about a farmer who hit a man in his car. He took the man home with him to care for him, but the man seemed very strange. He did not quite understand what was happening and he did not know his name or anything. When he went outside and saw rabbits, it was as if they expected him to go with them to the woods. Many weeks passed and he became more part of the Bailey family. WHen it was supposed to turn to fall, they noticed around the Bailey's house, it was still summer. When the strang...more
Maya Watts
This story is about a hermit that a family takes care of after an accident. They teach him how live because he does not remember anything. After some time, he grows less timid and becomes part of the family. The story indicates that it is the stranger that makes the trees by the Bailey's home change color in the Fall. He returns every year and changes the color of the leaves and leaves a note.
The pictures are one page and the text that corresponds is on the other page. The illustrations are don...more
This story is about a stranger who accidentally gets hit by a truck. A farmer brings him home and takes care of him but doesn't know who he is. He finds the man to be very mysterious but decides to keep him until he gets better. When fall arrives and the leaves change the man disappears but a strange note is left in the frost of the glass. This is a great story to read to a classroom because along the way you can ask the class who they thing the "stranger" is. Throughout the book there are clues...more
Jessica Navarrete
This book was different to anything I’ve read. It began with a minor car accident where Mr. Bailey ran over a boy. The boy was awakened and tried to run off but couldn’t manage to walk or stand up. Mr. Bailey took him home and had a doctor checked him. He said he had suffered memory loss that would only last weeks. They kept the stranger around and he slowly learned how to do things again. The Bailey’s really enjoyed having him around to help around with the harvest and other farm needs. One day...more
Elayna Gilbert
The Stranger tells a good story about a farmer who hits a man who he thought was a deer that he had hit. After the man stood up and looked around he fell back down and the farmer grabbed him and brought him home. Farmer Bailey's wife and daughter then welcome the stranger to their home. They then take him into the family as one of them. He was a good help to the farm and never tired.
Another thing i really liked about this story was the pictures and the talks of the seasons. It would be a great l...more
This story was endearing and I loved the entire idea behind the plot and message. The book did not come right out and say that this stranger was "fall", but it is indicated by the end of the story that this character is indeed a personification of the seasons changing. I enjoyed The Stranger in every way. The illustrations were done extremely well and I thought they were more mature looking. This story is obviously written with a higher critical thinking level than most picture books, but I beli...more
The Stranger is about a man who is hit by a car and forgets who he is. He lives with a family for a few weeks and helps them out around the farm and builds a relationship with them while he slowly gets his memory back. He and the farmer realize that the season is changing all around the farm but not on the farm itself. The leaves are not changing colors and the pumpkins kept growing larger and larger. The stranger gets his memory back and leaves and the season passes into autumn once he is gone....more
Renee Burr
Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite author's to use in the classroom because his writing is so mysterious. He doesn't give you all the answers and kids get sucked right in! The Stranger is the story of a man who mysteriously shows up at the Bailey's farm. He doesn't speak and has no memory, but has some uncanny abilities. For example, animals seem to be drawn to him, he doesn't get hot, and it seems as though autumn doesn't come to the Bailey's farm as long as he is around. No matter how ma...more
Rigoberto Gamez
The Stranger is a story about Mr. Bailey hitting a stranger with his car. He brings the stranger in and helps him get better. The Stranger at first is pretty reserved and shy but as time goes on he changes. Then he notices that there is something different about the Bailey farm, that it is not changing the same way the rest of the farms are, that is when he seems to remember who he is and leaves. but every year The Stranger comes back.

In the class i would have the students read through the story...more
tracy mo
I read this book with my 4th graders. It was a pretty fun read!
Delightful book to teach about inferencing or questioning.
Van Allsburg's books are so awesome; i love them.
Nicholas Linsk
The Stranger is about a farmer who, while driving home, hits a man. The farmer takes the stranger to his house for treatment. As a result of his head injury the man experiences amnesia. The farmer allows him to stay and treats him as one of the family. The man is happy and seems to be one with nature and everything around the farm seems to be more productive because of the man’s presence. When fall arrives and the leaves change the man disappears but a strange etching is seen in the frost on the...more
Britt Kitko
Summary: Farmer Bailey hits a man with his truck and takes him home to care for him. They find the man to be very mysterious but allow him to stall until he gets his memory back. It turns out the man never tires, never sweats, and has the ability to stop summer from ending. When he leaves the Bailey's, he leaves a note left in frost and autumn comes.

- Reading level- Fluent
- Genre-Science Fiction
- Topic- Mystery, Autumn

Curricular uses:Read aloud (solve mystery as a class), could be used...more
Jessica Breighner
Summary:One fall day, while Farmer Bailey is riding down the road in his truck, he runs over something---or someone. At first, he thinks he hits a deer, but when he gets out to see what he hit, he finds that he has accidentally run over a man. The man tries to flee, but loses his balance and falls down. Farmer Bailey takes him to his house, where he and his wife, Mrs. Bailey, discover the stranger cannot talk.
The Baileys call a doctor to examine him. Although the stranger isn't seriously hurt, h...more
On a lovely late summer day, Farmer Bailey accidentally hits a stranger with his truck. He brings him home to recuperate, the victim awakens, but doesn't speak, and seems to have lost his memory. But the man stays at the Bailey farm, and then unexplained things begin to happen. Animals seem strangely attracted to Farmer Bailey's guest, he is able to do backbreaking farm work without a bead of sweat, and when he blows on his soup, a cold draft rushes through the Bailey home. The oddest event, how...more
Gina Valdes
Chris Van Allsburg is by far one of the most creative but strangest children's author I've ever come across. More specifically, The Stranger was definitely the weirdest children’s book I’ve ever read. It was odd yet surprisingly good. What I had the hardest time understanding though was how this could be a book written for kids. There were parts of the story even I overlooked! If using this book in a classroom, it would definitely need to be followed by an in depth discussion. Being as interesti...more
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Chris Van Allsburg 7 11 Sep 26, 2011 04:12PM  
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot...more
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