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Come a Stranger (Tillerman Cycle, #5)
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Come a Stranger (Tillerman Cycle #5)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,376 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Although devastated when she is asked to leave an exclusive Connecticut ballet school, Mina Smiths finds solace in her friendship with Tamer Shipp, the summer minister, and learns about his own difficult adolescence, Harlem ministry, and family life.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Simon Pulse (first published 1986)
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This was a wonderful story, beautifully written and seamlessly tied into the other books that Cynthia Voight has written in this series. It is hard to see where it is going at first, but such a wonderful character study of an exceptional young woman and her family. Told from yet another perspective as only Cynthia Voight can do, filled with people the other stories have introduced.
This is a warm, contemplative, and moving novel. Like most of the other books in the "Tillerman series" (which starts with the excellent Homecoming, this book could stand on its own easily, but gains even more depth and emotional resonance when one has read the previous novels in the cycle.

This book centers on Mina Smiths, who readers of Dicey's Song will remember as the young black woman who decides she's going to be Dicey's friend, come hell or high water. It fleshes out Mina's family and give
The main charachter Mina is a young girl that realizes that racisim is brought up against her due to the color of her skin. Shes so passionate with dancing and is extremley exited when she got into a dance camp with a scolarship. Her bestfriend unfortunately did not did not get in becuse her parents could not afford it. Mina goes to the camp and writes back to her family and friend. She tries her best at dancing and is told repeatedly to try harder. Midway through the book i understood that Min ...more
Katie M.
Books by white authors about characters of color - particularly African Americans - are... well, it's complicated. But it was the 90s, and I loved this book, and Cynthia Voigt is a fantastic writer, so I guess at least there's that. She phones it in a little bit when going through the scenes (from Mina's perspective) that are included in other books, but that doesn't end up being a fatal flaw. All the Tillerman novels are pretty excellent really; I used to love (um. Clearly still do.) going back ...more
Jillian Finelli
The book Come a Stranger, by Cynthia Vogit is a inspiring book about growing up. The main character Mina Smiths, loves ballet and is very good at it. Her dream is to become a professional ballet dancer, a big problem though, is that she's black. Mina goes to a ballet camp for the summer and is the only black girl there. When she returns home, her friends say she has changed. She goes back to camp the next summer and the ballet teacher gives some bad news, Mina is told that she has to leave the c ...more
With each volume I read in the Tillerman books, it becomes less clear which is my favorite. I think I will always have a soft spot for A Solitary Blue; it was my favorite for so long, and Jeff's relationship with his dad is one of my favorite parent-child relationships in young adult literature. But then I decided to finish out the series as an adult, and well: The Runner somehow made a pretty despicable person completely sympathetic and likeable, and now Come a Stranger has turned Mina (a bit p ...more
Aaaah! These books are sooo good! I love how each book adds more layers to the story and the family. I teared up at the end of this one. I just know when I get to the end of these, I'm going to wish there were more. I love it when I wish that characters I read about in books were real.
This is one of my favorite books by Cynthia Voigt, along with Izzy Willy Nilly. Mina was my favorite character and I loved how the Tillerman family intertwined with her coming of age story.
I think this may be my next favorite, after Dicey's Song, of the Tillerman series.
How Cynthia Voigt continues to write so profoundly about the Tillermans I do not know, but she kept up the level of quality very nicely in this book.
Through the first hundred pages or so, I actually thought that Come a Stranger had a real shot at being my favorite book in the entire Tillerman cycle. This was not the case ultimately, but the story stuck with me well, and the vivid phrases used by the author to depict the feeling that the quietly indifferent racism of the other dance students ga
I am so glad I picked it up again after deciding to let it go around page 60 (Somehow the beginning of Mina Smiths' story about a twelve-years-old, black girl during the 70s, who is desperately trying to start a ballet dancer's career in an all-white summer camp, breezed past all my emotional buttons without even brushing them lightly). And I am pretty dazed about the fact that it kept me up reading last night until my eyes protested. It's not as wonderful as Homecoming or Dicey's Song, but it's ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Brenda added it
This book touched me in a way, I felt really bad for the main character, Mina Smith. She was a dancer, she loved it so much and always practiced at the dance class she showed up to all the time. She worked very hard and even got a scholarship into an amazing dance camp. Mina was the only black girl in the camp and she felt like she didn't fit in, like she didn't belong. Her dance camp instructor told her the second time she came there that she failed and she doesn't have what it takes become a g ...more
Reyna Ruiz
Mina Smith is a young African American girl that realizes that racism is brought up against her due to the color of her skin. She loves dancing and is extremely excited when she got into a ballet camp with a scholarship. Her best friend unfortunately didn’t get in it because her parents could not afford it. Mina goes to the camp and writes back to her family and best friend. She always tries to do her best at dancing and is told plenty of times to try harder. I noticed throughout the book that ...more
Jul 27, 2012 Tori rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody.
Recommended to Tori by: Myself. :)
Shelves: 5-star-books
Come a Stranger is the fifth book in Cynthia Voigt's acclaimed Tillerman cycle. However, in this book, much like in A Solitary Blue, we take a break from the Tillermans to focus on Dicey's African-American friend, Wilhemina Smiths. Presumably set in the '80's, Mina struggles with the lingering prejudices against black people, and is hurt and disappointed when she tries to reach out to people, regardless of color, and they choose not to reach back.

I had heard mixed reviews about this fifth book i
joyce lynn
oh my ... the location takes place in Maryland, for the most part. yet still ... could be here in Mississippi.

the time period is many years ago also, but ... could still be NOW here in Mississippi.

we've supposedly come SO far w/ our "progress", yet ... in SO many areas and arenas of life, i think we've barely moved at all.

and unfortunately, i also think that all of "progress" has NOT been a "good thang", but in fact, we are much worse a society now than ever before. we know so much more now, ye
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
This fifth book in the Tillerman Cycle was a little hard to get into. The main character wasn't as interesting as previous ones have been--her challenges seemed trivial; her worries manufactured; her personality undeveloped. I shouldn't have worried--she grew into still another of the marvelously complex Cynthia Voigt creations that I've learned to expect.

It's amazing that the five books in the series have all been interconnected despite the difference in time and perspective. She must have plan
So far, this one's probably the weakest in the Tillerman cycle. Somewhat interesting, but not nearly the caliber of the previous books. You do get a glimpse of a forward march in time at the end, as Mina's past catches up to the present (similar to A Solitary Blue), but I found it hard to identify with Mina's crush on a married man much older than her. Also, knowing her motivations for seeking Dicey out made her less interesting to me somehow. I would have preferred it if she had been mature eno ...more
Mina loves to dance and is excited when she is accepted to a special dance camp. Little does she realize the exacting long-term consequences of pursuing her passion. She is even less prepared when she realizes what passion really is.

This book was very difficult for me to read. I experienced very similar circumstances to Mina's -- of realizing what racism, tokenism, and having your dreams crash into reality feels like. I cried through much of this and admire Voigt for her willingness to explore s
Another in the Tillerman cycle, this time focusing on the lively black girl Mina. Sorry, Ms. Voigt, this time your story did not work quite as well as a stand-alone. Some of the key scenes (such as the scene where Mina faces down the unfriendly teacher who was humiliating Dicey) should have been included, with all dialog, in their entire form. Otherwise they make no sense.

The very best part was the start: little Mina's two very different summers at dance camp. During the second summer, she reali
I love the Tillerman books and this was a new one to me. I found it somewhere for free and I'm glad I own it. It's told from the perspective of Dicey's African American friend, Mina. It's a fascinating look at a biracial friendship back when that didn't really happen. I have thought a lot about some of the themes in this book since I read it - particularly about what it means/meant to be black on the Eastern Shore, both now and 30-40 years ago. And yes, it's set on the Eastern Shore (Bay side) a ...more
I felt like the beginning of this book was very strong- I liked Mina a lot in Dicey's Song, and I was glad to see thing from her perspective. Voigt did excellent work in portraying Mina's awakening during her second summer at ballet camp, and how much the racism she was dealing with hurt her.

But the second half of the book didn't fit quite as well- Voigt glossed over some of the events that had previously come up in earlier books in a way that didn't help the narrative. The ending also sort of p
Great story in the Tillerman series. This is a story about race and coming to terms with it.
Fifth book in Tillerman cycle was engaging at first but I didn't enjoy it as much toward the end. 2.7 stars. Voight's characters are amazing in their development and their ability to make you care about their lives.
Apr 02, 2015 Diana added it
Keep them coming. Enjoying the series
Definitely my favorite of this series.
Another book in the series, but not really profiling the Tillerman family. Instead it is profiling another character in the series, Mina. Mina was Dicey's first friend, the one who stood up for her in the English class. The story also presents how it felt to be black in the 70's in school. I can't wait to read the next one in the series and find out if they complete the story of the Tillermans, or if they bring all the characters together.
One of the things I love about Cynthia Voigt is that she can write varying views equally convincingly, so that you cannot tell where she herself stands on an issue. The characters in this books are deeply religious, while in other books, she writes characters are dismissive of the whole idea of religion. I love the way whatever views she may have herself never impose themselves on her characters.
Maddy Hayes
Jun 15, 2010 Maddy Hayes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: coming-of-age stubborn teenagers
Recommended to Maddy by: My english teacher
I have to say, this wasn't a bad book. It's a good coming-of-age story for those teenagers who know they're t-rou-ble. Mina's love for Tamer Shipp is out of the ordinary, but it makes for a good plotline backbone - everything branches off from it. I read this not realizing the Tillermans had a series all to themselves (oops...), but was still able to enjoy it.
Not nearly as scandalous as the blurb implied. Voigt has a good grasp on character, but her characters speak and act more like twenty-year-olds in the 1950s than twelve-year-olds in the 1990s. Too many side stories meant the story dragged along in some areas. The depth of the relationships would have gone straight over the target audiences heads.
This is a great addition to the Tillerman series. It can easily stand alone but is so much better by having that connection with Dicey's story. I liked how Tamer Shipp was brought back into the community. Mina is great character. I enjoyed her in the other books so it was nice to have a book written from her perspective and learn more about her.
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Cynthia Voigt is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse.

Angus and Sadie: the Sequoyah Book Award (given by readers in Oklahoma), 2008
The Katahdin Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Anne V. Zarrow Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Margaret Edwards Award, for a body of work, 1995
Jackaroo: Ratte
More about Cynthia Voigt...

Other Books in the Series

Tillerman Cycle (7 books)
  • Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1)
  • Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2)
  • A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Cycle, #3)
  • The Runner (Tillerman Cycle, #4)
  • Sons from Afar (Tillerman Cycle, #6)
  • Seventeen Against the Dealer (Tillerman Cycle, #7)
Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1) Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2) A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Cycle, #3) Jackaroo (Kingdom, #1) Izzy, Willy-Nilly

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“Mina wanted some of the kind of love Momma gave to her children, where love was the first and deepest thing, and the questions came later and the answers wouldn't matter much measured up against the love.” 6 likes
“Even after everyone had gone home, the house was filled with the good time they’d had, as if it could linger in the air like the voices and music lingered in memory. Mina wrapped the memory up and put it in her heart; there was a quiet gladness, deep like a tree and tall in her” 3 likes
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