Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Strays Like Us” as Want to Read:
Strays Like Us
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Strays Like Us

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  83 reviews
From the moment Fred (never Winifred!) spots a scruffy little mutt with sad eyes, she knows she's in big trouble. Toby's in bad shape, and Fred longs to rescue him from the old man with the mile-long mean streak who lives next door. But Margery—the straight-talking woman who is fostering Fred—says going over to their house is against the rules.

And since Fred will only be
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Scholastic Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  437 ratings  ·  83 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Strays Like Us
Catherine Bromley
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. It took my breath away. There were sad and unexpected parts but overall it was an excellent book and I definitely would recommend it to anyone who likes to read adventurous books.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This month's MoDa book club pick. A wholly predictable book in the YA-equivalent of chic lit. BUT, it included some great messages (the trick for math problems: "look for what you do have, now what you don't) and addressed some tough topics, so I still enjoyed it and think it's got a lot of value for kids.
Whitney Bowling
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mother-Daughter book club pick, so my rating is for younger age group. It's a sweet and easy read with good messages that would apply to a lot of kids in different situations. Great characters for middle school readers.
Ms. Yingling
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

When Fred's (nee Winfred) mother is arrested at her job in a pharmacy for stealing medication, Fred finds herself an hour from her home in Philadelphia. She is in Lancaster, at the house of a no-nonsense woman named Margery. Margery seems nice, and she's a good cook, and Fred knows that this is very temporary. The neighbor, Mr. Carder, has a dog that is severely neglected, and when Fred feeds him, Mr. Carder is very upset. Margery has told Fred not to bother the dog, but
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It made me smile and cry and swoon and have all the feels. Such a well written book and a story and plot line that will just touch your heart in every way possible! I absolutely recommend this book!
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book to provide a review and received my copy from SWON Libraries Consortium.

I don’t normally like middle school books, but this one was pretty good — lots of tough issues that kids deal with, strong protagonist, believable characters, solid writing!
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafty-readers
A good YA read with some great relatable life experiences.
An excellent read for all! I could not put down this book! If it wasn't a school night I probably would have read waaaay past my bedtime to finish. Could be used as a read aloud too.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book, i felt connected to the situation. I recommend reading it if you're around 13 or older so you understand the book. Definitely a 5 star rating, very well deserved. I say try it out.
Bailey Turner
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book this book was probably my absolute favorite book. So what happens in this book is that there is a girl name Fred and her mom gets caught with pills that the police think that she stole but she did not and so they put her mom in jail for about a month then they will go to court. So her daughter goes to a foster home and there is a dog next door that is not looking like it is treated very well so she feeds it every day until something happened to the old man in the house and she ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7dla
This book was a great book. She has to live with a new family that she does not like very much, and learns to love them. I loved how she connected with a dog, and that brought her closer to, her foster mom, and her friends. I would recommend this book to anyone around the age of 12-14, because I think they can connect with her a lot better if she's around her age.
3.5 for this one for some situations that seemed too convenient, but it is touching and particularly relevant, and will be popular with middle grade readers. After all, many of them live and love parents that are dealing with various addictions and insist that they are going to get well soon, just as is the case here, and many of them have deep reserves of anger and resentment that prompt them to lash out, usually at whomever happens to be nearby. It's easy to understand how Fred could so easily ...more
Jennifer Robb
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young readers
Recommended to Jennifer by: YMCA book exchange
3.5 stars (rating may differ depending on whether site allows half star ratings)

Warning: Spoilers may follow. Read at your own discretion.


I think there are times that everyone feels alone or different (or like a stray to use this author's jargon). My guess is that different people respond differently to this feeling. Some become bullies/mean girls, putting others down to build themselves up. Some become followers, figuring that being in the orbit of someone else who is perceived as popular
{My thoughts} – Winifred {Fred} isn’t like your ordinary twelve year-old. She has a mom that has been arrested and is being held in jail because her boss said she had stolen some pills from work. Her mom says that it was a big mistake and that she didn’t do anything. In the meantime she has been placed within the foster system and is currently staying with a new foster named Margery.

Margery isn’t like your typical foster. She rides a motorcycle, collects junk and turns it into stuff and has a
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for

Overall Review:
"When you learn how to use the anger inside you to create instead of destroy, you'll realize it's one of the greatest tools you'll ever have."

- Cecilia Galante, Strays Like Us

Strays Like Us is a poignant, character-driven story. Written by Cecilia Galante, this middle-grade read follows Fred as she tries to navigate her mother's imprisonment AND life in foster care. Fred is a flawed preteen and her drastic change in circumstances brings
Maggie Menkus
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book about a girl, Winifred (Fred), who is a survivor . . . in so many ways. She is one of those characters that you like to read about, and would like to know in real life. Because she is tough, resilient, and loving - but she does not know it until she confronts the challenges presented to her.

Fred's mom screws up, and Fred is tossed into foster care with Margery. This situation is a blessing for both people because they need each other. Now add a dog, Toby, who lives next
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Two things my students love reading about: dogs and tough family issues. This a wonderful combination of the two that is perfect for middle grade readers.

Fred has been taken from her mom due to what she believes is a misunderstanding--there's no way her mother did what the police say she did, and she knows she'll be back with her mother soon. Toby is the sad, neglected dog who lives next door to her new foster parent Margery (who rides a motorcycle and cooks like a dream). When the situation
An impressive young adult novel about loss, honesty and maybe above all, self-reliance.

Through the use of multiple relationships, Galante has demonstrated how the meeting of souls, young and old,(and I guess furry ones too) along our paths in life, has the ability to educate us on the ways in which we could and should be more empathetic towards one another.

The interwoven bonds amongst these characters shows the reader how we all are capable of helping "save" one another. Ultimately for me, it
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to me by a 5th grader, this tackles some really tough issues (parental drug abuse, foster care, bullying, animal abuse). I liked that Fred is smart and strong, but lashes out even to the people and friends who care for her because of the upheaval in her life, as that is very realistic. I also liked that the solutions to her adjustment include care for an animal (the abused dog next door), persistent friendship from someone who needs just as much help (neglected at home and bullied at ...more
Karen Upper
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
The attractive cover is what first drew me to choose this book. The title, Strays like us [with a girl hugging a dog all framed by a brightly lite window; has the reader looking at both figures from is hopeful image, despite the almost desperateness of the girl's embrace of the dog. This is not the usual child & pet story, but one where human & animal situations mirror the lives they have led up to a certain point....and then their paths cross as are made choices that have ...more
Greg Van Vorhis
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
This book did a good job weaving together the loss of several individuals and how they all deal with it, along with the many different ways lessons can be applied. If you can look beyond some questionable areas (what children services worker would send a child off to a placement on the back of a motorcycle?) and ignore some obvious errors, as when the author confuses the acts of soldering and welding and the necessary precautions one does or doesn’t need to take for each, then it is a powerful ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Drawn in by the outstanding cover art, middle school readers will find Fred (short for Winifred) a believable, authentic character. Fred has been placed in foster care in Lancaster, an hour away from her Philadelphia home, but much further apart in terms of lifestyle and culture. Fred's Mom has a prescription drug problem, and her new foster mom Margery is strict. Fred looks for companionship from Delia, a new classmate, and Toby, a neglected little dog that lives next door to her foster home.

Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's definitely a middle-grade reader, gr. 4-6, I'd say. Clear characters and plot. I liked the way she dealt with the heroine's anger, really talking it through. I picked this up at a book fair in one of the schools I visit regularly because of the author - Cecilia Galante. I won't forget meeting her at Wilkes. I added this to my e-books for my iPad using students. Recommended.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely, hopeful story that deals with hard topics in a way children can understand. I loved the author’s use of metaphor in various instances to describe the inner state of the main character as she grapples with hard situations that challenge her and help her grow. And, of course, any book that promotes compassion to animals scores extra points with me. This one’s a keeper when I face future de-cluttering and one I’ll highly recommend to others.
Mary Ann
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much more than I expected. One could definitely use this as bibliotherapy for anyone needing to know they aren’t alone in their struggles and that it’s ok to share what’s hurting you. Mostly, read it because the author carries you in Fred’s journey to finding herself with the help of a neglected dog, foster Mom, and a bullied schoolmate. Loved reading this book. Best one I’ve read in a long time!
Rindi Trainer
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book about a really hard topic. A 12 year old girl named Fred ends up in foster care due to her mom’s addiction issues. As she learns to work on herself, she comes to realize that she isn’t responsible for her mom’s healing. She also meets a dog named Toby who is feeling as unloved as she is, and it’s sweet to watch their relationship grow too. All in all, a beautifully written story about some pretty heavy subject matter.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a heart warming story about a foster girl and an abused dog. In the story the main character is sent to foster care with a woman who rides a motorcycle she lives right next-door to a grumpy old man who abuses his dog. One day her and her friend find the man hurt and they come to his rescue because the man is in the hospital they watch the dog for him and eventually she gets to keep the dog and gets adopted by her foster parent.
Ms. B
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2018
(view spoiler)
Fred is placed in foster care with first time foster parent Margery. Almost instantly she falls in love with Toby, the neglected dog next door who belongs to grumpy and mean Mr. Calder. Along with reaching out to Toby, she stands up for a classmate who is being teased at her
Jul 15, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: Eveyone 10-13, 14 if you still like younger kid books
Recommended to CrazyChickenMama by: Library
It was great, must read for ages 10-13. It's set for kids 12 and under but it talks about a mother on drugs and a couple things like that. So I stayed interested even though it is for younger kids, because I feel you need and older (teen) maturity to really understand and maybe even relate to the book. It was GOOD, go read it, please!!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stolen Girl
  • Speechless
  • Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus
  • Anything But Okay
  • Because of the Rabbit
  • Max's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales)
  • With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson, Hadley, Virginia, 1954 (Dear America)
  • From You to Me
  • Resistance
  • Deep Water
  • Molly's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales)
  • Whatshisface
  • Shelby's Story: A Dog's Way Home Tale
  • Blended
  • All the Impossible Things
  • Cake Pop Crush (Wish, #1)
  • Saving Winslow
  • Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes
See similar books…
Cecilia Galante is the author of several middle grade, young adult and adult novels. She also teaches 8th grade English at Wyoming Seminary Prep School, and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Wilkes University.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »