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The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)
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The Strangers

(The Greystone Secrets #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,204 ratings  ·  1,097 reviews
What makes you you?

The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.

But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shock
ebook, 300 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Shelly The book was inspired by an article titled, "Death Takes a Detour" by Rheta Grimsley Johnson that appeared in the Indianapolis News on June 22, 1988. …moreThe book was inspired by an article titled, "Death Takes a Detour" by Rheta Grimsley Johnson that appeared in the Indianapolis News on June 22, 1988.  As Margaret Peterson Haddix mentions, the story is both sad and true. Unfortunately, I can't upload the actual article, but it relates the story of a woman in Marietta, Georgia who was involved in a car accident that killed her three children, ages 5, 4 and 22 months. Another woman, a friend of Rheta Grimsley Johnson, had read the news story in the paper and was horrified and unnerved by the article because she had children the exact same ages and with almost identical names. The woman was so rattled by the similarities that she discontinued driving.
Billy 432 pages are in this book by Margeret Peterson Haddix. You'll love it if you like mysteries like me!…more432 pages are in this book by Margeret Peterson Haddix. You'll love it if you like mysteries like me!(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  7,204 ratings  ·  1,097 reviews

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Book of Secrets
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-middle-grade
3.5 Stars → I was intrigued by the premise of THE STRANGERS, and it had a strong start. After seeing a bizarre story on the news, the Greystone children's mother disappears, and Chess, Emma, and Finn are determined to bring her home. Their mom left behind only cryptic clues to her whereabouts, and it's going to take smarts and courage to find her. After the halfway point, the story took a strange turn that I wasn't expecting, like a genre change almost. It became slow and repetitive in parts, an ...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

Margaret Peterson Haddix is an author that’s been around since I was a child. I remember one of my elementary school teachers reading her book Running Out of Time out loud to my class and loving it so much I begged my mom to go to the bookstore to buy it so I could read it again. Flash forward twenty years or so and I’m a children’s librarian now. When I saw she had this new book coming out I was intrigued by the cover (yes I read book based on covers, everyone does). I placed a hold o
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
My recommendation to anyone who wants to read this book is to go in almost completely blind. This book is like a puzzle. Trying to put the pieces together as you read this book is half the fun. I'll confess that my theory didn’t pan out but I did still enjoy it!

If you have read any other Haddix book you are going to enjoy this one. This book has mystery and intrigue in abundance. So much so that I had a hard time putting it down even when it too late in the night and later too early in the morni
Sarah Swann
I really enjoyed this book! It was full of adventure and code breaking fun. I thought it was interesting and I loved the code breaking aspect and the results of finding out what happened to these kids' mother. I didn't enjoy Finn's character. I felt he was in the way and too impulsive for the dangerous situations they were in. It didn't completely blow my mind, but I really did enjoy it and think it's a great story for middle graders.

Content Warning: death of a parent, kidnapping
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very clever and twisty mystery! Such an unusual premise, and yet Haddix carries it off . . . because of course she does! Very excited for the next one, to find out more!
Christi M
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story begins when the children come home one day to find their mother a bit distraught. Something is clearly bothering her as she listens to the TV or radio where they are stating that three children have been kidnapped – three siblings from Arizona with identical first and middle names as well as ages/birth dates of each of the Greystone children. That night Chess overhears his mom talking to someone named “Joe” saying he “needed to fix it.” The next day when the kids get up to go to school ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
2 stars.

Huh. Well, this was...interesting.

Confession: I requested this with my e-library weeks ago and after it came in, I didn’t reread the back of the book. So, I didn’t remember what this story was about. I thought the beginning parts were a bit boring, but once the twist happened, my head started to hurt a bit. I would consider is a Fantasy-genre twist (and we all know my thoughts on fantasy) but because it was a middle grade book, I was able to follow along decently and not notice any majo
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
*Thank you so much Katherine Tegan Books at HarperCollins for providing me an eARC from Edelweiss in exchanged for an honest review.
*dnfed at 60%

1.75 / 5 stars

The Greystone children have always had a happy, close relationship with their mother. When a kidnapping occurs that hits too close to home, all things become chaotic for this family. The Greystone children are separated from their mother after she mysteriously goes away for work and they are left to hunt for answers.

I really tried to enj
Wendi Lee
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when three kids read about the kidnapping of three other kids - all with their names and exact ages? The premise of the first volume in this middle grade series was promising, and although the middle lagged quite a bit, the ending was pretty spectacular.
Books on Stereo
A fun, alternate universe story.
Enjoyed this very much. I especially liked the suspenseful chapter endings and the layers that could be appreciated by an adult. Certain conversations and actions immediately had me thinking, “Ah! Been there.” Ms. Haddix included so much insight in her story. I definitely plan to read the sequel.
Kelly Moore
I think this idea is fantastic, but the characters are so wooden and goody-goody that it's kind of boring, even with such an interesting premise. ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix
DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review

Let me just start by saying...WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT

I shouldn’t expect anything other than amazing plot twists from Margaret Peterson Haddix, but wow. This one was really

This story is basically about three kids - Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone - who come home from school one day, and overhear a news broadcast talking about three kids from Ar
Sam (she_who_reads_)
This was such a fun, enthralling read! Once I started, it was a true struggle to put it down- there was so much happening and I NEEDED to know how things were going to work out for these kids and their mum. The pacing was perfect- the plot moved at a rapid pace, whilst still allowing time for the reader to understand exactly what was happening (there is a science-fiction element that I think was explained well for younger readers). I loved the puzzles and clues the kids had to work out, and the ...more
Gouri Verma
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is everything I need❤️ Mystery, middle grade, three siblings who care for each other , a good friend and a secret…..
It all started when three siblings-Chess, Emma and Finn, returns home one day and finds their mom behaving very oddly. They comes to know that three children, who are three siblings just like them, are disappeared or kiddnapped and are nowhere to be found.

The main thing is that …..Chess , Emma and Finn share the same name, birthday and haircolour with those kiddnapped ch
This is the story of three siblings who are separated from their mother after she mysteriously vanishes and they are left to hunt for answers. I really liked the first half of the book, but the last half I struggled with due to the story becoming a little unrealistic for me. I was expecting mystery, but it was more science fiction based than anything else. The plot was a little weak, with not much happening, and at 400 pages it was too long and repetitive. Lastly, this book ends on a cliffhanger ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-the-girls, sci-fi
Blah, this is a 'low' two-star rating. It wasn't so bad that I didn't finish, but this was a disappointment. First, this book was entirely too long for its weak plot. A set of siblings hear in the news that another set of 3 siblings, with their exact same names & birthdays have gone missing. After which, their mother starts acting shady & disappears on a 'business trip.' It's no surprise that this story is leading to an 'alternate universe' plot twist. The reader must endure endless internal ang ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to start this by saying, I dont normally read middle grade books, but the plot of this sounded interesting and It was available to me immediately at the library to reserve before it was published. I did not at all expect to be so drawn in my the story. Its close to see how resemblances to A Wrinkle In Time have been made, and I would go a step further to say that it also has a big Stranger Things vibe going on too. Part of it is magical realism, though it's definitely rooted more in reali ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love a good alternate universe story. So many possibilities and mental gymnastics. The three kids in this book each take the narrative forward in alternating chapters. Three children with the same names and birthdays have been kidnapped and then their mom disappears. With the help of Natalie (daughter of their babysitter) they work together to find her and rescue her from unknown enemies. Can't wait for the second installment. There are still people who need rescuing! I might have to watch ...more
Beth Bryden-miller
Alternate universe the premise is intriguing but takes a while to get there. The ages of the kids makes it awkward for middle school. Would recommend as a purchase for higher elementary.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is super cute and fun! I love middle grade mysteries, they have so much going on but in a clear, easy to understand way. The kids were adorable, especially Finn and the audio narrator did a fantastic job with the voices. The plot was fun and intriguing and I'm excited to read the second book. ...more
Tiffany Miss.Fiction
I received a digital review copy of THE STRANGERS via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

We follow the story of the siblings Chess, Emma and Finn. One day, after coming home from school, they discover from TV that some children with their exact same names and birthdate were kidnapped in Arizona. The day after, their mom leaves for a business trip and leave them with the stranger Mrs. Morales and her daughter Natalie but soon, they will find out that their mom is not coming back and a huge
It was ok. I was hoping/expecting more mystery, but it was more Science fiction based than anything else. It was just fine. The characters are cute. But nothing too memorable or distinguishable.
Aug 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been ages since I read a middle-grade book so I thought I'd reacquaint myself with one of my favourite authors of the genre. I listened to the first and second books in The Greystone Secrets trilogy back to back and remembered just why I enjoyed Margaret Peterson Haddix in the past. Fast paced plot with plenty of twists and turns and full of the unexpected. So fast at times that she left my head spinning and me wondering if my 'advanced' years contributed to my confusion at times, or if tha ...more
This is book 1 of a new series by Haddix and I just can't push myself to care to read any more. I like YA and I have loved her books but I think this is too close to middle grade. Maybe on her next series. :-)
Paige Marie
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always saw this book at the store and I was always interested in it. I finally picked it up from the library and I wasn’t disappointed. It was interesting and it kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. It was also an easy read. I found myself flipping through the pages quickly
Yolanda Smith
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2020
Absolutely delightful and captivating. Eagerly awaiting my library hold for book two. Can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy this series.
At first, I thought the writing style and dialogue were just kind of juvenile. Then I realized that this was a book for 8-12 year old's. Only then did it really hit me that I am now significantly older than that age group and that is why it sounded juvenile. That aside, I kept on reading (despite a slow beginning) because I thought there might be interesting concepts. Lo and behold there was. In the end, it was merely enjoyable, I'm not itching to get my hands on the next one, although I'll prob ...more
Jenni Frencham
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. The Strangers. Katherine Tegen Books, 2019.

Chess, Emma, and Finn come home from school to find their mother staring at her laptop, where there is a news recording of three children in Arizona who have been kidnapped. Three children who have the exact same first and middle names as they do and who share their birthdays. The next day their mother has to leave town for work, and the trio stumble into a mystery that has them looking for clues, breaking secret codes, and tr
Melanie Dulaney
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the 3 most read authors in my 5th grade library after removing the graphic novels and never-ending Jeff Kinney books. She, Mary Downing Hahn, and Peg Kehret never fail to excite my students with their edge-of-your-seat action/adventure novels. I expect that this newest Haddix series, Greystone Secrets, will have as long a waiting list as her Shadow Children and Missing series always do. Summaries of book 1, “The Strangers” abound and I will not repeat those her ...more
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Great Middle Grad...: BOTM for March is The Strangers 11 46 Apr 15, 2020 07:37AM  

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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danvil ...more

Other books in the series

The Greystone Secrets (3 books)
  • The Deceivers (The Greystone Secrets, #2)
  • The Messengers (Greystone Secrets, #3)

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