Young Adult Literature Set in the Big Apple: Background information when reading Goodbye Stranger

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Goodbye Stranger

by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead X
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 304 pages
    May 2017, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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About this Book

Young Adult Literature Set in the Big Apple

This article relates to Goodbye Stranger

Print Review

A lot of books for children and young adults are set in suburbia - but some truly memorable examples of the genre are set in cities, especially (like Goodbye Stranger) in Manhattan. Here are just a handful of the many classic and contemporary novels for young people set in the Big Apple. Whether your family already lives there or you just have plans to visit New York, you can spend whole days tracing the fictional footsteps of these memorable characters. If you decide to do just that, pick up a copy of Leonard Marcus's Storied City from your library (sadly, it's out of print) - it's a series of walking tours of the city that point out memorable locales from picture books and children's novels.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Who wouldn't want to run away to the Big Apple after reading this classic novel, in which a serious girl and her younger brother run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wind up helping to solve an art history mystery?

Harriet the SpyHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Rebecca Stead has acknowledged Harriet the Spy as a major influence on her decision to become a fiction writer, and she's not alone. It's hard not to be drawn to this memorable oddball, who resorts to hiding in her brownstone's dumbwaiter to better eavesdrop on her neighbors.

All of a Kind FamilyAll-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor
I confess that growing up in small-town Minnesota, I learned pretty much everything I know about Jewish customs and culture from this book and its sequels, which focus on a large, boisterous family on New York's Lower East Side in the early twentieth century.

Gully's TravelsGully's Travels by Tor Seidler
Gully lives at one of Manhattan's most exclusive addresses and enjoys the finer things in life. He's also a dog. He finds himself adrift when his owner moves away and he is given to a family in (gasp!) Queens. Gully is desperate to return home, but on his travels he may discover that there's more to life than Manhattan.

Better Nate Than NeverBetter Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
A love letter to the Great White Way, Better Nate Than Ever stars a young boy from a small town with big dreams of Broadway stardom. Readers will love the many references to Broadway shows, as well as the book's humor and age-appropriate addressing of issues from bullying to sexuality.

Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This book for somewhat older readers takes a teenaged boy and girl through one crazy, music-filled, unforgettable night in Manhattan. Sure, it's a movie, too, but you don't want to miss the amazing energy of Cohn and Levithan's writing and their depiction of young people experiencing the city's exhilarating freedom for the first time.

Filed under Reading Lists

Article by Norah Piehl

This "beyond the book article" relates to Goodbye Stranger. It originally ran in September 2015 and has been updated for the May 2017 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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