Module 8 – Mystery/Series/SLIS 5420
Duncan, Lois. (1981). Stranger With My Face. New York: Laurel-Leaf.
What can I say? I’ve loved Lois Duncan books since the fifth grade when I first read Killing Mr. Griffin. Duncan is true to form in this suspenseful and different book about Laurie and the strange double who seems to be plaguing her. Laurie lives with her family on an island on the east coast. She is finally enjoying some social success with the “in crowd” when she’s thwarted by a girl who looks just like her. Her friends keep seeing this girl everywhere, and Laurie is being blamed or getting into trouble with her friends because of it. Who is this mystery person? Is she real, or a ghost? Laurie could swear she’s seen and even felt a presence in her room at night. Is Laurie being haunted, or is something much stranger going on here? Why is this mystery person causing harm to the friends who are closest to her? The novel unfolds to reveal the mystery of Laurie’s past and the strange reason behind Laurie’s new problems. I won’t spoil it for you. Duncan’s suspensful tale is a great late night read for middle school or high school teens.
“…professionally orchestrated suspense for the willingly susceptible…”
Kirkus Reviews. (1982, January 1). Review of Stranger With My Face. Retrieved from http://www.bookrags.com
As evidenced by the lack of any professional (editorial) reviews for this book, Duncan’s book isn’t exactly literature (though it was a top pick by ALA in 1981). This book could be great as part of a book study if put on the reading list with similar books or other Duncan books. It would be fun for a group of readers, as part of a library book group, to read some of Duncan books and discuss them as a group. These are the types of books that teens love to read around Halloween, and they could be incorporated into Halloween events at the library for teen readers. A Halloween event for all young readers with events for each age group would be a great venue for a book talk on Duncan’s classics (like Killing Mr. Griffin, Daughters of Eve, I Know What You Did Last Summer).
ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 1981