The Strangers

Book Name

The Strangers


Margaret Peterson Haddix

Book Description

Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone have always had their mom. Even when their father died. Even though she gets busy with her work. She has always been there for the three of them. So when she suddenly leaves them with a friend to go on a ‘work-trip’, the three kids are very confused. The kids know that their mother would never do that, so what is really going on? On top of that, three kids from Arizona have been kidnapped. Three kids that have the same names, ages, and birthdays as Chess, Emma, and Finn. The Greystone kids begin to think – is there some kind of relation between the kidnapped kids and their mother leaving them? If there is, then is their mother in danger? Read the book to be part of Chess, Emma and Finn’s journey to find their mother and the secrets about themselves!

Age Rating


This book has only a few topics that may not be right for younger kids. The kids’ father dies, and later in the book, we find out that it was intentional. The idea of assassination may scare some younger children. Another Towards the end of the book, there are people who control others using a material that is put in the air. The immense amount of power that these people have over others might scare younger kids. This book also has puzzle-solving and a vocabulary level of about a 5-6th grader, so this might confuse smaller children. However, older kids who have a good grasp of vocabulary and who understand the above ideas will definitely love this book!

Good Messages


There are a lot of positive messages in this book. Some of them include determination (seen through the Greystone kids’ determination to get their mother back), perseverance (seen through how the Greystone kids’ don’t let up the search even though they face many setbacks), and value of family (seen through the love the Greystones have for each other and how much they miss their mother and father).



Some smoke bombs are let off, the kids’ father also dies in a car accident.



Finn (a second grader) asks a grown man to shut up.



Chess is called cute by a girl.

Adult Topics

No adult topics at all.

Tvix’s Take

In my opinion, middle school mystery books are the best books ever. They’re just so fun to read! I was in the mood for a ‘midstry’ (middle (school) mystery – pretty clever huh? Ok, I know, I’m really bad at making up names for things) and I am so glad I chose this one! This was a really fun book to read. It was action-packed but also mixed with mystery and a little bit of magic ;). I would suggest it to anyone looking for something fun to read – anyone above 10 of course :).

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