CYNTHIA VOIGT Come a Stranger (Tillerman)

ISBN 13: 9780007100170

Come a Stranger (Tillerman)

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9780007100170: Come a Stranger (Tillerman)

A dashed dream leads to a rash decision in the fifth installment of Cynthia Voigt’s Tillerman cycle.

Mina Smiths lives to dance, so her scholarship to ballet camp seems like a dream come true. She doesn’t even mind being the only black girl in the troupe—that is, until she is told she’ll never be a classical dancer. It’s then that Mina begins to face some difficult truths about race and identity and transfers her passion for dance to Tamer Shipp, the summer minister for her church. The problem is, he’s a grown man with a family, but she can’t stop wishing for more to their friendship than simply pastor and parishioner.
     Cynthia Voigt’s incomparable mastery of character and community shines forth in this stirring novel from her acclaimed Tillerman cycle.

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About the Author:

Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song, the Newbery Honor Award for A Solitary Blue, and the National Book Award Honor for Homecoming, all part of the beloved Tillerman cycle. She is also the author of many other celebrated books for middle-grade and teen readers, including Izzy, Willy-Nilly and Jackaroo. She was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1995 for her work in literature, and the Katahdin Award in 2004. She lives in Maine.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5 Up Mina Smiths, whom many readers will remember from Dicey's Song (Atheneum, 1982), takes center stage in this addition to the Tillerman saga and holds it with energy and spirit. The story takes her from age 10 to 15, following her from a youthful dancer, full of herself and her ambitions, to a wise and realistic young woman. The key to her growth is Tamer Shipp, a young pastor who drives her home from the station once she leaves the dance camp from which she has been dismissed, perhaps because puberty has harmed her talents, perhaps because she is black. When Tamer's honesty and understanding help her through the first pain, she begins to love him, forming a relationship which will be central to her perceptions of the world around her for the ensuing three summers. There is little plot here, but the story moves well, with the theme, Mina's changing view of the world and her place in it as a young black woman, carrying it in a rich current. The events are seen through Mina's eyes, as are the characters who, nonetheless, emerge with strong identities of their own. In the last third of the book, the Tillermans come into focus as Mina learns about Bullet (The Runner Atheneum, 1985) from Tamer, who loved and hated him. It is her relationship with the Tillermans and with Tamer which brings the story to its climax, as Mina finds a way to complete the circle, bringing a measure of peace to all. Voigt tells her story smoothly, getting inside of Mina's perceptions easily and believably. To catch the resonance of the story, it would be helpful to have read the earlier books about the Tillermans, although, except for minor lapses in character description and incident, this does stand well on its own. Voigt permits readers to know her characters in a way they rarely know people in real life. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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