Stranger With My Face

Common Sense Media says

OK read. Teens may love the supernatural elements.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

An intelligent study of psychic phenomenon that packs an emotional punch.

Positive role models

The novel suggests that Laurie and Lia are able to do astral projection easily because of their Navajo blood.


Helen is knocked into a coma. One character is trampled to death by a horse. One character uses a crutch as a weapon. Laurie and Jeff are trapped in a cavern overnight. Laurie fears that Lia will take over her life. Laurie discovers she's adopted and bec

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some underage characters drink at a party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some inconsistent plot elements and a narrator whose voice sounds a little too wise for her years can't distract from a fascinating study of psychic phenomenon.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Sixteen-year-old Laurie finally has it made: She has a handsome boyfriend and a popular group of friends. Things start to fall apart, though, when Laurie's boyfriend swears he saw Laurie meeting another boy, even though Laurie was home sick.

Other unexplained sightings convince Laurie that she has a double, and when the mysterious figure claims to be her twin sister, Laurie investigates. Laurie discovers that she was adopted at birth, although her sister Lia was not. Instead, Lia bounced from foster home to foster home, growing more bitter--and more dangerous.

Now, although her body is confined, Lia visits Laurie through astral projection. When Laurie's friends start to get hurt, Laurie suspects Lia's trying to take over her life. Will Laurie embrace her newfound sister, or will she protect her adoptive family?

Is it any good?


STRANGER WITH MY FACE isn't a mystery in the classic sense; as soon as Laurie's friend, Helen, is discovered battered and abandoned, the reader knows Laurie's double is responsible. The real mystery of the story, though, is which path Laurie will choose: Will she explore her psychic powers and her past, or will she embrace the present and defend her family?

As intriguing as this question becomes, and as menacing a figure as Lia is, these elements of the novel are almost secondary to the exploration of astral projection that's at the heart of the story. Duncan makes out-of-body travel seem so commonplace that even the most literal-minded readers might lose some of their skepticism. In fact, most readers will be so absorbed by these supernatural elements that they'll overlook many of the book's inconsistencies. Laurie tells us this story at age 17, only a year after the events described, but her voice often sounds more middle-age than teenage -- she repeatedly refers to her younger siblings as "the children," for example.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the supernatural elements of the story.

  • Do you think people really can have psychic powers?

  • What do you think of the notion of out-of-body travel?

Book details

Author:Lois Duncan
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:January 1, 1981
Number of pages:235

This review of Stranger With My Face was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byDanceandRead247 August 20, 2009

Love it!!!

It was very good. A little predictable, but maybe that was just me. It might be more of a girl book, bc it is about a girl and itsn't as gory/horror as boys might think it would be. That's what my brother said anyways. Do read, its brilliant!!
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

This was a pretty good book! I would probably recommend...

Laurie was at home, but her boyfriend swears he saw her on the beach with another guy. And now her family insists they see her coming and going when she's been out of the house for hours. But how can she be in two places at one time? Who-or what-is trying to take over Laurie's life? It's up to her to figure it out...before it's too late.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

~ Did A Book Report On it ~

I loved it. And would reccomend it. very simple read Laurie's boyfriend and family swears they see her in many places at once. How can this be happening when Laurie knows she wasnt there?? As it goes she learns about her history future and her background.


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