Stranger With My Face
By Norah Caroline Piehl,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
OK read. Teens may love the supernatural elements.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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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.
Where to Read
Based on 1 parent review
Stranger with my Face book review
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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?
This book 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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- Author: Lois Duncan
- Genre: Mystery
- Book type: Fiction
- Publication date: January 1, 1981
- Number of pages: 235
- Last updated: November 15, 2019
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Where to Read
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