The Stranger

The Stranger

by Chris Van Allsburg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780395423318
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/28/1986
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 65,759
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit him at 


Providence, Rhode Island

Date of Birth:

June 18, 1949

Place of Birth:

Grand Rapids, Michigan


University of Michigan College of Architecture & Design, 1972; Rhode Island School of Design, MFA, 1975

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book

"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book Guide

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Stranger 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
smorales on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
This book is a little strange, and I am not sure I like how it begins. The book starts with a farmer hitting a man with his truck, which I don't know if I would want to share with children.
wendyfincher on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
One day when Farmer Bailey was driving along in his truck he has an accident. He hit what he thought was a deer but wasn't a deer at all. Farmer Bailey has hit a man. He took the stranger home and had the doctor look at him. The doctor said he had memory lose. The stranger and the Bailey family were becoming great friends and it took several weeks for the stranger to regain his memory. However, one day when the stranger noticed that fall was all around the farm but on the Bailey farm it was still like Summer. The stranger did not like this and decided to leave. After he left Fall immediately set in on the Bailey farm. Every year Fall comes to this farm about three weeks late and they receive a letter saying see you again this time next fall.
cvyork on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
I'm sorry. I did not like the part of having no closure. Is he Jack Frost? I don't think so. Why would the weather stay warmer because he is still there?
HeatherSwinford on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
A good story about a "stranger" who enters the world of Katy. The man is taken in by her parents, and he seems confused and wearing strange clothing. It's a good book for teaching children the relationship of strangers. What a stranger is and how to deal with the new situations. The illustrations are a wonderful depiction of Van Allsburg's talent.
dnati on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
One day a farming family comes across a man who has been hit by a truck. There is something strange and different about this man, but they take the stranger into their home. He lives with them and eats with them for a month. During his stay strange things happen and they realize the stranger is much colder than they are. The leaves start to change as the summer comes to an end and the stranger plays a role in this around the farm. The illustrations are wonderful, a lot of things to think about in this mysterious book!
isaacfellows on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
Here's another mysterious one from Van Allsburg. I love how it conjures a sense of wonder even in the most "normal" frames. Again, older children might want to hear this story and conjecture about its meaning although younger children would probably feel lost or bored. Great autumn storytime choice!
alliecipa on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
This book takes place when the seasons were changing from summer to fall. One day, a family see a man who has been hit by a truck. They take him into their home, where he stays for a while. While this man is with them, mysterious things are happening. It is never revealed who this "stranger" is-- that is left for the imagination.
conuly on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
Let me note that it is a wordy book and that the symbolism is going to go right over the heads of your younger children. This is *definitely* a book for the older end of the 4-8 crowd, and maybe older still. The answer as to "who is the stranger" is never clearly given, but it's clear, reading through the lines, that he's someone akin to Old Man Winter.I really suggest you read this book, and possibly buy it.
kirkonly on LibraryThing 20 hours ago
The Stranger is vintage Allsburg. It combines the original perspective in the pictures to the alternative view in the story. He gives you just enough info and makes the book suspenseful and odd. Mr. Bailey, a farmer, is driving one day a hits a hermit. So he takes him home to help him get better, but the man cannot remember anything. Over the time that the stranger was there the seasons never changed.I was very interested in how the stranger was connected to what was happening during the seasons and see if he ever found his memory. I liked that the family let him become part of the family and also how much the stranger was in "awe" of everything that went on in the house. The colorful pictures really helped with the images in my mind of what was going on.From a teachers view, this book has suspense, detail, family values, and colorful pictures all of which add up to a fair good book. I don't know how i would use this book in class, other than for intertainment, but it is a fun book.
briarwren on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A rather odd story but we liked it. It's starts off rather abruptly with a person getting run over which suprised me a little since I wasn't expecting it. The more you read, the more you starting to wonder just how this strange man was. You're with him as he notices how strange the trees around the farm are and that he feels there's something wrong. I had already figured out that he represented the changing of the seasons, Jack Frost if you will, but the kids were plesantly surprised. They really liked the book and asked me to read it several times. I'd never read anything else by this author before besides The Polar Express (which I love) so I was excited to find another book that I enjoyed almost as much.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite books. This story is about a stranger that gets hit by Mr. Bailey¿s car. He doesn¿t know who he is and he has no place to go. He lives with the Bailey¿s he works very hard. When he¿s in the sun he doesn¿t even sweat he works so hard and doesn¿t take breaks. When he came it was fall but around the Bailey¿s the trees were green in the distance it was not. It is fall and it¿s hot when it should be cool. If you like a book with good illustration and mystery books, you should read The Stranger. If you like a mystery, then this is the right book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is a great book. It starts out when Mr. Baily runs into a stranger with his truck. So Mr. Baily let him stay as long as he needed. They let him wear new clean clothes .They started working in the farm it was hot out there. The stranger did not sweat but Mr. Baily did sweat and take a break. The stranger danced with the Bailey family . He had so much fun. Hard to believe that he was a hermit. When he saw the green trees he thought they were ugly .He did not like green trees. One day the strangers feelings grew bigger the next day he couldn¿t stand a green trees leaf. He touched it and it turned red. To find out why you have to read the rest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although, the book is extremely fast paced in a sense of many different occurances arrising randomly, it all really comes together at the end after thinking for a moment. i didn't get it at first and thought it was horribe but after going back and re- reading some chapters it all makes sense. It is a tragic story of a man named Meursault who has no hope in life and how lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in fourth grade I read this book. It's a little strange I have to say but I like this book alot!I if you like strange things then you should read it its only 32 pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't quite catch anything at all, it doesn't give you very many details about the stranger after living with him so long, but i like the illustraitions, though. Bad book! The only CVA book that's bad! Read the other ones as you like but not THIS ONE AT ALL!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this story when I was in grade school, and it's still a favorite...
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great book The Stranger is!! Chris Van Allsburg is GREAT at making stories, I liked this one the best!!