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61 pages 2 hours read

Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2015

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Part 2, Chapters 20-36Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2, Chapter 20 Summary: “Dollar-Eight”

Sherm and Bridge walk to the diner and order cinnamon toast and a vanilla milkshake split into two glasses. Bridge worries there will be awkward silence between them over the meal, so she asks him if he knows the riddle about the two brothers standing at the doors that lead to heaven and hell. One brother is a liar and one a truthteller, but a person can only ask them one question. Sherm tries to eat his toast like a sandwich, and Bridge teaches him to eat one slice at a time to savor the taste of the cinnamon and sugar on his tongue. They become distracted by eating, and Bridge does not finish the riddle.

They split the bill, and when Sherm pulls out his old wallet, Bridge grabs it and a piece of paper with the date February 14 written on it falls out. Sherm explains that the wallet belongs to his grandfather and that February 14 is his birthday. Nonno Gio left his wife of 50 years and is starting over with a new wife in New Jersey. Sherm writes Nonno Gio letters to help process his grief but never sends them. He tells Bridge he remembers her accident, but Bridge says she hardly thinks about it.

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