Come a Stranger (The Tillerman Series #5)

by Cynthia Voigt

Paperback, 1986



Call number

PB Voi

Call number

PB Voi

Local notes

PB Voi




Fawcett Juniper (1987), 228 pages


Mina's deep love for a grown-up minister drives her to seek a way to give him an unforgettable remembrance, restoration of his faith.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

228 p.; 6.85 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member rachelellen
This book concerns another of Dicey's friends, Mina, and her struggles as a young black girl growing up. Really eye-opening to me, and riveting; also my favorite example of Voigt's multiple-POV technique.
LibraryThing member pennykaplan
Mina Smiths is a forceful, bright black girl who wants to be a ballet dancer. But summers at a Connecticut ballet camp force her to begin dealing with the racism she will encounter on a daily basis as a strong Black woman. Her warm, complex family and community in Crisfield, Maryland offer support
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and add richness to the story. A beautiful coming of age novel.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Mina has always loved to dance, so she’s thrilled to get a scholarship to a summer ballet camp. That first summer is everything she dreamed it would be (even if she is the only minority student), but when she goes back for the second year, things have changed. The camp director tells Mina that
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she no longer has the right build for ballet — but Mina has to wonder if perhaps she doesn’t have the right skin color, either.

It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite book in this series. Sometimes it’s this book. The issues of race addressed here seem particularly timely in the current climate.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
We see several years in the life of Mina Smiths. The book opens with the little black girl who loves dancing, getting a scholarship to a summer dance camp, where she is the only black. She doesn't mind. But the next summer when she goes, she is made quite aware of how different she is, and she is
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eventually sent home. This is a key event in Mina's life. She is driven home by a visiting minister, Tamer Shipp (who we met in previous book in the Tillerman Cycle, The Runner). Even though Tamer Shipp is a married man, a pastor, and much older, Mina falls in love with him. She is fully aware that any romance is impossible, and she never makes any inappropriate advances, but she longs to spend time with him as he visits their church each summer.
At one point he tells Mina about the pseudo-friendship he had with Bullet Tillerman when he was in high school, and how much Bullet meant to him. Some time later, Mina discovers that there are Tillermans in her school. Dicey is in some of her classes. Mina decides that one way or another, she has to let Mr. Shipp meet the Tillermans - especially Sammy, who was named after Bullet.
Like Dicey Tillerman, Mina Smiths is an independent and strong willed girl, but unlike Dicey, she doesn't get offended easily, and makes herself easy to like.While Dicey tries her best to be invisible, Mina wants to be seen. They make an interesting pair of friends.
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½ (101 ratings; 3.9)
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