When Cole Harper is compelled to return to Wounded Sky First Nation, he finds his community in chaos: a series of shocking murders, a mysterious illness ravaging the residents, and reemerging questions about Cole’s role in the tragedy that drove him away 10 years ago. With the aid of an unhelpful spirit, a disfigured ghost, and his two oldest friends, Cole tries to figure out his purpose, and unravel the mysteries he left behind a decade ago. Will he find the answers in time to save his community?
Strangers is the first novel in The Reckoner, a series by David A. Robertson, award–winning writer and author of Governor General’s award-winning children’s book When We Were Alone.
A truly original superhero. Recommended.
—School Library Connection
Refreshing ironic humor, the story’s tantalizing mystery pulls readers on.
—The Horn Book
Among spring break reads recommended by librarians as great books for kids and teens.—Vancouver Sun
Within the very opening pages of Strangers, Cole Harper had already burrowed his way deep into my heart. I raced through the chapters, fearing for this young hero, his friends, and his wider community. David Robertson has written a riveting story of a young man burdened with adult responsibilities. Robertson’s true skill, though, comes in the way he balances the intense peril with humour and magic and love and resilience. Teachers, get this novel into your classrooms. I want everyone to read Strangers.
—Angie Abdou, Author of In Case I Go
With fierce pace and terrific style, Robertson’s novel Strangers pulls the reader straight into a world of intrigue, murder, and revenge. Cole Harper, the main character, has a past that he refuses to face, which doesn’t help his crippling anxiety or growing unease as he returns to his community. As more people die, Cole has to dig deep to find himself and to start to piece together the mystery of his own story. Robertson explores themes of identity and belonging, but takes this classic YA narrative and makes it deeper, darker, and more compelling. The humour and crackling dialogue keep even the most terrifying plot twists artful, and the novel is a fantastic entry into The Reckoner trilogy. I can’t wait for the next book in this series…
—Alice Kuipers, Author of Me (and) Me
Strangers has it all—vivid and imaginatively crafted characters, a propulsive and energetic plot, brilliant dialogue, and a series of mysteries that make us think in a new way about the world we inhabit. The story skillfully unfolds, and the characters—the spirit beings and the human ones—are utterly convincing. This book is a page turner and lingers in the memory. The story will resonate with and enthrall everyone, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers.
—Warren Cariou, Canada Research Chair and Director, Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba
A promising first episode of a new series with a striking hero and a coyote spirit.
Among Global Read Aloud Young Adult Choice 2019
Winner of The Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction
Winner of the High Plains Book Award, Indigenous Writer
Shortlisted for the High Plains Book Award, Young Adult Book
ERAC Evaluated and Approved
Selected for CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens list
Selected for AICL’s Best Books of 2017
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