YOUth Review: Strangers by David Robertson

Strangers by David A. Robertson is a great book that effectively held me at the edge of my seat throughout my read. The story follows Cole Harper, an Indigenous teenage boy who suddenly begins to receive strange and urgent messages from his friend, begging him to return to his reserve Wounded Sky First Nation. Upon returning, he finds his community in turmoil. Mysterious murders, an ambiguous and ravenous illness, and the memories of what originally drove Cole away from his reserve 10 years prior. He finds himself in the center of everything.

The book includes representation of LGBTQ+ characters and accurate portrayals of mental health struggles such as PTSD and anxiety. I believe that this inclusion is important for those inside the minority and even for those outside of it, it gives new perspectives into the struggles that people under these umbrellas can go through and how it affects them and their relationships. Representation is very important to me personally, and as I further delved into the story of Strangers, I found myself liking it more. I was able to relate to the different aspects of many various characters, I found them all so diverse with their own internal struggles and how they deal with the situations that confront them. The book also deals with paranormal fiction in a very interesting way; a way that relates to First Nations culture and legends, the talking coyote, for example.

A book that can easily relate to its readers is important for the audience to connect to the book, and to find themselves somewhere in the story as they read. I’m sure that many people who decide to pick up this book will be interested in reading the next one just as I did.

Written by Tessa H.