73 books like The Strangers

By Margaret Peterson Haddix,

Here are 73 books that The Strangers fans have personally recommended if you like The Strangers. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of My Side of the Mountain

Naila Moreira Author Of The Monarchs of Winghaven

From my list on making kids feel like mighty eco-warriors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved both nature and writing since childhood. My birdwatching and prior work as a geologist have taken me to the coasts, forests, and grasslands of New England, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Brazil, and beyond. Through it all, I’ve kept my pen busy writing about my adventures. A former writer-in-residence at the Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine and beach naturalist with the Seattle Aquarium, I now teach at Smith College in Massachusetts, where I live with my family, many notebooks, and a garden full of native plants and wild birds. 

Naila's book list on making kids feel like mighty eco-warriors

Naila Moreira Why did Naila love this book?

Running away to live for a year alone in the woods–as a kid, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better fantasy.

Twelve-year-old protagonist Sam Gribley makes the dream feel realistic. Carving your own home in a huge hollow tree? Check. Learning how to set traps for fish and game? Check. Stitching your own clothes out of a deer hide “borrowed” from a reckless hunter who couldn’t find the carcass? Check. Learning the daily rhythms of wildlife, from chickadees to raccoons to stoats? Oh yes. I could have lived in Sam’s world forever.

Plus, the author’s line illustrations perfectly evoke an outdoor notebook worthy of a young Thoreau. It broke my heart when Sam’s year of wild freedom drew to a close.

By Jean Craighead George,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked My Side of the Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"Should appeal to all rugged individualists who dream of escape to the forest."-The New York Times Book Review

Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods-all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.

"An extraordinary book . . . It will be read year after…


Book cover of The Wee Free Men

Bruce Coville Author Of Into the Land of the Unicorns

From my list on middle grade and YA fantasy series.

Why am I passionate about this?

Both as a writer and reader, I adore stories of fantasy and magic. The thing is, these stories have what I call a “price of admission,” which is the time and effort it takes to learn the world of the story in order to immerse yourself in it. That's one reason I am passionate about reading series books: they welcome me back to a world I already love and understand. Speaking as a writer, multiple volumes allow me to make the world I've created richer and deeper with each new book. A new book in a beloved series feels like catching up with an old friend, whether you're reading or writing.

Bruce's book list on middle grade and YA fantasy series

Bruce Coville Why did Bruce love this book?

I rarely laughed as much at an audiobook as I did at this one. At one point, I thought I was going to have to pull over to the side of the road because I was laughing so hard that it was getting dangerous!

The thing about Terry Pratchett is that he started out being very funny and then managed to become something even better–very funny and wise. I was listening to one of the later books in this series while driving with my wife, and I stopped the recording to say, “I think I want to fling myself out the window because I will never write anything as smart and funny as this.” That's how good I think he is!

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Wee Free Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality . . .

Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle - aka the Wee Free Men - a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men.

Together they must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, terrifying dreams come true, and ultimately the sinister Queen of the Elves herself . . .

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE TIFFANY ACHING SEQUENCE


Book cover of Skulduggery Pleasant

Beau Johnston Author Of Sleep with One Eye Open

From my list on casual (or non) readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I despise long-winded books with an electoral roll of characters or characters with unnecessarily complex names. Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore. High school does its best to suck the joy out of reading with its “what did the author mean here?” nonsense. If the reader has to guess what the author means, the author failed to tell their story. Symbolism and hidden meanings are a joke. I won’t read pretentious books that people only read so they can say they’ve read them. One of the reasons I started writing was to reach people who ended up as non-readers because high school ruined reading for them.

Beau's book list on casual (or non) readers

Beau Johnston Why did Beau love this book?

Originally, I was looking for a book series to get my 12-year-old (non-reader) nephew interested in reading. The cover art is great, and the description, “a smart-ass skeleton detective and a secret magic world, in the shadows of the real world,” piqued my interest. Yes, an actual walking, talking skeleton.

I first purchased a copy for myself so I would know if it was appropriate for him. I enjoyed reading it so much that I went out the next day and bought him the first four books in the series. They became the first books he voluntarily read. I love the depictions of magic (and magical creatures) in the real world and the constant battle to keep regular humans ignorant of the events that take place virtually right in front of them. 

By Derek Landy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Skulduggery Pleasant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

She's twelve. He's dead. But together they're going to save the world. Hopefully.

The iconic first book in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series.

Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction.

Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer...


Book cover of Into the Wild

Joy Kita Author Of Fable Nation

From my list on convince kids to put down the controller.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a middle-grade author and mother to four children. I have been an avid reader my entire life. I love fantasy novels and feel that this passion not only makes me a better writer, but an excellent reader. I appreciate well-rounded characters, fun and twisty plots, and intriguing conflict. When I wrote Fable Nation, it was to convince my own children that reading was fun. I had them hooked by page two. A good story has the power to transport readers to new worlds. My goal as a writer is to create such places. My goal as a reader: to find myself blissfully lost in someone else’s world.

Joy's book list on convince kids to put down the controller

Joy Kita Why did Joy love this book?

Only a few books can engross a reader so fully they forget to play video games. This first book in the Warrior series is so captivating it will cause the most reluctant reader to spend hours turning pages. This book focuses on clans of wild cats.  It is full of heroism and adventure. As a writer, I am always searching for characters to keep my readers engaged. Erin Hunters has done a masterful job with each and every one of her many feline characters. Is this book all about cats? Yes. It is fun and engaging? Absolutely.

By Erin Hunter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Into the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Epic adventures. Fierce warrior cats. A thrilling fantasy world. It all begins here. 

Read the book that began a phenomenon—and join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter’s Warriors series a #1 national bestseller.

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But the warrior code has been threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying—and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named…


Book cover of The Darkest Secret

Kimberly Baer Author Of Snowdrop Dreams, Cherry Thumbprint Screams

From my list on children in peril.

Why am I passionate about this?

Call me a worrier, but I’ve always viewed the world as a place fraught with danger, especially for the very young. Hidden sinkholes, falling tree branches, kidnappers lurking on street corners—there’s no threat I haven’t imagined. (Full disclosure: I’m a mom.) As a fiction author, I like to put my young characters in harm’s way and then deliver them to safety, an approach that helps me deal with my anxieties by giving me a sense of control. If I had my way, all imperiled-child stories, whether real-life or fiction, would end with a happily ever after. Alas, not all of them do.

Kimberly's book list on children in peril

Kimberly Baer Why did Kimberly love this book?

This book kept me guessing. 

A three-year-old disappears during her wealthy father’s fiftieth birthday celebration. Is it a case of stranger abduction, or something more complicated? Don’t ask the police; they’re clueless—literally. The mystery hooked me from the start, and the characters (absolute jerks, most of them) were so real, I could almost smell their boozy breath. I never did guess the shocking “darkest secret,” but that’s for the best. Correctly predicting a plot twist might be satisfying in the moment, but I’m more impressed when an author surprises me.  

By Alex Marwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Darkest Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it . . . transcend[s] the genre." -Stephen King

"A cruel and cunning mystery . . . Plot-twisting, mind-altering and monstrously funny." -The New York Times Book Review

The latest gripping psychological thriller from Edgar Award winner Alex Marwood

When a child goes missing at an opulent house party, it makes international news. But what really happened behind those closed doors?

Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson's three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father's fiftieth birthday celebration, leaving behind her identical twin Ruby as the…


Book cover of Bad News

Tim Willis Author Of Madcap

From my list on madness, drugs, and rock’n’roll.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until the millennium, I was a features journalist with an abiding fascination in Sixties counter-culture. Being a friend of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, I heard Syd’s story first-hand. After having my own breakdown and psychiatric treatment, I decided to apply my experience and interests in writing an account of Syd’s short but sweet creative life. With Gilmour’s tacit blessing, his contemporaries – including Floyd co-founder Roger Waters – gave me access. And through interviewing them, I came to my own understanding of Barrett: by turns a crazy diamond and a dark globe.

Tim's book list on madness, drugs, and rock’n’roll

Tim Willis Why did Tim love this book?

No one captures the self-loathing and paradoxical liberty of the moneyed junkie as well as St Aubyn (except perhaps Anna Cavan). The second novel in his almost-autobiographical Patrick Melrose series, Bad News finds our fucked-up anti-hero on a gargantuan smack binge in New York at the age of 22. How the author – now clean – can reconstruct his frame of mind is remarkable; how he can do it with such precision and wit is mind-blowing.

By Edward St Aubyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bad News as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bad News is the second of Edward St Aubyn's semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels, adapted for TV for Sky Atlantic and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as aristocratic addict, Patrick.

Twenty-two years old and in the grip of a massive addiction, Patrick Melrose is forced to fly to New York to collect his father's ashes. Over the course of a weekend, Patrick's remorseless search for drugs on the avenues of Manhattan, haunted by old acquaintances and insistent inner voices, sends him into a nightmarish spiral. Alone in his room at the Pierre Hotel, he pushes body and mind to the very edge -…


Book cover of Dark Rise

Rita A. Rubin Author Of Amulet of Wishes

From my list on fantasy with LGBT+ rep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lifelong lover of all things fantasy and a passionate member of the LGBT+ community. It means so much to me every time I pick up a book to find characters with different sexualities on the pages and seeing them in fantasy books is even better! It gives me a thrill each time to feel like people like me are being acknowledged in my favourite books. Because of this, I also strive to be as inclusive and diverse in my own books

Rita's book list on fantasy with LGBT+ rep

Rita A. Rubin Why did Rita love this book?

Did you fall in love with tales such as Lord of the Rings and other great fantasy classics about the battle between good and evil growing up? Then Dark Rise is the perfect book for you. It's an epic full of twists and where nothing is ever as it seems. And, of course, getting to read a book with such a classic fantasy feel to it, with the inclusion of some queer rep, was just so refreshing and exciting. 

By C. S. Pacat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Rise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Instant New York Times Bestseller * Indie Bestseller *

In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.

Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards,…


Book cover of New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of the City (1869-1930)

Alex Marshall Author Of How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken

From my list on why cities and suburbs function the way they do.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to community, meaning how people get together, live, love, and support each other. That love drew me into caring about cities, in all their various forms, because cities are places for people to gather and build lives together. This can be in an Italian hilltown from the 1000 AD, a 15th-century neighborhood in Barcelona, an elegant street on the Upper East Side of New York City, or a subdivision near a highway interchange in Phoenix. Once I started caring about cities, I started asking why these places are the way they are, and this produced my book.

Alex's book list on why cities and suburbs function the way they do

Alex Marshall Why did Alex love this book?

I can still remember so much from this book. A great stat Hawes included was that in the year 1870, 90 percent of upper-class New Yorkers lived in townhouses or other types of single-family homes. By 1930, 90 percent lived in apartment buildings or “French flats,” as they were sometimes called. Basically, almost alone among American cities, New York chose to emulate Paris in its model of urbanism rather than London.

New York developers built and sold “French flats” that were large and ostentatious, like the Ansonia and the Dakota, which are still there today. These iconic apartment buildings were built along the streetcar and subway lines. Hawes was a writer for The New Yorker, so this is very readable.

By Esme Hawes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New York, New York as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounts New York City's transformation from a provincial, Victorian town to a bustling city, focusing on the architectural emergence of the apartment building after the Civil War and its influence.


Book cover of London: The Biography

Simon Leyland Author Of A Curious Guide to London: Tales of a City

From my list on London for the curious.

Why am I passionate about this?

In a previous life, I was a City trader and as such have always been fascinated by the ridiculous and the absurd. Now a full-time writer and poet, I live on the west coast of Ireland and have written a number of books including A Curious Guide to London, A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex, and The Men Who Stare At Hens. I also have a blog on all matters arcane.

Simon's book list on London for the curious

Simon Leyland Why did Simon love this book?

The daddy of all London books, an encomium to a city of myth. Its buildings hold and hide legends. Its rivers are lost underground. Its backstreets vanish into fable. Its characters are blurred between fact and fiction. Truths have been twisted by fantasy. Tourists are rendered blind, stepping around beggars to photograph the past, and sit in parks reading of a city that only springs to life in the mind, for in reality only the faintest outline traces now remain. A truly remarkable tour de force.

By Peter Ackroyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is an organism with its own laws of growth and change, so this book is a biography rather than a history. Ackroyd reveals the dozens of ways in which the continuity of the city survives - in ward boundaries unchanged since the Middle Ages, in vocabulary and in various traditions - showing London as constantly changing, yet forever the same in essence.


Book cover of Original Twin

Marlee Bush Author Of When She Was Me

From my list on books with untrustworthy sibling relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been absolutely entranced by complicated family dynamics and sibling relationships as long as I can remember. Particularly as they exist within the thriller space. I graduated with a degree in criminal justice which only fueled that fire as I learned so much more about psychology, the human mind, and the depths of human depravity. It was so natural for me to start exploring it in my own reading and writing. 

Marlee's book list on books with untrustworthy sibling relationships

Marlee Bush Why did Marlee love this book?

I loved this book because reading it was a lot like watching a movie. The way Gleeson writes, you can picture it playing out on a screen in your head.

I absolutely flew through the chapters of this twin story with my heart in my throat. It felt so cinematic, dramatic, and knife-sharp. Plus, one of my favorite parts of a good thriller, the plot twist really got me.

By Paula Gleeson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Original Twin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I loved it." -Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author.

In this haunting tale about the bonds between sisters, one young woman must follow the invisible thread that connects her to her missing twin before someone else can sever it for good.

Twin sisters May and June couldn't be more different. May is quiet, self-conscious, withdrawn; June is boisterous, beautiful, magnetic...and missing.

It's been a year since June disappeared, a year of May waiting for her to turn up with an explanation of where she's been and why she left. But with the discovery of an old newspaper article comes…


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