Do You Think This Is Strange?
About the Book
Shortlisted for the 2016 Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Longlisted for the 2016 Leacock Medal for Humour Writing
Winner of an Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY)
Freddy has problems. Some of them are because he’s autistic. Most of them are because he’s a teenager.
When he’s seven years old, Freddy’s mother walks him to the train station, sits him on a bench, kisses his forehead, and disappears from his life. In a few short days, everything changes. His father moves him across town, enrols him in a different school, and takes him away from little Saskia, the only friend he’s ever had.
Ten years later, Freddy is struggling to get through his last year of high school. He painstakingly avoids interactions with other students, who don’t understand his hyper-literal perspective. But then Saskia appears, and she’s different from the laughing little girl he remembers. She no longer smiles, and she doesn’t speak.
As they reconnect, Freddy begins to remember what really happened ten years ago. And everything he thought he knew begins to unravel. Both humorous and heartbreaking, Do You Think This Is Strange? is a coming-of-age tale you won’t soon forget.
“The relationship between Saskia and Freddy is everything teen romance readers yearn for, but complex enough for adult readers. With an enthralling character voice, an atypical narrative structure, and an unexpected mystery, Drake’s first outing sets a high bar for his next.” —Publishers Weekly
“A nuanced and sensitive narrative of conflict, comedy, and trauma … Drake’s writing is delightful, and the architecture of the book is subtle and effective … Do You Think This Is Strange? is not simply about a boy with autism, but more importantly about the way those who encounter him (including the reader) choose to respond to him.” —Quill & Quire
“Consider this the antidote to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Whereas Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel, the most popular literary representation of autism to date, presented a barely functional savant, the 17-year-old at the heart of Aaron Cully Drake’s debut is someone that the majority of autistic people might recognize…Freddy is an authentically exasperating teenager. You’ll want to read this coming-of-age story anyway, not least to watch Freddy solve the common mystery of why his family is as it is.” —Globe and Mail
“Do You Think This Is Strange? tells the story of Freddy’s last year in high school . . . the telling of it is masterfully done.” —Lethbridge Herald
“Well-written, funny and interesting…” —Geist
“This story is not just about a boy with autism but rather about how people view and respond to him . . . This must-read for students and educators rewards with insights into autism.” —BC Books for BC Schools