CBC Digital Archives

'Little Criminals' snatches the prize in 2007

Since its debut in 2002, CBC Radio's Canada Reads has quickly become a popular and influential show, attracting huge audiences and driving up book sales. Each year, CBC convenes a panel of prominent Canadians to each pick a work of Canadian fiction and argue why their choice should be the book that all of Canada reads. The CBC Digital Archives brings you a collection of the animated and entertaining final debates, winner "reveals" and interviews with the winning authors of Canada Reads.

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Two generations of Canadian musicians go head to head in this final episode of Canada Reads 2007. Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, defender of Timothy Taylor's Stanley Park competes with John K. Samson of the Weakerthans, the advocate for Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals. This year's Canada Reads is an all-star extravaganza -- each advocate has championed a winner in past editions of the show -- which makes for an especially lively and strategic competition. Samson proves the most eloquent of the all-stars as Lullabies takes the crown.
Books that are included as a Canada Reads selection typically get a big sales boost. In 2007, sales of Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals jumped 192 per cent within a week of winning. In the four weeks after winning, sales increased 621 per cent.

Canada Reads 2007 was an "all-star" edition, featuring five panellists who had each chosen a winning book in an earlier year. Steven Page and Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion won in 2002 and Denise Bombardier championed Hubert Aquin's Next Episode (a translation of Prochain episode) in 2003. Jim Cuddy took Guy Vanderhaeghe's The Last Crossing to the top in 2004, Donna Morrissey with Frank Parker Day's Rockbound won in 2005 and John K. Samson made Miriam Toews'A Complicated Kindness the winner in 2006.

The full list of books and their advocates for Canada Reads 2007 was:
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill, championed by John K. Samson.
Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis, defended by Steven Page.
Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor, defended by Jim Cuddy.
Song of Kahunsha by Anosh Irani, defended by Donna Morrissey.
Children of My Heart by Gabrielle Roy, defended by Denise Bombardier.

Medium: Radio
Program: Canada Reads
Broadcast Date: March 2, 2007
Guest(s): Denise Bombardier, Jim Cuddy, Donna Morrissey, Steven Page, John K. Samson
Announcer: Judy Maddren
Host: Bill Richardson
Duration: 27:51
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.
Photo: (L-R) Denise Bombardier, Steven Page, Jim Cuddy, Donna Morrissey and John K. Samson.

Last updated: June 11, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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