Canada Reads 2018

The Marrow Thieves

Cherie Dimaline's young adult novel is set in a dystopian future where Indigenous people are being hunted for their bone marrow.

Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018.  Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, defended by Jeanne Beker, was the winner of Canada Reads 2018.

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The Indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream.

In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden. But what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves. (From Dancing Cat Books)

Watch the book trailer

Canada Reads trailer for Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves. 0:49

From the book

It probably started with that first pop of air against metallic plastic, no louder than a champagne cork. I imagined the school truancy officers - Recruiters, we called them — coming for us, noses to the wind, sunglasses reflecting the row of houses behind which we were nestled in our wooden dream home. And sure enough, by the time we'd crunched through the first sweet, salty handfuls, they were rounding the house into the backyard.


From The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline ©2017. Published by Dancing Cat Books.

Panellist interviews

The Canada Reads defenders and authors took the stage in Toronto to discuss the five books that will be championed on CBC's battle of the books from March 26-29, 2018. Here and Now's Gill Deacon hosted the event in the Glenn Gould Studio. 1:07:45
Jully Black, Canada Reads 2018 panellist and defender of The Marrow Thieves, says she's honoured to be championing a book that inspires conversation about Indigenous issues in Canada. 1:46
This morning is a big day for books in Canada — it's the day that we get to find out this year's panellists and their book choices for Canada Reads 2018. This year's battle of the books will revolve around the theme "One Book to Open Your Eyes," celebrating titles that challenge readers to look differently at themselves, their neighbours and the world around them. All five of the panellists — Jully Black, Mozhdah Jamalzadah, Tahmoh Penikett, Greg Johnson, Jeanne Beker — join guest host Laurie Brown in the q studio to reveal their choices for the book they think all Canadians should read. 14:24

Author interviews

The epidemic of youth suicide in Indigenous communities preyed on Cherie Dimaline's mind. But what could she do to make a difference? Her solution: Write a novel where young, Indigenous people save the world. 14:05
In these excerpts from her visit to the Halifax Central Library, author Cherie Dimaline gives the audience and Mainstreet host Bob Murphy some insight into her creative process, and her motivation in writing The Marrow Thieves. It's one of the books competing in Canada Reads, March 26-29. 21:27

The Canada Reads 2018 contenders