Books·Books of the year

Allan Stratton's favourite books of 2017 were The Marrow Thieves and Optimists Die First

In December, Canadian authors are sharing their favourite books of the year with CBC Books.
Allan Stratton says two of his favourite books of 2017 were The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline and Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen. (

Happy holidays! CBC Books asked authors to share their favourite Canadian books of 2017. We will be publishing these recommendations throughout December.

Allan Stratton, a finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Awards, chose two novels: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline and Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen.

"Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves and Susin Nielsen's Optimists Die First: Just wow! The Marrow Thieves is a groundbreaking dystopia about Indigenous suffering and resistance, and our need for language, story and dreams to survive. Optimists Die First is a wrenching dramedy about a girl who blames herself for her sister's death, and the struggle to heal when grief is wrapped in guilt. I am in awe of Dimaline's brilliant premise and the reach of her imagination; equally of Nielsen's gift for expressing pain through humour and the impossible ease of her prose. Both of these books got under my skin and burrowed into my bones: I can't wait to feel what their authors do to me next."

Allan Stratton has written several acclaimed books for young adult and middle grade readers. His latest, The Way Back Homewas a finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text.


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