Canada Reads 2022: Watch the finale replay
It's time to crown the new winner of Canada Reads!
After three days of debate, moderated by Ali Hassan, the panellists have eliminated three books from the competition. One of the remaining two at the table will become the winner of Canada Reads 2022.
Watch the final day of debates above. Find other ways to tune in — radio, podcast, television, on-demand stream — here.
The final two books in the running are: Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, championed by Christian Allaire, and Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, championed by Malia Baker.
Mark Tewksbury and Washington Black by Esi Edugyan were voted off on Day Three, following Tareq Hadhad and What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad on Day Two and Suzanne Simard and Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Müller on Day One.
Read about all the voting here.
Catch up on the debates:
Allaire is the only panellist to vote against Scarborough, which he did on all three days of debate. Tewksbury and Baker voted against Five Little Indians on Day Three — the first time the novel had received any votes.
The two finalists, Scarborough and Five Little Indians, share many similarities: they are both multi-voiced narratives, shifting from character to character, all connected to one another; the cities they are set in — Scarborough, Ont. and Vancouver — are their own characters; and both explore the power of community in overcoming systemic discrimination. As well, both novels are first-time books for their authors.
Hernandez, a playwright and screenwriter, said that she wrote Scarborough as a "love letter" to her community — one that uplifted her when times were difficult. It tells the story of three young children in low-income families, their parents, trying their best to navigate systems and biases that work against them, and a teacher fighting against prejudice on behalf of her students.
"Seeing these characters convince themselves of hope and make themselves be seen is contagious," said Baker, an actor, during the debates.
"Scarborough shows that if we band together as a community, we can create a system that shows truth and actually works for marginalized individuals."
WATCH | The book trailer for Scarborough
Good, who is also a lawyer, tells the story of residential school survivors and the tremendous odds they overcome to survive in Five Little Indians. All five characters are haunted by their time in school and face their trauma in very different ways, as they work toward establishing roots in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.
Both Good and her champion Allaire have relatives who were forced into residential schools. He praised the power of prose in Good's novel.
"Through her rich writing craft, Good shows that Indigenous people in Canada have suffered from residential schools individually, and as a community," said Allaire, a fashion journalist and author, during the debates.
WATCH | The book trailer for Five Little Indians
The five contenders and their champions are:
- Ojibway author and Vogue fashion writer Christian Allaire champions Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
- Actor and activist Malia Baker champions Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez
- Entrepreneur and former Syrian refugee Tareq Hadhad champions What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
- Forest ecologist and author Suzanne Simard champions Life In the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Müller
- Olympian and LGBTQ2S+ advocate Mark Tewksbury champions Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
WARNING: The books chosen for Canada Reads deal with difficult topics, such as trauma and abuse. These stories may be shared during the broadcast. Click this link to find publicly available resources for support.