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The marrow thieves
2018
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Summary
Shortlisted for 2018 CBC Canada Reads

Winner of 2017 Governor General's Literary Award (Young People's Literature - Text)

Winner of 2017 Kirkus Prize

Nominated for 2018 Forest of Reading - White Pine Awards

A Globe and Mail Best Book

Shortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

Shortlisted for the Indigenous Literature Award

Longlisted for the Sunburst Award


Just when you think you have nothing left to lose, they come for your dreams.

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.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-In a dystopian future, a young Métis boy, Frenchie, comes of age while fleeing capture. Along with a group of Indigenous young people and their leader, Miig, they resist the constant threat of being harvested for their dream-carrying bone marrow. Growing up on the run, Frenchie learns how to hunt, trap, and keep moving north to survive, but climate change has caused chaos and collapse around the world. The group must escape the Recruiters, who cause loved ones to disappear forever, and adapt to harsh conditions. Through "Story," told by Miig, the protagonist learns about history, his culture, and how precious they both are in a society that seeks to process his people like cattle. Fans of Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien and The Chrysalids by John Wyndham will enjoy this character-driven work of science fiction. Like those authors, Dimaline writes elegant prose that grabs the reader and carries them into this dark and passionate world. The author has created a rich work of postapocalyptic fiction without the dense exposition often found in the genre. VERDICT A riveting science fiction novel that is a must-buy for any library seeking to expand their teen collections.-Meaghan Nichols, Archaeological Research Associates, Ont. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Sixteen-year-old Frances Frenchie Dusome, one of a dwindling number of Métis, and his found family try to survive on the run from the Recruiters, whites who are capturing First Nations members to harvest their bone marrow and sell it as a remedy for the lost ability to dream. This dystopian novel is rich in atmosphere and texture, from the measured cadence that suggests the rhythms of ritual storytelling, to slang that situates it in a postapocalyptic North America, to the spare yet evocative descriptions of the effects of power and carelessness on the environment. It is a story told by an insider, for insiders, but done so well that even those on the outside gain some degree of understanding by reading it. Dimaline never depends on theatrics or gore to expose the callous and horrific problem at the root of her plot; rather, her details convey the matter-of-fact nature of cruelty, and her characters express the consequences. A subtext to the plot casts a spotlight on the effects of co-opting bits and pieces of a culture without fully understanding how they fit into a seamless whole: How long can we borrow or steal from others without losing ourselves in the process? Put this book, written by a Canadian First Nations author, in your library, and make it known.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2018 Booklist
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