The Marrow Thieves

The Marrow Thieves

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness." ... Google Books
Publisher: [Toronto] : Dancing Cat Books, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781770864863
Characteristics: 234 pages ;,21 cm.


From Library Staff

Defended by Jully Black.

Young People's Literature – Text

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 14, 2018

Well-written. I had a hard time with the young adult fiction format and found it to be choppy and disjointed in places. I am also not a fan of dystopian fiction so it wasn't really my favorite book. This book may win Canada Reads but only because the topic has had so much air play in the last year. Other Canada Reads contenders are better written and have more to tell us.

Mar 06, 2018

I struggle with young adult as a genre. I have always struggled with young adult as a genre. I didn’t like young adult when I was a teen and instead stuck to modern classics, crime by Agatha Christie and comics. I always tried to read what everyone else was reading — it always ended the same, with a bookmark stuck 30 pages in and my returning it to the library to be forgotten about.

There’s just something in young adult that doesn’t feel genuine to me. Much like when you’re a child and you realise there’s an educational aspect to a favourite game, it often isn’t a favourite game anymore, because of its deception. I wanted to love young adult for years and still do, but the disappointment was just too much to take, so I stopped reading young adult altogether.

Until now.

Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves is short-listed to win the Canada Reads Prize for 2018 and it’ll win. I don’t think it’ll win, I know it will. I’ve read quite a few other candidates from the long list and though I love them, and some of them were five star reads, this one will win.

The Marrow Thieves is about a teenager named Frenchie who identifies as First Nations (Metis, specifically) in a post-apocalyptic world where people have gone mad, the planet is ruined and the only people who can dream are First Nations people. So they’re farmed, for their bone marrow, so that white people can dream, at the expense of their own lives.

… that’s something else that I forgot to mention.

Not only do I struggle with Young Adult as a genre, I don’t like dystopian fiction. I don’t like caste systems or blood magic or world-building with three levels and whatever other shallow representations of culture so much young adult fiction seems to come out with.

… but this feels so real. I love dystopian fiction when it’s done well — frighteningly similar to our own world, where it makes me ask questions about who I am, what I’d do if I were in that situation and how I’d survive.

THEN there’s the representation in this book. The main characters in the Marrow Thieves are a motley crew of young people and adults that Frenchie eventually finds himself with. No spoilers, but Dimaline takes time to craft each person individually. Although, with so many people, there were times when it did feel a little crowded. I wanted a book on each person in the group and so I understand if that is a drawback for some people. Frenchie meets people who are Anishnaabe, Cree, Inuit and I adore that she reiterates again and again that identity has nothing to do with blood quantum. She discusses the importance of learning language, and in each interaction between characters there lies a message for a young First Nations person reading it.

And if I think about a young First Nations person reading it, seeing smatterings of their language, talk of braids, of ceremonies, of sweetgrass written on the page, I tear up.

There’s also queer representation and a sweet, sweet romance (with no love triangles in sight thANK THE LORD) and this book feels like it came from a place of love. This novel is full of so much hope and is layered with so much story-telling. Between these pages lay thousands of promises Dimaline has crafted, for the generations present, past and future.

It had one of my FAVOURITE TYPE of endings ever! (I won't spoil it, but...)

Thank you Cherie Dimaline. I want to hug her.

EVERYONE: The Canada Reads 2018 WINNER.

BPLpicks Feb 06, 2018

Chosen as a contender for Canada Reads 2018 taking place March 26-29. Read the book watch the debates on TV.

Nov 03, 2017

Congratulations to Cherie Dimaline for winning the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award and the U.S. Kirkus Prize! "A dystopian world that is all too real and that has much to say about our own." (Kirkus Reviews—starred review 2017-09-19)

WVMLlibrarianShannon Aug 29, 2017

A totally original, insightful and sensitive apocalyptic novel from a uniquely indigenous perspective by a Metis author. Even if you're sick of end-of-the-world books, read this one. There's nothing else like it.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top