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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 260
Themes: Indigenous issues, dystopian, European colonialism, environment, family
Publisher: Cormorant Books
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2017
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Winner of the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award (Young People's Literature - Text)
Winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize
Winner of the 2018 Sunburst Award
Winner of the 2018 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
Winner of the 2018 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature

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.

Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature
"Dimaline's story resonates with me. It will resonate with other Native readers, too…This story is one I'm carrying. It is about caring, about love, about how people can continue, and will continue…I highly recommend The Marrow Thieves."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "Miigwans is a true hero; in him Dimaline creates a character of tremendous emotional depth and tenderness, connecting readers with the complexity and compassion of Indigenous people. A dystopian world that is all too real and that has much to say about our own."
School Library Journal, starred review
★ "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. A riveting science fiction novel that is a must-buy for any library seeking to expand their teen collections."
Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic Jury
“The writing is painful yet beautiful, bleak but ultimately hopeful. In this era of reconciliation, Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves is a work of speculative fiction that resonates and stays with the reader long past the last page.”
Trillium Book Award Jury
“Cherie Dimaline creates a near-future world which distinctly echoes our own, current and past traumas that have come back to repeat themselves, fiction with a basis in reality that gives the narrative a sheen of hard truths, following the trials and tribulations of a relatable cast of characters and their struggles to survive, and live their lives with the love and safety denied to them.”
Quill & Quire, starred review
★ “A timely and necessary read...powerful and endlessly smart, it’s a crucial work of fiction for people of all ages.”
Time Magazine, Best YA Books of All Time

“… a riveting, adventure-packed coming-of-age story whose orphaned hero, an Indigenous 16-year-old boy known as Frenchie, makes an arduous northward journey to what he and his companions hope will be relative safety, and finds community and culture in the face of violence and dehumanization.”


Kirkus Prize  | 2017 | Winner
White Pine Award  | 2018 | Short-listed
Governor General's Literary Award  | 2017 | Winner
AICL's Best Books  | 2017 | Commended
NPR Best Books  | 2017 | Commended
OLA Top Ten Best Bets  | 2017 | Commended
Quill & Quire Best Books of the Year  | 2017 | Commended
AILA American Indian Youth Literature Young Adult Honor Book  | 2018 | Commended
Cybils Awards Young Adult Speculative Fiction  | 2017 | Short-listed
Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature  | 2018 | Winner
Time's 100 Best YA Books of All Time  | 2021 | Commended
Amy Mathers Teen Book Award  | 2018 | Winner
Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic - Young Adult Award  | 2018 | Winner

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