About the Book

Cover for OBOC's 2021-2022 selected book

The Marrow Thieves takes place in a not-too-distant future where Indigenous people have been forced to live on the run to avoid capture by the Recruiters, government military agents who kidnap Indians and confine them to facilities called “schools.” Orphan, Frenchie, is rescued from the Recruiters by Miigwans and meets a small band of other Indians from different nations who each have their own tragic story. Miigwans leads the group north to find others and holds on to the belief of safety in numbers. Five years later, Frenchie is now 16, and the bonded travelers have protected one another--strengthened by their loyalty and will to persevere as a people. They must stay forever on alert, just a breath away from capture by the Recruiters or by other Indians who act as their agents. Miigwans reveals that the government has been kidnapping Indians to extract their bone marrow because scientists believe that the key to restoring dreaming to white people is found within their DNA. Frenchie later learns that the truth is even more horrifying. The landscape of North America has been completely altered by climate change and rising oceans have eliminated coastlines and the Great Lakes have been destroyed by pollution and busted oil pipelines. Dimaline writes about a dystopian world that is all too real and that has much to say about our own while connecting readers with the complexity and compassion of Indigenous people.


The Marrow Thieves' Accolades

  • Winner, 2017 Kirkus Prize (Young Readers' Literature)
  • Winner, 2017 Governor General's Literary Award (Young People's Literature - Text)
  • Winner, 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
  • Finalist, 2018 Forest of Reading - White Pine Awards
  • Finalist, 2018 Trillium Book Award
  • Finalist, 2018 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
  • Shortlisted, 2018 CBC Canada Reads
  • Shortlisted, 2018 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award
  • Longlisted, 2018 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature