The Marrow Thieves

The Marrow Thieves

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: Toronto : Dancing Cat Books, 2017.
ISBN: 9781770864863
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Dimal
Characteristics: 234 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In a dystopian future world, a young Métis boy and his friends are on the run from Recruiters who are hunting the Indigenous people of North America to extract their bone marrow. As a Métis Canadian author, Dimaline crafted a story that is reminiscent of her own understanding of being an Indigeno... Read More »

In this dystopian novel, Frenchie, a young Métis boy, and a group of Indigenous youth are on the run from government Recruiters who are hunting them for their bone marrow. Their bone marrow carries the ability to dream, an ability that non-Natives have lost. Along the way, Frenchie learns about h... Read More »


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s
sgcf
Jul 24, 2020

Dystopian is not a genre I care for but a friend suggested this book because of my interest in dream psychology. But the dream theme was only a vehicle for the post-apocalyptic conditions for the Metis and “Indians” to be hunted for their bone marrow where, supposedly, dreams reside. (I gagged on that premise.) The plot was mostly a chase through the forests, hide-and-seek with emphasis on teamwork, while we came to know more about each character. As we learn their individual pasts, the historical human rights abuses and colonial racism inflicted on Canada’s Indigenous people is highlighted. Somewhere along the way the bone marrow dream theme gets lost. It was difficult for me to get pulled into this story but by the last half I was interested.

c
creativegirly123
Mar 25, 2020

The style of this book isn't typical, but adds more interest and context into the general themes of the novel. As a Canadian young adult, it really puts into perspective the Indigenous oppression and how history can repeat itself under given circumstances.

I think the book is an eye-opener and has so many lessons in the frame narratives, such as the coming-to stories. It focuses on repeating history, family, coming of age, language, oppression, trauma and trauma through generations and taking pride in whom you are and of your ethnicity.

I think it's an important story for youth to read this novel as they are coming of age to consider that your success isn't solely defined by your goals, but also by those who helped you. The past generations have paved a road to make you the most successful you can be and it is your job to carry on that role and make sure that your culture, lessons and values carry onto future generations.

It is a wider perspective, but a great one to consider. I absolutely loved this book! One novel similar to Empire of Wild written by the same author!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 24, 2020

The Marrow Thieves is a well written novel, set in a dystopian future where indigenous peoples are forced into hiding to protect their lives. The antagonist of this novel is a corrupt government who sanctions the exploitation of indigenous peoples. While it's unlikely anyone will have to protect their bone marrow anytime soon, the book touches upon a lot of important issues that can be seen currently in our society today. It also teaches about some very vague fundamentals of indigenous tradition/culture. The novel is edge of the seat exciting, and impossible to put down. It also has an abundance of three dimensional characters that all come to life throughout the duration of the narrative. I loved the Marrow Thieves and recommend it to everyone interested in reading work done by indigenous authors. (Yay representation!) Rating: 5/5 stars
@Dream.Sequences of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

b
ballew03
Feb 21, 2020

As a perpetual mood reader: read when you’re in the mood for a quick paced YA novel that explores deep themes. While it *is* speculative fiction set in a dystopian time~the environment has been destroyed and indigenous folks are being rounded up~ it also feels very real; it’s a retelling of history and could easily be our future.

w
whatcomhillwalker
Feb 10, 2020

This seems like a young adult book and I thought I would read it to explore a different perspective but I found myself enjoying it, especially toward the end. The characters and plot are simple. The dystopian future plays like a symbolic representation of the current culture in North America.

k
kawidman
Jan 08, 2020

Engaging characters, indigeneity in dystopia, and chosen/found family in a fast-paced YA novel? Yes! Hello! Sign me up!

Set in a near-future world ravaged by climate change, French is on the run with a small group of other Native people who have joined together for protection. A mysterious side effect of the destruction to the environment is that Native people are now the only ones with the ability to dream, and so they’re hunted and imprisoned in “schools” that attempt to harvest their bone marrow. [If you’re familiar at all with Native history in North America, the word ‘schools’ probably gave you a heads up about the history that Dimaline is evoking, and if you’re not familiar, the phrase “Native boarding schools” would be a good thing to start googling.]

As French bonds with the others in his group, they share stories of pain, loss, community, and hope. Dimaline’s writing is beautiful and the characters and the bonds between them felt real and fleshed out.

m
meviousmaddie
Nov 28, 2019

"The Marrow Thieves" explores the circular nature of history through dystopian re-imaginings of the same colonial institutions that systemically sought to dissolve Native American communities in North America. The premise is powerful, walking a fine line between lived realities and post-apocalyptic flair. I loved the innovative world-building, but found the novel overall a little too reliant on Young Adult genre tropes.

BPLpicks Sep 05, 2019

Set in the not-so-distance future, in a time when the planet has been devastated by the effects of global warming and natural disasters, and entire communities have been wiped out. Those who remain lost the ability to dream. The only exception are the indigenous people of North America who continue to carry dreams deep within their bones. The government employs ‘recruiters’ who abduct these individuals, in the hope of discovering the secrets found within their bone marrow. The story centres on an indigenous teenager named Frenchie, who is on the run from the recruiters, along with a group of other nomads. More than just another dystopian YA novel, this book explores a number of deeper themes, including climate change, environmental destruction, and the consequences of government policies.

r
rebecacelest
Aug 06, 2019

A tale of hope-tinged desperation, beautifully told. A little horror-esque at times, but not without reason. Side characters are a little flat, but justifiably, considering it's such a compact book.

While the writing is somewhat poetic, I do not see any merit to the plot in this book. I wonder if the author was trying and failed to mimic the more successful books in The Hunger Games series? This novel describes an imaginary holocaust of Canadian indigenous in a future dystopian world where an evil white society must suck the dreams out of every innocent metis and indigenous man, woman and child. It feels like reverse racism where all western society is evil and the indigenous is the only pure race. The intended audience appears to be young adults. Certainly there is not enough context or sophistication to appeal to an adult reader.

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shayshortt
Mar 28, 2018

Everyone tells their own coming-to story. That’s the rule. Everyone’s creation story is their own.

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Lirael
Mar 26, 2018

"Cherie Dimaline uses Indigenous futurism to rewrite the past and reimagine the future. Bottom line, this is a book about hope, sacrifice, survival, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, healing and chosen families." - Jully Black, CBC Books

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DanglingConversations thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 24

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shayshortt
Mar 28, 2018

Fifteen-year-old Frenchie is a survivor, the last remaining member of his family after seeing his brother snatched by the government. In a near-future where the world is falling apart thanks to the results of global warming, society is also plagued by a new problem. People have forgotten how to dream, and this dreamlessness is slowly driving them mad. Only the Indigenous population retains the ability to dream, and it is their bone marrow that seems to hold the key to why they have not succumbed to this new plague. As the madness spreads, the government takes a page from history, and begins herding the remaining First Nations people into facilities modeled on residential schools, where their marrow is harvested at the cost of their lives. The few who remain free push northward into the wilderness, trying outrun the reach of the government. But a confrontation with the Recruiters is inevitable, and one day there will be nowhere left to run.

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