Dal Reads

2020/21 Program & Events

Title selection for Dal Reads 2020/21

The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline

This book is available as an ebook through the Dalhousie Libraries. For more information on how to access the ebook, please consult the ebook LibGuide. Due to current on-campus restrictions, there are no physical copies of the Dal Reads book this year. 

About the book:

The Marrow Thieves, published in 2017, is a speculative novel that begins with the protagonist evading capture while watching his brother fall into the hands of “recruiters.” The recruiters are harvesting the bone marrow of Indigenous people to serve a non‐Indigenous clientele in the hope that consuming the marrow will restore their ability to dream.

The Marrow Thieves is a story that touches on themes related to residential schools, Indigenous knowledge, survival, and theft, among others. It won the Governor General’s Award and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers and was the fan favourite for CBC’s 2018 Canada Reads. (From: cheriedimaline.com, CBC Canada Reads)

2020/21 Events 

Teaching The Marrow Thieves: a pedagogical roundtable

with FASS faculty members Dr. Andrew Brown, Dr. Brian Gillis, Aiden Tait & Dr. Erin Wunker. Moderated by Dr. Margaret Robinson.
Thursday, January 7, 2–4 p.m.
Watch the recording

Moving Through Trauma: Indigenous Futurism, Survivance, and the Apocalypse in The Marrow Thieves

with Tiffany Morris
Wednesday, January 20, 7 p.m.
Watch the recording


A Talk with The Marrow Thieves Author Cherie Dimaline

Wednesday, January 27, 3 p.m.
Watch the recording (for the Dalhousie community only)

Teaching The Marrow Thieves

For those teaching The Marrow Thieves this year, we have a LibGuide that pulls together interviews with the author, as well as resources related to the book.

Watch a pedagogical roundtable by Dalhousie Faculty about teaching The Marrow Thieves.

About Dal Reads

Dal Reads is designed to encourage people in the Dalhousie community to share their love of books. Launched in 2009, the program brings the Dalhousie community together through the shared experience of reading the same book and taking part in programming related to the book.

Programming may include author readings, book club-type discussions, film viewings, and other events and opportunities to celebrate a shared love of reading. In addition, Faculty members may choose to include the Dal Reads book in their course curriculum.

In 2015, the Dal Reads Steering Committee decided to focus on first-year undergraduate students. By selecting this group of students, Dal Reads aims to provide a common intellectual experience that will serve as both an introduction to Dalhousie University and to post-secondary academic life in general. We hope that this format will encourage lots of discussion and the development of exciting new and innovative programming.

Faculty interested in using The Marrow Thieves as part of a course or program can give their class access to the ebook. Due to on-campus restrictions this year, there are no physical copies of the Dal Reads book. Please consult the ebook LibGuide if you encounter technical difficulties. 

Selection Criteria

A Dal Reads book:

  • must be able to generate discussion and exchange of ideas
  • must be appealing to a broad range of readers of varying ages, literacy levels, and life experience
  • must be in print and available for purchase in paperback
  • must be strongly written with elements that will generate excitement among readers.



Dal Reads aims to:

  • provide first-year students with a common intellectual experience that will serve as an introduction to both Dalhousie University and post-secondary academic life in general
  • encourage reading for pleasure
  • provide an opportunity for connection (students, faculty, staff, undergrads, grads, regardless of area of study)
  • provide a unique social activity
  • draw on the social elements of reading
  • provide an opportunity for the Dalhousie Libraries to promote the collection in a new way
  • connect with the curriculum and other university activities and interests

Read the ebook of The Marrow Thieves today! Please consult the ebook LibGuide if you are having technical difficulties. 

Steering Committee

Samantha Adema Indigenous Services Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Donna Bourne-Tyson

Dean of Libraries

Terra Bruhm Student Success Advisor, Bissett Student Success Centre
Judy Davidson Course Materials Manager, Dalhousie Bookstore

Sarah Davis 

Access Services/Digital Initiatives, Dalhousie Libraries

Heather Doyle Heather Doyle, Director of Assessment & Special Projects, Student Affairs

Patti Doyle-Bedwell

Faculty, College of Continuing Education
Deborah Hemming  Learning & Instruction Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries
Margot Latimer Faculty, School of Nursing, Senate representative

Marlo MacKay (chair)

Communications Coordinator, Dalhousie Libraries

Nicole Maunsell Communications Manager, Faculty of Management

Shelley McKibbon 

Health Sciences Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Brandon Randall Residence Life
Margaret Robinson Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Social Anthropology
Jolene Reid Document Delivery/Government Documents, Dalhousie Libraries
Isaac Saney Director of the Transition Year Program (TYP)

Karen Smith

Special Collections Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Hannah Steeves Law Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries
Hanna Stewart Vice President (Internal), Dalhousie Student Union
Art Stevens Aboriginal Student Advisor
Erin Wunkner Associate Professor, Department of English

Dal Reads Titles 2009–2020

2009–2011 The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
2012 Twenty-Six, Leo McKay Jr. (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2013 Fauna, Alissa York (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2014 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
2015 A Year of Living Generously, Lawrence Scanlan
2016 The Hermit of Africville, Jon Tattrie
2017 We Were Not the Savages, Daniel Paul
2018 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson
2019 Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaw Poet, Rita Joe 
2020 The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline