Canada Reads 2019

Five books, five champions, one winner: CBC's annual Battle of the Books has been getting people listening, watching and reading since 2001. Canada Reads is a "literary Survivor," with celebrities championing books. Books are voted "off the bookshelf" until one book is chosen as the title the whole country should read this year. The 2019 theme is One Book To Move You. In this collection, hear from the writers of this year's shortlisted books, past Canada Reads champions on their debating tips, and past contenders.

Below, check out our How to Use Canada Reads in the Classroom teacher guide, along with book excerpts and backgrounders for the 2019 books.


Watch or listen to CBC's Canada Reads debates March 25-28, 2019 at cbc.ca/canadareads.

  • 2018
  • 13-14
  • 16 Titles

Included in this collection

CBC Books Canada Reads 2018: Cherie Dimaline on The Marrow Thieves

Métis writer Cherie Dimaline won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature. Watch the author discuss her Young Adult novel The Marrow Thieves, a futuristic, dystopian narrative rooted in Canadian history.
  • 2018
  • 00:02:52
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 03/05/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads 2018: Craig Davidson on Precious Cargo

Craig Davidson drove five kids in a small school bus, each with special needs. His experience prompted a deeper understanding about disability and stigma. In this video, he discusses what so-called able-bodied people can learn from interactions with people with disabilities and other themes from Precious Cargo, his memoir about being a bus driver for special needs kids.
  • 2018
  • 00:04:28
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 03/05/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads 2018: Mark Sakamoto on Forgiveness

Mark Sakamoto's grandparents endured much hardship during the Second World War. His maternal grandfather Ralph MacLean was a Canadian soldier, who spent years as a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp. His paternal grandmother Mitsue Sakamoto was one of thousands of Japanese‐Canadians interned by the Canadian government during the war. But instead of being bitter about their experiences, they ...
  • 2018
  • 00:04:27
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/05/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads 2018: Omar El Akkad on American War

Omar El Akkad is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. In this video, the author discusses American War, his debut novel set in a future America devastated by war and plague.
  • 2018
  • 00:03:27
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/05/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads 2018: Sharon Bala on The Boat People

In this video award-winning writer Sharon Bala discusses her debut novel, The Boat People, about a group of some 500 Sri Lankan refugees who arrive in Canada only to face deportation and accusations of terrorism.
  • 2018
  • 00:02:54
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/05/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung on Homes New

In this video Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung discuss Homes, a memoir of al Rabeeah's childhood in Iraq and Syria. Just before civil war broke out, al Rabeeah's family left Iraq for safety in Homs, Syria. Al Rabeeah was 10 years old when the violence began in his new home. He remembers attacks on his mosque and school, car bombings ...
  • 2019
  • 00:06:16
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette on Suzanne New

In this video Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette discusses Suzanne, an English translation of her celebrated 2015 novel La femme qui fuit. Barbeau-Lavalette’s novel is an imagined account of the life of her estranged grandmother. A novel that blurs the lines between fact and fiction, Suzanne tells the story of more than eight decades of art and political history through its portrait of a conflicted woman and ...
  • 2019
  • 00:05:35
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: David Chariandy on Brother New

In this video David Chariandy discusses Brother, his novel which takes us inside the lives of the mixed heritage sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Rooted in Chariandy's own experience growing up as a person of colour in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, the novel is a beautiful meditation on discrimination, agency, grief and the power of human relationships.
  • 2019
  • 00:03:38
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019