Canada Reads 2021

The year 2020 was a year like no other. With the 2021 Canada Reads debates about to begin — and celebrating their 20th year! — we are reminded that books can be a safe place to go when times are tough. Whether you're reading to escape your daily cares, to explore new perspectives or simply to lift your spirits, these stories of perseverance, discovery and resilience will transport you across Canada, around the world and to worlds beyond. 

Over four days, the five champions will bring their diverse perspectives to this year's theme: One Book to Transport Us.

TEACHER GUIDES: In this collection, you'll find author videos, book excerpts, classroom activities and more for the 2021 books. And don't forget to check out the How to Use Canada Reads in the Classroom teacher guide.

Watch or listen to CBC's Canada Reads debates March 8-11, 2021 at cbc.ca/canadareads.

  • 2018
  • 13-14
  • 26 Titles

Included in this collection

CBC Books Canada Reads 2021: Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Natalie Zina Walschots is a writer and journalist from Toronto. She is also the author of the poetry collections DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains and Thumbscrews. Hench is her first novel. Hench is a novel about Anna, a woman who pays the bills by doing administrative work for villains. But when an incident involving the world's most popular superhero leaves ...
  • 2021
  • 00:13:51
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/02/2021

CBC Books Canada Reads 2021: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead's debut novel, is the first book by an Indigenous author to win Canada Reads. The novel centres on the life of a two-spirit Indigiqueer young man who leaves the reserve and becomes a cybersex worker in the big city to make ends meet. But he must reckon with his past when he returns home to attend ...
  • 2021
  • 00:15:45
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 03/02/2021

CBC Books Canada Reads 2021: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Set in a fantasy land named Chasland that feels like the Regency era in England, The Midnight Bargain is a fantasy about a woman named Beatrice Clayborn who makes her debut at "bargaining season" — an annual event where wealthy young men and women gather from all over the world to make advantageous marriages. But Beatrice dreams of becoming a ...
  • 2021
  • 00:13:12
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/02/2021

CBC Books Canada Reads 2021: Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee

Scott Helman is championing Two Trees Make a Forest by writer and environmental historian Jessica J. Lee on Canada Reads 2021. In her memoir, Lee returns to her mother's homeland of Taiwan to understand the landscape that shaped her family — and in turn, shapes her. The book intertwines her grandparents' histories, the political history of Taiwan and the island's ...
  • 2021
  • 00:14:06
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/23/2021

CBC Books Canada Reads: Ali Hassan on the art of moderating a debate

Actor, stand-up comedian, host of CBC Radio's Laugh Out Loud, and host of Canada Reads 2018, Ali Hassan shares what he's learned about the tricky job of moderating a debate.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:45
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Cameron Bailey on the art of debate

Artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), past panellist and winner of Canada Reads 2015, Cameron Bailey shares what he should have paid more attention to from the beginning when defending the book Ru by Kim Thúy, plus other debating tips.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Elaine "Lainey" Lui on the art of debate

Elaine "Lainey" Lui is proud of her competitive spirit and argues for the importance of women showing their competitive side, along with other aspects of her debating strategy. She defended Raziel Reid's debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies in Canada Reads 2015.
  • 2018
  • 00:07:54
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018

CBC Books Canada Reads: Humble The Poet on the art of debate

Writer and rapper Humble The Poet talks about the importance of letting the other person know that you hear what they have to say, along with other debating tips. He championed the André Alexis novel Fifteen Dogs and emerged the winner on Canada Reads 2017.
  • 2018
  • 00:08:58
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/16/2018