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 2018: Cherie Dimaline on The Marrow Thieves Must-See

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
  • 13-14
  • 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
  • 13-14
  • 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

In this video, Omar El Akkad discusses American War, his debut novel set in a future America devastated by war and plague. El Akkad is an award-winning journalist who has traveled the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade.
  • 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

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

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

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