The Earth is in shambles an Indigenous peoples of North America are either on the run or in hiding. That’s the dark dystopian future in Cherie Dimaline’s young adult book, The Marrow Theives. Native and indigenous peoples are the only ones left in the world who have the ability to dream. The answer, others propose, is hidden in their bone marrow. The “Recruiters” have set up a network of “schools” where those “in attendance” are connected to machines that extract the marrow from their bones. It’s chilling, to say the least.
The story is narrated by French, a child alone after both his parents and his older brother have been taken by the Recruiters. Fortunately, French runs into a group of others like him who are travelling north. Each member of the family has a frightening and often violent “coming to” story–the tale of how they came to join this group of travelers. Taken in as part of this new family, French and the others search for both a way to stay safe from and stop those hunting them.
The Marrow Thieves is frightening in its scope and detail. Yet, there is a powerful element of humanity in the pages, as well, that emerges as you learn more and more about each member of French’s family. And there is hope, too, that the answer to this tale, and others, presumably, is already within our own histories.