Engaging characters, indigeneity in dystopia, and chosen/found family in a fast-paced YA novel? Yes! Hello! Sign me up!
Set in a near-future world ravaged by climate change, French is on the run with a small group of other Native people who have joined together for protection. A mysterious side effect of the destruction to the environment is that Native people are now the only ones with the ability to dream, and so they’re hunted and imprisoned in “schools” that attempt to harvest their bone marrow. [If you’re familiar at all with Native history in North America, the word ‘schools’ probably gave you a heads up about the history that Dimaline is evoking, and if you’re not familiar, the phrase “Native boarding schools” would be a good thing to start googling.]
As French bonds with the others in his group, they share stories of pain, loss, community, and hope. Dimaline’s writing is beautiful and the characters and the bonds between them felt real and fleshed out.