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Today’s the big day! The panellists and the books they have chosen to champion have finally been revealed. But first, what is Canada Reads?

This is CBC’s annual Battle of the Books, five celebrity champions each select a book that they love. They then compete in an on-air debate to prove that their book deserves to win the competition. First airing as a radio show in 2002, the program shifted to live shows with a studio audience back in 2010. This year, the debate will take place on CBC from March 28-31, so be sure to tune in!

Why do we love this competition so much? Each year, the winning book becomes a national bestseller, and in recent years, all five books have become bestsellers! What can we say, anything that gets more Canadians reading is an obsession of ours! So much so that we even compete in a local version of this competition called Simcoe Reads

Now without further ado, let’s get to this year’s selected books!

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

Chronicles the desperate quest of five residential school survivors as they come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find their way forward. 



What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad

A story of empathy and indifference, of ope and despair - and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.




Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas Müller

The reflections of a man in midlife, telling his inner child, "I'm here now and I'm going to keep you safe."




Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

A story of friendship and betrayal, love and redemption. A world destroyed and made whole again. It asks the question, what is true freedom?



Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

A raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighbourhood that refuses to be undone.  



 Are you interested in looking at all the books longlisted for this year’s competition? Find them below! 


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