And the winner of Canada Reads is…

Okay, first of all… DID YOU SEE THAT, Savvy Readers?! As we got closer and closer to the final vote, my heart could hardly take it! I can’t say I’ve ever seen a final vote as dramatic as that one… Let’s recap what we saw past four days!

The Debaters

Ziya Tong, defending Max Eisen‘s By Chance Alone

Joe Zee, defending Lindsay Wong’s The Woo-Woo

Lisa Ray, defending David Chariandy’s Brother

Yanic Truesdale, defending Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Suzanne

Chuck Comeau, defending Abu Bakr al Rabeeah’s Homes 


Day 1

Day 1 got off to a predictably heated start, as usual. All of the debaters were intensely passionate about their books, and you could really feel the love that they had for the works they were defending. After the opening introductions and statements, the debate was off and running, and we were told why each of the books should be the book that Canadians read in 2019. After a tough vote, Lindsay Wong’s The Woo-Woo was eliminated.

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Day 2

After the horrible, painstaking decision to vote The Woo-Woo off, the debates were back at it again the very next day. No rest for these debaters! We dove deeper into the books this time, and things got even more passionate than the first day. Disagreements were abound (but, in typical Canadian fashion, everyone apologized before disagreeing…), and the merits – both literary and culturally – of each book were considered. After much consideration, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Suzanne was the next book eliminated…


Day 3

Onto another emotional day 3! Down to just three books, the debates got THAT much harder (and lively!). With three very, very powerful books left in the running, it was really, really unclear what was going to happen during the vote. In the end, and in the SECOND (more on that later…) most shocking moment in this year’s Canada Reads, David Chariandy’s Brother was sadly eliminated from the competition.


Day 4

Talk. About. Dramatics. Are you kidding me?! Day 4 kicked off with the defendants of the final two books – Ziya Tong, defending Max Eisen‘s By Chance Aloneand Chuck Comeau, defending Abu Bakr al Rabeah’s Homes – having their last chance to convince the judges that their book deserved to be crowned champion. After hearing emotional, powerful, and thought-provoking statements from the final two debaters, it was time for the vote… And what a shocker it was! With the vote split 1-1, the final decision came down to Yanic Truesdale, who had previously voted against By Chance Alone twice. In the shock of the century, however, Yanic commended Ziya on an amazing point that she made earlier in the Day 4 debates, and SWITCHED HIS VOTE to make By Chance Alone the 2019 Canada Reads champion! You couldn’t have written a more dramatic ending to this year’s debates. I’m still trying to slow down my heart rate, because WOW that was dramatic.

Well, Savvy Readers, that brings an end to this year’s debates. What did you think?! Do you agree that By Chance Alone is the book to move all Canadians? What books would you like to see featured next year? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!

Happy reading,


Follow me on Twitter @JesseDorey15

One thought on “And the winner of Canada Reads is…

  1. I was glued to Canada Reads and thankful to be able to stream all four sessions!
    Very impressed with panel and would have been very happy if all books defended had won. As far as I am concerned they were all winners and the panel defended them well.
    Very pleased that the winner was By Chance Alone by Max Eisen. Hopefully the Holocast message will be known by the world now. Our world is scary and the hate crimes are happening in Canada now. This must be stopped!
    Max did what his Father asked him to do!it is now up to each and every one of us to do what we can do!!!!!
    This years books were the best!!!!
    Thanks Canada Reads!

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