Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Goodreads Blurb

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

My Review: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars

Debut author Angeline Boulley wrote a YA must-read thriller drama, with a Native American teen bringing to light the injustice, deceit, and corruption in her community, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas.

The story has a strong opening. Each character’s background and connection to the Ojibwe reservation is described in detail by the author. Most of the characters are biracial and belong to two different communities. The story is told in the first-person narrative allowing the reader to see what the main character is thinking. The author is well versed in Native American traditions and culture. You can see this as she talks about the native culture as it’s familiar to her. The story has a steady pace with thrilling moments that make this book hard to put down. The author includes the native language throughout the book giving the reader another aspect of the culture.

A thrilling story where drugs are running rampant through a Native community while taking innocent lives. A young girl who is part Native American needs to go undercover to unveil the truth and fight for justice. Will her search for justice bring her closer to her Native American tribe or farther apart? It’s a young adult story filled with loss, lies, Native American traditions, racism, and the strength of women in a world that doesn’t support their rights and safety. 

Author Biography

Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She gained attention from the We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program. Angeline was the former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Her agent is Faye Bender at The Book Group. Firekeeper’s Daughter has been optioned for a Netflix series by the Obamas’ Higher Ground production company.

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