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Firekeeper's Daughter Hardcover – March 16, 2021

4.6 out of 5 stars 7,053 ratings

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From the Publisher

"Keep the Secret. Live the Lie. Earn Your Truth."
"I Began as a Secret. And then a scandal."

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-This #OwnVoices novel is a character-driven crime thriller packed with Ojibwe culture and high-stakes tension with themes of identity, trust, and resilience. The journey of 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine is told in four parts overlaid by the four directions of Ojibwe medicine wheel teachings. Daunis should be focused on a fresh start at college after her uncle's untime ly death. She is sucked back into the world of ice hockey and starts slowly falling for Jamie, one of her brother's new teammates. Soon she finds herself living two disparate lives: one as a loving daughter, niece, and granddaughter in her family and tribal community, and one as a confidential informant to the FBI as they investigate a deadly new drug. She dangerously furthers the investigation on her own after witnessing a murder, and ultimately must choose between protecting the people she loves or protecting her tribal community. Native cultural aspects, such as the central role of Elders in tribal life, the special relationship between aunts and nieces, and decentering of the individual in favor of the tribe are included, as are some darker aspects of life including drugs, violence, and sexual assault. Daunis, Jamie, and other characters are fleshed out, relatable, and believable, and Daunis's journey to become a strong Ojibwe woman is compelling. VERDICT A strong crime fiction addition to any library, educators will find this text useful in discussions of character growth, social justice, and Native issues.-Kara Stewart (Sappony), Literacy Coach & Reading Specialistα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"This is one bold, uncompromising and elegantly crafted debut." ―Courtney Summers, New York Times-bestselling author of Sadie

"Intricate and moving. Boulley takes the reader on an incredible journey with the assurance of a veteran novelist." ―
Tochi Onyebuchi, award-winning author of Beasts Made of Night and Riot Baby

“A rare and mesmerizing work that blends the power of a vibrant tradition with the aches and energy of today’s America. This book will leave you breathless!” ―
Francisco X. Stork, acclaimed author of Marcelo in the Real Worldand Illegal

"A crime suspense fiction [with] a lot of layers, Indigenous culture, and it's really beautifully written." ―Georgia Hardstark, co-host of My Favorite Murder podcast

"
[An] absolute powerhouse of a debut." ―NPR

Another YA novel that’s absolutely page-turning required reading for adults...Our heroine is so smart, so thoughtful, and so good.” ―Glamour

"Raw and moving. . . Boulley has crafted a nuanced and refreshing protagonist." ―Cosmopolitan

"Sure to be on
one of the year's best YA novels" ―POPSUGAR

"A gorgeous insight into Anishinaabe culture and a page-turning YA thriller with a healthy dose of romance thrown in,
Firekeeper’s Daughter hits all of the right notes." ―Hypable

"
Immersive and enthralling, Firekeeper’s Daughter plunges the reader into a community and a landscape enriched by a profound spiritual tradition. Full of huge characters and spellbinding scenes, it gives a fascinating insight into life on and off the reservation, with Daunis as a tough and resourceful heroine through every vicissitude." ―Financial Times

"
Hitting hard when it comes to issues such as citizenship, language revitalization, and the corrosive presence of drugs on Native communities, this novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences." ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Though Firekeeper’s Daughter contains gripping action sequences and gasp-inducing twists, it’s Daunis’ mission of self-discovery, which begins as a low and steady growl and grows to a fierce, proud roar, that has the most impact... Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart." ―BookPage, Starred Review

"Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story. She doesn't shy away from or sugar-coat the very real circumstances that plague reservations across the country, and she tackles these through her biracial hero who gets involved in the criminal investigation into the corruption that led to this pain.
An incredible thriller, not to be missed." ―Booklist, Starred Review

"This suspenseful upper-YA novel will keep readers wondering who Daunis can trust." ―Horn Book, Starred Review

"A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status." ―
Kirkus Reviews

"A character-driven crime thriller packed with Ojibwe culture and high-stakes tension with themes of identity, trust, and resilience." ―
School Library Journal

"A perfectly calibrated pace and a constantly shifting list of suspects keep the tension high." ―
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); International Edition (March 16, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250766567
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250766564
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL720L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 10 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.54 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.3 x 1.44 x 9.34 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 7,053 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
7,053 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2021
176 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2021
81 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling and stunning debut!
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2021
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley is a thrilling and stunning debut novel that is part crime fiction and part coming of age.

Daunis Fontaine is 18 years old born to a Native father and a white mother. Daunis balances these two worlds better than I could ever expect to balance anything. She’s already seen a lot of heartbreak in her life with the recent passing of her uncle and her grandmother having a stroke, but she’s really handling it quite well.

Despite the heartbreak, Daunis has a half-brother (through their father) who she is very close to, her best friend Lily, and her family and friends. Until one day when she’s the witness to a murder and through a series of events, becomes a CI (confidential informant) in order to bring justice and safety to her community.

Boulley also grew up with a Native father and a non-Native mother on/near Sugar Island so she’s able to paint an authentic picture of not only the location, but Daunis. And, possibly more importantly – the ongoing issues that Native communities face including Indigenous women.

I love how beautiful Boulley’s writing was while still bringing very real, very serious issues to the limelight.

I received an eArc of this novel and when I finished the last page, I immediately went and pre-ordered a physical copy. That is how much I loved it.
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65 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2021
52 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
33 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

GBG story lover
4.0 out of 5 stars Two stories that don’t always support each other
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 16, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful and emotional to the end
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2022
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Kristel Greer
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful and emotional to the end
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2022
Daunis is 18 and dealing with a lot of conflicting issues. She is of mixed-race which has left her feeling like an outsider, never truly belonging anywhere. She doesn’t fit in with her hometown people and is never properly welcomed or made to feel part of her Ojibwe tribe. As the sole witness to the harrowing and devastating murder of her best friend, she reluctantly agrees to help the undercover FBI agents who are investigating the crime, its ties to the illegal drug trade and several unsolved murder cases on the reservation. The deeper they delve into the origins of the mystery drug causing the deaths the closer the connection becomes to Daunis' family.

The local hockey is backed by wealthy boosters but not everything is above board. As Daunis looks closer she sees that there is a darker and more sinister power controlling things behind the scenes. As Daunis follows the orders of the FBI agents she is assigned to, she also decides to investigate things in her way. Utilising her skills in traditional tribal medicine and the chemistry knowledge she was thought by her uncle who died in tragic circumstances, she begins to uncover the origins of the drugs and the connection to the reservation.

Will Daunis protect her community from these deadly threats and will she prove to everyone that she is a true strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) though she might save her people but destroy herself in the process. Will her growing closeness to one of the FBI agents hamper the operation and end with them both being killed?

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. A tense, thrilling and tough read. So many topics and issues were explored which made it a deep and fascinating narrative to read. Daunis was a strong, independent young woman and I was impressed with how she dealt with all the hardships in her life and still strove to make life better for others. I found the Native American aspects of the story compelling and they offered a different side to that community that I hadn’t read before. Suspenseful and emotional to the end. I highly recommend this story.
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Lyn B
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, engaging and thought provoking.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2022
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely love this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2022
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2021
One person found this helpful
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