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Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Young adult

Firekeeper's Daughter

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Angeline Boulley, on your first book!

by Angeline Boulley

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Quick take

The gripping story of an Ojibwe girl who risks all to go undercover and stop those trying to tear her community apart.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Murder

    Murder

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Quest

    Quest

Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after 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, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

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

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Firekeeper's Daughter.
Firekeeper's Daughter

I am a frozen statue of a girl in the woods. Only my eyes move, darting from the gun to their startled expression.

Gun. Shock. Gun. Disbelief. Gun. Fear.

THA-THUM-THA-THUM-THA-THUM.

The snub-nosed revolver shakes with tiny tremors from the jittery hand aiming at my face.

I’m gonna die.

My nose twitches at a greasy sweetness. Familiar. Vanilla and mineral oil. WD-40. Someone used it to clean the gun. More scents: pine, damp moss, skunky sweat, and cat pee.

THA-THUM-THA-THUM-THA-THUM.

The jittery hand makes a hacking motion with the gun, as if wielding a machete instead. Each diagonal slice toward the ground gives me hope. Better a random target than me.

But then terror grips my heart again. The gun. Back at my face.

Mom. She won’t survive my death. One bullet will kill us both.

A brave hand reaches for the gun. Fingers outstretched.

Demanding. Give it. Now.

THA-THUM-THA—

I am thinking of my mother when the blast changes everything.

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Why I love it

I read a lot: for work and for pleasure, and when I pick up a new book I’m looking for an engrossing story that helps expand my cultural and literary horizons. Angeline Boulley’s young adult thriller Firekeeper’s Daughter, about a biracial Anishinaabe teen who confronts the darkest corners of her community in order to save it, ticks both those boxes.

Daunis Fontaine, a college freshman trying to reconcile both halves of her identity, is the hero of this story and a typical teen. She hangs out with her half-brother Levi’s hockey team, helps to look after the women in her family, crushes on a handsome new student, and supports her friends in their own love lives. But when an unspeakable tragedy occurs, her world is shattered. As Daunis struggles with the senseless violence that has made its way into her life, she takes on the harrowing task of working undercover with the FBI to discover the source of a dangerous new strain of meth on the local reservation and to help protect her community from further harm.

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a nail-biting thriller, but it’s also a vital testament to the everyday courage, humor, and resilience of Native women: in her author’s note, Boulley cites the heartbreaking fact that 84% of Native women experience violence in their lifetime. I tore through this book: I laughed, cried, stayed up too late finishing it, and I came out on the other side moved and inspired by Daunis and the fierce constellation of sisters, mothers, daughters, and ancestors who make up her community.

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Member ratings (10,446)

  • Stephanie C.

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Being a Native woman, I’ve never connected more to a book in my life. This book made me feel so many emotions throughout. The accuracy is spot on. Mystery, history, and romance with some thrill⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Samantha H.

    Blue Springs, MO

    Learning about the tribe’s culture and the resilience the Native American people have to this day was awe inspiring. It’s a book that causes you to reflect on yourself and how you identify. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Lauren L.

    Washington, DC

    This is one of if not the best book I’ve read in 2021. Daunis is an incredible narrator; her strengths & weaknesses made for relatable & important storytelling. Pls read this book ASAP! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Lindsey V.

    Westhampton, NY

    This book will stay on my mind for... always. This goes down as one of my favorite reads. Thank you for such a beautiful story of family, tradition, sorrow, and joy. I LOVED THIS BOOK ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Zoe T.

    Minocqua, WI

    A book celebrating the culture I grew up with… it’s beautiful and touching and I loved LOVED this book! I’m so glad people everywhere can enjoy the true beauty of the ojibwe culture. Miigwech from LDF

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