Summary and book reviews of Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper's Daughter

by Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley X
Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley
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  • Published:
    Mar 2021, 496 pages

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Book Summary

In Firekeeper's Daughter, 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.

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.

CHAPTER 1

I start my day before sunrise, throwing on running clothes and laying a pinch of semaa at the eastern base of a tree, where sunlight will touch the tobacco first. Prayers begin with offering semaa and sharing my Spirit name, clan, and where I am from. I always add an extra name to make sure Creator knows who I am. A name that connects me to my father—because I began as a secret, and then a scandal.

I give thanks to Creator and ask for zoongidewin, because I'll need courage for what I have to do after my five-mile run. I've put it off for a week.

The sky lightens as I stretch in the driveway. My brother complains about my lengthy warm-up routine whenever he runs with me. I keep telling Levi that my longer, bigger, and therefore vastly superior muscles require more intensive preparation for peak performance. The real reason, which he would think is dorky, is that I recite the correct anatomical name for each muscle as I stretch. Not just the superficial muscles, but the ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what's going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief. A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[T]his wonderfully tribally specific story offers powerful messages about what it can mean to be an Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman)...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.

Author Blurb Courtney Summers, New York Times-bestselling author of Sadie
Firekeeper's Daughter is a gripping and unforgettable story of family, community and identity told through the eyes of a protagonist so powerfully realized on the page, you'll swear you can hear her heart beat. Daunis Fontaine is a force to be reckoned with?and so is Angeline Boulley. This is one bold, uncompromising and elegantly crafted debut.

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

Author Blurb Francisco X. Stork, acclaimed author of Marcelo in the Real World and Illegal
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!

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