Daunis Fontaine is a mixed eighteen-year-old who has trouble fitting in Sault Ste. Marie, her hometown, and Sugar Island, where her paternal Firekeeper family members live. Daunis is dealing with the tragic loss of her maternal uncle and taking care of her maternal grandmother when she starts a friendship with Jamie, the new hot member of her brother Levy’s hockey team. She begins to develop feelings for Jamie, but something is not right about him. After witnessing a traumatic murder, Daunis discovers the truth about Jamie and becomes an informant for the FBI. Daunis uses her knowledge of Ojibwe traditional medicine and science to track a drug ring that is destroying her community.
I could not put this thriller YA novel down! Angeline Boulley‘s Firekeeper’s Daughter weaves a devastating tale of drugs wreaking havoc in a contemporary Native American community, a seemingly impossible romance, and a mixed young woman’s reckoning of her identity. The novel is rich in Ojibwe traditions, such as semaa offerings, powwows, traditional medicine, the role of the firekeepers. Its central themes are the modern Native American experience, drugs, mixed identity, corruption, traditions, and the power of community. The story’s portrayal of how the federal government fails and dismisses Native American women is poignant.
So, it is not surprising that Firekeeper’s Daughter has won numerous accolades, including the 2021 Kids’ Indie List Selection and Goodreads Choice Award 2021. Not only that, but Netflix also adapted it to a series of the same name coming soon in spring 2022. I cannot wait to watch it!
I highly recommend Firekeeper’s Daughter to fans of thriller, crime, suspense, and diverse voices.