Shortlist for a Barnes & Noble Young Adult Book Award
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.
“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 . . . [an] intense thriller."—Popsugar
"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. Her introspective revelation of self-worth acts like a healing salve for the novel’s violence and darkness. Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart."—BookPage (starred review)
"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."—Courtney Summers, The 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.”—Francisco X. Stork, acclaimed author of Marcelo in the Real World and Illegal
"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 #OwnVoices novel is a character-driven crime thriller packed with Ojibwe culture and high-stakes tension with themes of identity, trust, and resilience . . . 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. A strong crime fiction addition to any library, educators will find this text useful in discussions of character growth, social justice, and Native issues."—School Library Journal
"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)
Reviews from Goodreads
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,...
Fierce Reads Shelfside Chats
Amanda McCrina (Traitor), Angeline Boulley (Firekeeper's Daughter), Marissa Meyer (Instant Karma), and Shannon Hale (Kind of A Big Deal) speak to their upcoming books at the 2020 Fierce Reads Shelfside Chats blogger event.Share This