FICTION

Firekeeper’s Daughter

Holt. Mar. 2021. 496p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250766564.
COPY ISBN
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 untimely 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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?