Warrior Girl Unearthed

Holt. May 2023. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250766588.
Gr 9 Up–Perry Firekeeper-Birch wrecked the Jeep and had to join her twin sister, Pauline, in a summer internship offered by their tribe to pay for repairs. The summer is harrowing, with local Indigenous women going missing, and the murders of Black people by police that have the twins concerned for their father’s safety. Perry’s internship begins with Cooper Turtle, curator of the Tribal Museum. Perry is less than enthused, but after visiting a local college and seeing the bones and artifacts of her ancestors stored there, she finds her passion—to bring her ancestors back to Sugar Island. Cooper helps educate her on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Impatient with the red tape involved with NAGPRA, Perry repatriates seeds from a college backlog collection and loses Cooper’s trust. Bouncing around different tribal departments for the rest of her internship, Perry is encouraged by the sub-Chief to lead her sister and friends into a heist to repatriate a private collection. Their plan takes a dark turn, and Perry finds herself in the hands of a predator. Though a sequel to Firekeeper’s Daughter, it can be read as a stand-alone.
VERDICT Perry’s dreams, desires, culture, traditions, and actions create a compelling narrative about one teen’s attempt to undo some of the injustices her community and people have faced. Strong first buy.

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