Book Club Spotlight – Firekeeper’s Daughter

Cover of Firekeeper's Daughter. In Woodland School of Anishinaabe art style: An image of a butterfly born from flames. The Wings are two identical women's faces, one with tanner skin than the other.

Today, we will be spotlighting a popular title that you might not know we have! Called an “Indigenous Nancy Drew” by the author, Firekeeper’s Daughter is not only a New York Times best-seller, but a TIME Magazine Best of Book of All Time Selection. Author Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, spent ten years researching for the novel, wanting to perfectly capture her tribe and the intricacies of tribal vs. federal laws.

In The Firekeeper’s Daughter, 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine is the product of a scandal between a white woman and an Ojibwe man. Even though her mother’s family is well-respected, and her father’s side are revered Firekeepers, Daunis is an outsider. She is not welcome in her predominantly white town or at the reservation, where tribal leaders deny her parentage and membership. But when murders and overdoses related to drug trafficking slowly spread around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Daunis is witness to it all. Now she must team up with the new (and mysterious) star hockey player to use her knowledge of science, Ojibwe medicine, and these tight-knit communities to uncover long-held secrets. 

“People say to think seven generations ahead when making big decisions, because our future ancestors—those yet to arrive, who will one day become the Elders—live with the choices we make today.”

Angeline Boulley

If you’re an adult book group, don’t let the “YA” label scare you away. Firekeeper’s Daughter is a wonderfully rich story for anyone interested in YA and above. If your group loves stories of small communities haunted by their past, such as Beartown by Fredrik Backman, this is the title for you. However, be forewarned because many heavy topics, seen and unseen, such as sexual assault, suicide, murder, and illicit drug use, are present in this novel. Be prepared to have conversations on these sensitive topics. 

Higher Ground, the Obama’s production company, has also purchased the rights to adapt Firekeeper’s Daughter into a Netflix limited series, so keep your eyes peeled! 

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form HERE. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

To see more of our books from Native Voices, visit the link HERE.

Angeline Boulley. Firekeeper’s Daughter. Henry, Holt and Co. 2021

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