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Firekeeper's Daughter

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  48,450 ratings  ·  8,023 reviews
As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charmin
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published March 16th 2021 by Henry, Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  48,450 ratings  ·  8,023 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Let’s dive into one of the best and most anticipated debuts of the year!

Well I had truly wonderful reading experience! I learned tons about Native American culture including traditions, language, history, the way how they use plants to turn them into natural medicines, their deep knowledge about chemistry, the survival skills!

Instead of great introduction to native culture, the powerful, layered characterization were the basic strength of this journey. The intense back stories, strong construct
do yall see this cover??
the flavor is


actual review: wow
this book enraptured me in culture and family and tradition and this immense love and appreciation of culture which reminded me of how much I love my own people and culture and how thankful I am to have both in my life
I would just like to thank this book for allowing me a glimpse into a beautiful culture that I did not know and showing the vibrancy and resilience of the community portrayed in this book
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
this reminded me of one of my favourite books, ‘beartown.’ not because of the hockey, but in the way that both are about small communities affected by the actions of their youth.

im not sure how realistic the entire plot is, but i was fascinated by it. i found the stakes to be high and the investigation to be compelling. i also loved learning about the ojibwe, their tribe, and their culture. that was probably my favourite aspect of the entire book.

this is such a strong debut and i cant wait to
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was a lot different than I was expecting, but not in a bad way. It was really interesting and provided a lot of information, some well fleshed out characters, and an intriguing but heartbreaking mystery. To be honest, this isn't something I would generally pick up or think I'd enjoy. I don't really love mysteries and crime stories don't usually appeal to me. But I was drawn in by the cover of this one and the cultural elements it tied into the story. The writing was really great. It was unc ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Oct 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Not my usual cup of tea but I ended up overall enjoying this!
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning debut from Angeline Boulley, set in Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, amongst the Native American Ojibwe community. 18 year old Daunis Fontaine is biracial, an unenrolled tribal member, the child of a scandal, who whilst never quite fitting in with her fragile and vulnerable white mother's family, nor the other half of her Indigenous family, and community, nevertheless lives her daily life immersed in both. She is weighed by down by the disappointing loss of her ...more
May 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Honestly, who could resist this cover? I find it so compelling that I simply had to read the story that inspired such beauty. Plus, Firekeeper’s Daughter is an #OwnVoices tale, written by an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians about her Ojibwe community, solidifying its place as one of my most anticipated books of 2021.

With the gorgeous cover and #OwnVoices lineage in the Pro column, the glaring Con for me was that it’s also a Young Adult novel. I find the YA genre
Erin || erins_library
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley is one of the most powerful and important books I’ve ever read. It made my heart feel so full and broken at the same time. As a Lingít reader, I appreciated how unapologetically Anishinaabe this novel was in it’s use of language, traditions, and culture that created such a rich world. The community was so real and visceral, I felt like I knew the characters, and I absolutely loved all of it. This book shines a valuable light on Anishinaabe people and iss ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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DNF @ p.51

I have too many books and too little time, so I no longer finish books I'm not interested in. That doesn't necessarily mean a book is objectively bad but please keep in mind that when I review, I am writing a review for ME, so "good" and "bad" for me might not be "good" and "bad" for you. I say this because even though this book has wildly positive ratings on Goodreads, I kind of feel like I read a totally different book from e
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DISCLAIMER: If you are thinking of reading this novel I recommend you check out some more positive reviews, especially ones from #ownvoices reviewers (such as
Brandann Hill-Mann's review).
I didn't hate this book it but I would be lying if I said that it didn't really, really, really frustrate me (because it did).

2½ stars (rounded up as this is a debut)

I would have enjoyed this more if it hadn't been for Daunis being the definition of Not Like Other Girls.

Nancy Dre
Brandann Hill-Mann
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is set in my home town and is a fictionalized version of my home tribe. It's safe to say I am the target demographic here, as 'Nishnaabekwe.

I adore reading a story where I can vividly imagine the setting, where I know all the places the author mentions. I love reading stories with people like me from my own culture, and very seldom get to do so. Boulley gives all sorts of incidentals to 'Nish readers. Touches that are normalized for us. This book reads equal parts YA thriller and love
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
CW: sexual assault, suicide, death of a loved one, addiction, drug use, fatphobia
Jessica Woodbury
I am so torn about this one. There is a good book in here, but there's a lot of other stuff piled on that, for me, detracted from what made it good. I think it needed a stronger edit to remove a plot thread or two, and take down the page count, to get it to really shine and be what it could be. I'll be following Boulley after this, hoping that's what comes next. It has been optioned for a series and I think that is where all these extra plots could work really well! It's just a bit much for a st ...more
Jan 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was a great thriller. 🤗 There was a lot of steps in the “investigation”, which kept me guessing (incorrectly) as to what was really going on. 🤔 It feels a bit unfinished to me, but I think that’s a matter of personal preference. 😉
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-owned
4.5 stars -- I'm not sure if it was just my mood or the book itself, but this one really destroyed me emotionally (that's a compliment, BTW). This was much harder hitting than I expect from YA, but it felt totally earned. Often in YA thrillers, I feel like there's the attempt to make the teen characters "relatable" by making them overly cynical and angsty in a way that rings a bit hollow. This is a great example of a YA thriller that has our characters going THROUGH IT in a way that completely m ...more
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
Congrats to the 2021 Goodreads Choice ✨WINNER✨ in Young Adult Fiction!

“When someone dies, everything about them becomes past tense. Except for the grief. Grief stays in the present.”

Daunis Fontaine wants to heal people. That’s the plan, at least, now that she’s graduated high school. She’s spent her life up until now close to home, as an unenrolled member of the Ojibwe tribe, and has decided to study nearby as well. But when a shocking act of violence occurs in her community, everything seem
Kristin (KC)
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
*4 Stars*

A well-written, engaging debut with ample mystery, murder, and intrigue! I always enjoy learning the intimate details of different cultures in my reads, and Firekeeper's Daughter shines amazingly in that regard.

At certain points, this story feels as though it materializes--the characters come alive, each of them. I could feel their love, their loss, their struggles, and I briefly felt a part of the familial bond within their community.

A bit deeper into this read, however, the story beg
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Why you may not like this book: I think it's accurate to call this a YA Mystery, but the mystery is certainly slow burn. This is layered storytelling that is as much about Daunis' grief and identity and family and community as it is about figuring out what's going on in their town. Because Daunis is also dealing with all of these things, her voice might seem a bit younger than expected, but I think it fit for exactly who she was as a person. She also has a flat arc, so there isn't much
MC Gélinas (Wanderlust Ereader)

Anybody knows a good synonym for "painful"? Cause I feel like I will need to use this word too many times in this review.

How disappointing was that?
For anyone that loved this book, I am sorry for my next words, but it is my honest opinion.

This book was 300 pages of slow and painful uninteresting scenes repeated over and over again followed by 75 pages of a little action. How did I make it to the end!? Seriously, I have never struggled so much to finish a book. It was... painful. My "No DNF 2
h o l l i s
While this has not become a new favourite like I thought it might, I highly encourage all readers to consider picking up this book. I know we all feel differently about what a three star rating means but please know that I did really enjoy reading this. But what's more I just think this book deals with so many important things.

The best way I can pitch this story is something along the lines of an Indigenous Veronica Mars. But unlike Neptune, this world balances more than just the haves and the h
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
I literally could not put this book down. Read over a few hours from early evening to the early hours of the morning, I was glued to Firekeeper's Daughter, a stunning YA debut by Angeline Boulley that is harrowing, disturbing, triggering, informative, beautiful, transcendent. It's a thriller but also a cultural story, a coming of age tale, and a tale of love between individuals and within an Ojibwe community, and Boulley does a really tremendous job weaving all of these elements together and ...more
Firekeepers strike the fire for ceremonies where prayers are carried by the smoke to Creator. And in turn, the Firekeeper's Daughter steps forward and starts each day by lifting the sun into the sky and singing.

Young eighteen year old Daunis Fontaine has a profound awareness of the sacredness that flows through her veins. But she is caught up, as well, in the turmoil of pleasing both sides of her lineage. Born to her then sixteen year old mother in Montreal, Daunis hardly knew her Ojibwe father
Firekeeper's Daughter is a richly layered narrative and a truly fantastic YA debut in the mystery/thriller genre. It follows a biracial Native American teen girl who ends up investigating a string of drug-related deaths in her community. This book got much more intense than I expected and I do recommend checking out the content warnings at the end of the review if needed, but it's such a great story and offers own voices Native representation.

There's a lot to unpack here but I'm going to suggest
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

Firekeeper’s Daughter is about eighteen-year-old Daunis, a biracial and unenrolled tribal member who feels like an outcast in both her white family and her Native American one. After the unexpected tragic death of her uncle, Daunis has put off returning to college in favor of spending time with her mother who needs her. Things begin to change when Daunis meets Jamie, a new member of her brother’s hockey team. But when tragedy strikes again, Daunis is sucked into an unknown world and sh
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Annishinaabe (Ojibwe) author Boulley has written a powerful debut novel for young adults that swirls around the Sugar Island Reservation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine is of mixed race, but yearning for official citizenship in the Sault tribe. Hockey is ‘king’ in this community, but there is the rot of meth usage just beneath the surface. Daunis witnesses the murder of her closest friend at a party by her friend’s ex-boyfriend high on meth. This traumatic e ...more
B | crumbledpages
Jun 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Also reviewed on:

[I was kindly provided a review copy by the publisher. All views are mine.]

[TW: sexual assault, murder, suicide, drug use]

Daunis Firekeeper is an eighteen year old girl with biracial parents. Her father was Ojibwe while her mother is white. For that she was never enrolled in the tribe but even so, she loves her tribe and community.
She used to love to play hockey but she doesn’t play it anymore. But she meets a new hockey player, Jamie, who seems to be the n
Dec 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Good stuff happens when worlds collide”

I’m a 52-year-old white dude from Tennessee, so I’ll concede I am likely not the target market for this book. But I’ll readily admit that I liked this much more than I thought I would.

First of all, right out of the gate, this is the DEBUT novel from author Angeline Boulley??? Really? This was an exceptionally well written book, I’m quite frankly shocked that this is her first time published. The great news is she should have lots left in the tank for more
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Mar 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a powerfully affecting YA novel steeped in indigenous culture. The language and the ceremonies and traditions are featured throughout and helped me to learn about and to respect the culture even more.

It is partially a suspenseful mystery, coupled with action and drama, but it's also a story about family, love, and friendship. This is all told within the full perspective of the Ojibwe community by an OwnVoices author who lovingly relates even the most difficult traumatic situations.
I don
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
Firekeeper’s Daughter is Angeline Boulley’s spellbinding debut young adult thriller and a captivating coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine, a 6ft tall ice hockey ace and science whiz, lives her life balancing two worlds: her life with her white mother and wealthy grandparents where she has a hefty trust fund and her life where she carries on her strong family traditions as an Ojibwe woman. Being the product of a huge scanda ...more
4.5 stars
“We love imperfect people. We can love them and not condone their actions and beliefs.”

This was such a great read. I’m shocked to know it’s a debut novel, because it didn’t read like one at all. This one was captivating, enthralling, and kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s not my normal kind of read, I usually stay away from reading too many thrillers/suspense books (they give me bad dreams lol) but I’m so happy I read this one. 

I went in blind with this one, I didn’t e
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Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She gained attention from the We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program. Angeline was the former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Her agent is Faye Bender at The Book Group. Fireke ...more

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