Teen Volunteer Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter

As part of our teen volunteer program, teens can submit book reviews, read-alikes lists, YA-inspired playlists and more! Download the registration form for details.

Today's volunteer review is of Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley.

Firekeeper's Daughter is a novel written by Angeline Boulley about an eighteen year old girl named Daunis Fontaine. The story takes place in her hometown and on a nearby Ojibwe reservation. Once her best friend Lily gets tragically murdered, Daunis agrees to go undercover for an FBI investigation to restore justice to her community. To help the investigation, Daunis uses her understanding of chemistry and knowledge of Ojibwe traditional medicine to investigate a newly introduced lethal drug that is connected to the tragedy. During the investigation Daunis falls in love with Jamie who plays on her brother’s hockey team. Together, they search for the clues and answers to solve the investigation.

I liked this novel because it was interesting to read about the teachings and wisdoms of an Indigenous community. The characters in this novel were all remarkable in personality and the elders were presented as strong individuals with their own unique stories. There was one particular phrase that struck me “. . . [S]ome boats are made for the river and some for the ocean. And there are some that can go anywhere because they always know the way home.” (Boulley, 487). I found this phrase to be beautifully written, and it seemed to have a certain depth that opened up a special meaning.

Overall, the novel was well written and there was an unexpected plot twist that made the story significant. I would recommend Firekeeper’s Daughter to other teens because the novel is told from an Indigenous point of view which I think is wonderful because there are not a lot of novels about Indigenous communities and this opens up a totally different perspective. This promotes open mindedness and expands the horizons of understanding certain traditions of Native American culture and history.