Title: The Firekeepers Daughter
Author: Angeline Boulley
Style: Young Adult, Mystery
“When someone dies, everything about them becomes past tense. Except for the grief. Grief stays in the present."
Daunis Fontaine is a biracial young adult and science whiz born from a white mother and Ojibwe father. She feels like she never fit in between these two worlds and struggles with her identity. When Jamie, a new kid on her brother's hockey team, comes to town Daunis is charmed by this charismatic and mysterious boy. When Daunis witnesses a murder that appears to be drug related she finds herself in the mist of a criminal investigation with the new golden boy. Although she's hesitant to help, she decides to put her skills of chemistry, medicine and detective skills to use. As the deaths and deceptions grow and she begins to connect the dots, Daunis must remember what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman).
This is a stunning debut novel. I had so much appreciation for the cultural history as well as common traditions within the Ojibwe. It was a reminder about how Own Voices authors are critical in telling a story like this. The story is complex as Daunis has her own internal struggle with protecting the people she loves, finding out the truth and how it may or may not harm the community she loves. I don't want to say much more because I don't want to spoil the story but I am so glad I read this book and I highly recommend it.