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YA Thriller ‘The Firekeeper’s Daughter’ Sees Native American Culture Take the Spotlight

By November 6, 2020New Releases

Oneworld Publication imprint Rock the Boat has managed to snag a “unique and compelling” YA coming-of-age thriller that follows a young Native American girl caught up in a mystery. The Firekeeper’s Daughter will be Angeline Boulley’s debut novel and was offered a five=figure deal from Rock the Boat, as well as a seven-figure deal in the US, with the rights already sold to “a major streaming service”. The publisher stated that Native American voices are “still all too seldom given a platform”, and Boulley described it as the sort of book she “wished she’d read growing up”.

The book’s synopsis reads: “When 18-year-old Daunis witnesses a murder, she is torn between saving those she loves, helping the FBI and protecting the tribal community. Having always felt like an outsider both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation due to her mixed heritage, she must now decide what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman). What at first glance may appear to be a straightforward mystery set on reservation lands in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, rapidly unfurls to become a complex and thought-provoking portrait of family, betrayal and identity.”

As The Bookseller reports, Katie Jennings, the book’s editor and senior commissioning editor at Rock the Boat said: “When I picked up Firekeeper’s Daughter I was expecting something special and Angeline Boulley’s debut novel is everything I’d hoped for – and so much more. In Daunis, a teenager torn between two worlds, Boulley creates one of the most compelling protagonists I’ve encountered in a long time, by turns fiercely intelligent, independent and passionate. I’m proud to be a part of bringing her story to readers in the UK.”

The Firekeeper’s Daughter is set to be published in hardback in March of next year and a second novel has already been confirmed. Boulley is a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan. She was also the former director of the Office of Indian Education at the US Department of Education.

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