This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. As soon as I started this book last year, I knew it was going to be something special. I’m so happy that it’s gotten the recognition it deserves from the bookish community, and I’m thrilled we’re featuring it as March’s book club pick!
The story builds as you go deeper and deeper into Daunis’ Ojibwe community and learn about the highs and lows her loved ones are facing. Daunis has a quiet strength and a unique way of looking at the world that makes her an excellent protagonist.
Check out the discussion questions below! (Spoilers ahead.)
P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
Gun violence and multiple murders, sexual assault (not explicit), substance abuse
High school hockey is a huge part of the St. Saint Marie community and Daunis’ life, for good or ill. Was there a popular local sport or sports team that got a lot of focus where you grew up? Did you play a sport when you were younger?
1. There are so many strong female role models in Daunis’ life. Who was your favorite female character out of all of Daunis’ friends and family (or was it Daunis herself?!)?
2. Indigenous voices are woefully under-represented in publishing, which is partly why Boulley wanted to write this story. Was there something you learned from this novel about her culture that surprised/intrigued you or made you want to read more about the topic?
3. Boulley has been working on this book for years, stemming from the fact that she always wanted to write an “Indigenous Nancy Drew”. So what were your thoughts on the ‘mystery’ aspect of the novel? What did you think of the outcome of the FBI investigation and Daunis’ hard work being unusable in court?
4. Did you guess before the reveal that Levi was a part of the murders and the drug ring? What did you think about his sibling relationship with Daunis?
5. Grief, and processing grief, are strong themes in this book. Did you connect with Daunis and the way she dealt with the tragedies she experienced? Was there a part of her story that affected you more than others?
6. Aunt Teddie talks about Blanket Parties as a form of tribal women’s justice because the justice system often fails them. Do you agree with this practice? Do you think Daunis went ahead with the Blanket Party?
7. There was also the ceremony that Daunis is invited to at the end of the book for women who have been assaulted, and she’s saddened to learn that many of the women she loves have long been a part of this group. How did this part make you feel?
8. What did you think of Jamie as a character? Did you like the way Jamie and Daunis’ relationship unfolded and how it ended?