Warrior Girl Unearthed

by Angeline Boulley
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Release date: May 2, 2023
Content: It addresses r*pe, sexual assault, predatory behaviors, and missing Indigenous women. There is some swearing and talk of drug use. It’s in the Teen section (grades 9+) of the bookstore.

What Perry Firekeeper-Birch wanted for the summer: to be lazy, to go fishing, to enjoy the sunshine. What she got: a job with the Ojibwe summer intern program, working at the Tribal museum. What she expected: the summer to be Boring. What she got: a fascinating education in her Tribal history, and in the repatriation (or not) of the items stolen by museums and colleges, including the local Mackinac State University.

That’s just where the summer starts, though. It’s 2014, and there is unrest in the country, with the shooting of Michael Brown, and that hits close to home because Perry’s dad is half Black. Additionally, Indigenous women in the community have gone missing, and her sister, who is working with the Tribal police, is helping look for them. But it all comes to a head when Perry discovers unearthed graves in the yard of a local “businessman” who was going to donate artifacts back to the tribe, but instead gives them to Mackinac State.

It sounds like a lot – and this is just scratching the surface – but Boulley is a talented enough storyteller to weave these seemingly disparate story threads together into a very satisfying whole. The story is less about missing Indigenous women and repatriating lost/stolen artifacts than it is about Perry learning how to take responsibility and be a leader in her community. It’s her growth arc – though the characters of her friends and twin sister (and yes, Daunis from Firekeeper’s Daughter shows up) are fully fleshed out and not simple caricatures. I love how Boulley is able to weave in the Ojibwe language and traditions in a way that feels respectful but is also informative for those of us who are not Ojibwe. It’s a feat to be able to put so much into a book and have it flow seamlessly.

In short: I loved it.

One thought on “Warrior Girl Unearthed

  1. Amy says:

    I’m so excited to read this book! And considering the very serious topics of both books, I’m almost to embarrassed to ask- Do we find out if Daunis and “Jamie” ever reconnected?


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