SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.— Best-selling author Angeline Boulley was dropping her mother off at a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning when her phone alerted her that TIME magazine had named her book, Firekeeper’s Daughter, to its Best Young Adult Books of All-Time list.

“I’m still speechless, so the next time you interview me, I will be much more articulate,” Boulley, a tribal citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, told Native News Online Thursday morning.

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Firekeeper’s Daughter is the first book by Boulley, who previously worked for the U.S. Dept. of Education in Washington, D.C. before moving back to Michigan to be closer to her aging parents. Released in March 2021, it made the New York Times best seller list during the first week of April.

TIME describes the book as “part thriller, part romance and part examination of Indigenous identity.”

“Boulley’s forceful and thought-provoking debut questions many of the tropes around policing that often appear in the crime genre,” TIME writes.

“I think the public was primed and ready for a thriller that provides a glimpse into Indigenous identity,” Boulley said. 

Boulley posted this message on her Facebook page: “Ummm…this happened today. My debut novel FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER was named by TIME magazine as one of the Best YA Books of All Time. My book is #100 because it’s the most recently released and the list is in chronological order.”

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe Chairperson Aaron Payment is proud of Boulley’s success and said this to Native News Online:

“Angeline is my beshik natawiss - my first cousin. She is the hardest working, most genuine person I know so I am not surprised at her success. She is also an educational leader who has dedicated her life to Indian education. As Chairperson of our tribe, it is with great respect that I congratulate her on her current success and wait in anticipation of her small screen adaptation and her next book.”

Firekeeper’s Daughter has been optioned by the Obamas’ production company to be adapted into a Netflix series.

Read TIME’s article.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. He can be reached at le[email protected]