Fire Song *Indigenous Canadian Book*

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My daughter read Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones and we wanted to share about it.

Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones (Indigenous Canadian Book)

Stars: *****

Annick Press (2018)
YA Fiction
232 pages

Disclosure: We received the book from Annick Press in exchange for our honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life? Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she’s too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves―his friend, David. Things go from bad to worse as Shane’s dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world.

Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together. With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane’s rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn’t always offer easy answers, but one that leaves the reader optimistic about his fate.


Fire Song

My 12 year old daughter read this book which is YA fiction and so is designed for ages 14+. I let her because she’s a bit more mature for her age but it did take her some getting used to as it’s more mature than what she used to read which were books for ages 8-12 and were very immature. She thoroughly enjoyed the read, rating it a full 5 stars.

The book is written by a Canadian Cree author and published by my favourite Canadian Children’s publisher and takes place in Canada. The book is a hat trick! The characters live near Toronto, ON on an indigenous reserve. A lot of sad or negative things take place in the book but that’s because the book is true to life in an indigenous reserve and unfortunately, a lot goes on there. The book also features a closeted gay main character and so this book represents the LGBTQ+ crowd as well.

I won’t spoil the book but I do want to warn possible readers of the following so they can make a choice whether to read. The book contains mentions of depression, anxiety, rape, mild sex scenes, suicide and drugs. Also as mentioned just above, this is a LGBTQ+ friendly book.

Fire Song is actually an adaptation of Adam Garnet Jones’ award-winning feature film of the same name.

If your teen is ready for YA fiction and is interested in the topics of life on an indigenous reserve, LGBTQ+ or both this will be a good read. Even if your teen is not looking specifically for those topics it is a good read overall.

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