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YA Review: Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Title: Warrior Girl Unearthed

Author: Angeline Boulley
Year published: 2023
Category: YA fiction (mystery)
Pages: 400 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (MI)

SummaryPerry Firekeeper-Birch has always known who she is - the laidback twin, the troublemaker, the best fisher on Sugar Island. Her aspirations won't ever take her far from home, and she wouldn't have it any other way. But as the rising number of missing Indigenous women starts circling closer to home, as her family becomes embroiled in a high-profile murder investigation, and as greedy grave robbers seek to profit off of what belongs to her Anishinaabe tribe, Perry begins to question everything.

In order to reclaim this inheritance for her people, Perry has no choice but to take matters into her own hands. She can only count on her friends and allies, including her overachieving twin and a charming new boy in town with unwavering morals. Old rivalries, sister secrets, and botched heists cannot - will not - stop her from uncovering the mystery before the ancestors and missing women are lost forever.

Review: I absolutely loved Firekeeper's Daughter (link to my review) when I read it early last year so I was thrilled to see she has a second novel. This one did not disappoint!

I love the way Boulley tells a wonderful story (including a really good mystery) incorporating Ojibwe culture and history. Perry is in some ways a typical teenager with crushes (not a major thread), a tendency to slack off her school work, and drama, but she is also passionate about her people, their history, and their rights. 

The book is sprinkled with the Ojibew language, customs, dress, attitudes about elders and ancestors, and the structure of the tribe. There are references to treaties and laws that affect daily life (and fighting crime as it is relevant to the mystery). The feeling that stood out to me the most is the love and reverance for tribe life and customs. 

This book seamlessly weaves mystery, family, custom, heartache, respect, and more into an excellent novel that may be YA, but doesn't feel like it.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Popsugar--Girl in title

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