Warrior Girl Unearthed

Warrior Girl Unearthed cover
Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

By Angeline Boulley
Henry Holt, 2023
396 pages

Age 14 and older

Sixteen-year-old Perry Firekeeper-Birch isn’t thrilled to be a summer Kinomaage program intern. Unlike her twin sister, Pauline, she doesn’t have big college dreams but does need to repay Aunt Daunis for car repairs. Perry’s tribal museum position immerses her in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Low compliance since NAGPRA became law in 1990 makes the soul-disturbing sight at nearby Mackinac College of Native bones in stacked boxes and sacred and treasured items disrespected and misunderstood even more agonizing. For fiery Perry, quick action seems better than long-term negotiations for their return, and two impulsive acts threaten her internship, and her burgeoning romance with fellow intern Eric. Perry’s summer is also shadowed by the disappearance of several young area Indigenous women. After the murder of a college trustee leads Perry to another horrifying, heartbreaking discovery—a silo full of Native ancestral remains—she discovers more than old bones are hidden on the land. Navigating the complexities of her feelings, relationships, and tribal politics, Perry is grounded by her family (Ojibwe/Black), friendships, and Sugar Island Ojibwe culture and community, where she speaks both Anishinaabemowin and English. This riveting mystery/thriller set in 2014 explores connections between historical and present-day violence reflected in both government policy and individual acts of racism and misogyny. A story distinguished by rich, nuanced characterizations and many moments of humor and warmth is also tender, tense, and eventually terrifying before seeing Perry safe, and considering a surprising future path.  ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center