for Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones
Reeling from his teenage sister’s suicide and worried about his depressed and grieving mother, an Anishinaabe teen finds his plans disrupted immediately after high school graduation. Shane had been planning to leave the reservation for college in Toronto, but with a gaping hole in the roof of his family’s house and a lack of financial assistance, he won’t be going anywhere soon. He longs to move to the city, where he can live authentically as a gay man, preferably with David, with whom he is secretly involved. David, though, is reluctant to leave the reservation or to come out. Shane is closeted too, and his girlfriend, Tara, hopes to accompany him to the city. As Shane’s options become fewer, his desperation and despair grow, leading him to hatch a foolhardy escape plan. In elegant prose, this novel movingly portrays the determination and desires of characters struggling to embrace their various identities within the spaces they inhabit, despite a dearth of resources and overwhelming odds against them, while the tragedy of suicide among young First Nations women echoes through the narrative. (Age 14 and older)
CCBC Choices 2019. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019. Used with permission.