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list price: $18.95
also available: Paperback eBook Audiobook
published: Mar 2018
publisher: Annick Press

Fire Song

by Adam Garnet Jones

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aboriginal & indigenous, suicide, boys & men
0 of 5
0 ratings
list price: $18.95
also available: Paperback eBook Audiobook
published: Mar 2018
publisher: Annick Press

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.

About the Author

Adam Garnet Jones (Ka-nîpawit Iskotêk) is a Cree filmmaker and writer. Fire Song is an adaptation of his award-winning feature film of the same name. Adam lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
14 to 100
9 to 17
Reading age:
14 to 100
  • , Amazing Audiobooks 2020, YALSA
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award
  • Joint winner, Rainbow Book List, ALA
  • Runner-up, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Silver
  • Short-listed, First Nation Communities READ
  • Joint winner, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Bronze
  • Joint winner, Bank Street of College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Commended, Purple Dragonfly Book Award, Honourable Mention: YA
  • Joint winner, Purple Dragonfly Book Award, 2nd Place: LGBT
  • Joint winner, Best Bets List, Top Ten, Ontario Library Association
  • Joint winner, Read Indigenous List, Toronto Public Library
  • Joint winner, American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
  • Joint winner, Top 25 Canadian YA Books, CBC Books
  • , CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Young Adult Literature
  • Joint winner, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year
Editorial Reviews

“Fire Song is unquestionably necessary . . . because of its subject matter, perspective and voice.” 

— The Globe and Mail, 05/07/18

“Adam Garnet Jones tells Shane’s painful story in such expressive prose and poetry  . . . that the reader is carried on a wave from anguish to heartbreak to misery.” 

— CanLit for Little Canadians, 08/07/18

“A beautiful and tender coming of age story . . . Fire Song is a gift and can be given as a gift on many levels.” 

— Two Spirit Journal, 11/23/18

“The deep, honest, gripping quality of Jones’ writing shines on the page even in Shane’s darkest moments.” 

— Open Book, 02/20/18

"A stunning debut. If you loved the movie Fire Song, get ready to swoon over this movie-to-novel adaptation. The tension, beauty, desperation, hunger for someone, hunger for yourself, a family at the crossroads and a highway that's calling--it's all here. Completely riveting. Completely compelling. Adam Garnet Jones, I would follow you and your characters anywhere. Bravo! A literary and unforgettable masterpiece."

— Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

“This complex, well-written debut will resonate with young people . . . A great coming-out novel with Native American protagonists; recommended for all teen collections.” 

— —School Library Journal, 02/18

“A powerful, challenging book that is full of deeply meaningful turns as it boldly encourages living life to the best of one’s abilities.” 

— Foreword Reviews, 04/01/18

“Complex, vulnerable emotion is embedded within the specificity of the writing in this dramatic prose debut. Jones avoids clichés of reservation life, humanizing the stories of how his people reconcile the trauma of suicide, missing family members, same-sex relationships, and the isolation of a community left to fend for itself. A touching story that has been a long time coming for the Indigenous community.” 

— Kirkus Reviews, *starred review, 12/11/17

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