Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 14
- Grade: 7 to 8
Fire Starters tackles restorative justice on a contemporary reserve in Northwestern Ontario.
When two white teenagers accidentally set fire to a gas station, their Indigenous classmates are wrongly accused. The truth slowly comes to light as contrasting systems of justice are explored—both the traditional ways of the community and Canadian law enforcement.
Fire Starters explores prejudice, racism, and what reconciliation could look like, "moving it from a concept to [an] on-the-ground example of what reconciliation could mean, in action, in a small community" (Debbie Reese).
About the authors
Jen Storm is an Ojibwe writer from the Couchiching First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jen completed Deadly Loyalties, her first novel, at age fourteen. Fire Starters was her first graphic novel. She is a contributing author to This Place: 150 Years Retold and the upcoming graphic novel anthology Moonshot Volume 3. Currently, she is working on another graphic novel and is an acquisitions editor for a new Indigenous graphic novel series with HighWater Press. Jen was a 2017 recipient for the CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 Under 40 and in 2019 she served as the Writer-In-Residence for One Book UWinnipeg at the University of Winnipeg. She can be found on Instagram @jenstorm where she shares her passion for creating art and posts updates on her future projects.
Scott Henderson (he/him/his) is author/illustrator of the sci-fi/fantasy comic, The Chronicles of Era and has illustrated select titles in the Canadian Air Force’s For Valour series and Tales From Big Spirit series, the graphic novel series 7 Generations and A Girl Called Echo, select stories in This Place: 150 Years Retold, Fire Starters, an AIYLA Honour Book, and Eisner-award nominee, A Blanket of Butterflies. In 2016, he was the recipient of the C4 Central Canada Comic Con Storyteller Award. https://scotthendersonart.wordpress.com/
Since 1998, Donovan Yaciuk (he/him/his) has done colouring work on books published by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse comics, and High Water Press including A Girl Called Echo and Breakdown: Reckoner Rises series and This Place: 150 Years Retold. Donovan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and began his career as a part of the legendary, now-defunct Digital Chameleon colouring studio. He lives in Winnipeg, MB Canada, with his wife and two daughters.
Among recommended Indigenous titles for building an Inclusive Graphic Novel Collection
With her story, Jen moves reconciliation from a concept to an on-the-ground example of what reconciliation could mean, in action. I recommend Jen Storm's Fire Starters. There’s a lot to study, think about, and of course, talk about.
American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)
Selected as an AIYLA Honor Book
American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA)
Among CCBC's Best Books for Kids and Teens list(2017)
The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC)
A cautionary tale about the consequences of prejudice and racism, Fire Starters is a valuable addition to conversations about the importance of reconciliation and the power of the truth.
The National Reading Campaign