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.
- Joint winner, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Bronze 2019
- Joint winner, Bank Street of College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year 2019
- Nominated, CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Young Adult Literature 2018
- Joint winner, Read Indigenous List, Toronto Public Library 2018
- Joint winner, Best Bets List, Top Ten, Ontario Library Association 2019
- Joint winner, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year 2018
- Joint winner, Top 25 Canadian YA Books, CBC Books 2018
- Commended, Purple Dragonfly Book Award, Honourable Mention: YA 2019
- Joint winner, Rainbow Book List, ALA 2019
- Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award 2019
- Joint winner, Purple Dragonfly Book Award, 2nd Place: LGBT 2019
- Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2018
- Nominated, Amazing Audiobooks 2020, YALSA 2019
- Short-listed, First Nation Communities READ 2019
- Runner-up, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Silver 2019
- Joint winner, American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books 2018
“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
“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
“The deep, honest, gripping quality of Jones’ writing shines on the page even in Shane’s darkest moments. ”- Open Book, 02/20/18
“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
“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
“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
"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