Oneworld imprint Rock the Boat has signed a "unique and compelling" YA thriller and coming of age story centred on a Native American girl, Firekeeper’s Daughter, by debut author Angeline Boulley.
The book went to Rock the Boat following a strong five-figure offer, and was snapped up in a seven-figure deal in the US. Rights have also sold to "a major streaming service".
UK and British Commonwealth English language rights, excluding Canada, were acquired by Oneworld editorial director Shadi Doostdar from Lora Fountain at the Lora Fountain Literary Agency on behalf of Faye Bender at The Book Group.
The publisher noted Native American voices are "still all too seldom given a platform" and in the author's own words, this is the book she "wished she’d read growing up".
The synopsis reads: "When 18-year-old Daunis witnesses a murder, she is torn between saving those she loves, helping the FBI and protecting the tribal community. Having always felt like an outsider both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation due to her mixed heritage, she must now decide what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman). What at first glance may appear to be a straightforward mystery set on reservation lands in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, rapidly unfurls to become a complex and thought-provoking portrait of family, betrayal and identity."
The book has been edited by Katie Jennings, senior commissioning editor at Rock the Boat, who said: "When I picked up Firekeeper’s Daughter I was expecting something special and Angeline Boulley’s debut novel is everything I’d hoped for – and so much more. In Daunis, a teenager torn between two worlds, Boulley creates one of the most compelling protagonists I’ve encountered in a long time, by turns fiercely intelligent, independent and passionate. I’m proud to be a part of bringing her story to readers in the UK."
Boulley is an enrolled member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians based in Michigan. She is the former director of the Office of Indian Education at the US Department of Education and gained attention for this debut novel thanks to the non-profit organisation We Need Diverse Books.
Rock the Boat will publish Firekeeper’s Daughter in hardback in March, with a second novel to follow.