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Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Erdrich’s 2012 novel about a horrific rape, a young boy’s ensuing search for justice, and the resulting murder, is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a crime narrative. For 13-year-old Joe Coutts, questions abound after his mother Geraldine is raped in the small North Dakota town where they live on an Ojibwe reservation. While Joe’s father Bazil uses his experience as a tribal judge to seek justice for his wife, Joe and his best friends take the matter into their own hands, launching a rogue investigation that reveals the suspicious murder of another Indigenous woman—and a strange connection to the violence toward Geraldine. The National Book Award-winning novel refused to let readers look away from the longtime issue of violence towards Indigenous women, helping to set the framework for the increasing public consciousness around missing and murdered Indigenous women. And it serves as a testament to Erdrich’s sizable legacy as a pioneering writer in the Native American Renaissance. —Cady Lang

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