Special Collections

#NativeReads for Kids and Teens

Description: In honor of Native American History month, check out these great reads by authors with strong connections to Native communities. #kids #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 32 results
 

How I Became A Ghost

by Tim Tingle and Steven Walker

A Choctaw boy tells the story of his tribe's removal from the only land his people had ever known, and how their journey to Oklahoma led him to become a ghost--one with the ability to help those he left behind.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Middle Grade

Indian Shoes

by Cynthia L Smith

The beloved chapter book by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith about the love and adventures shared by a Cherokee-Seminole boy and his Grampa now has brand-new illustrations! A perfect pick for new readers.

What do Indian shoes look like, anyway? Like beautiful beaded moccasins... or hightops with bright orange shoelaces?Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his grampa. After all, it's Grampa Halfmoon who's always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes—like the time they teamed up to pet sit for the whole block during a holiday blizzard!

Award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about a boy and his grandfather, sharing all their love, joy, and humor. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Middle Grade

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

by Joseph Marshall

Joseph Marshall traces Crazy Horse's life from birth to his emergence as a warrior in the early 1860s, describing his childhood exploits, training, the overall circumstances of his upbringing, and accomplishments as a warrior and military and civilian leader. Through his grandfather's tales about the famous warrior, Jimmy learns more about his Lakota heritage and, ultimately, himself.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Middle Grade

The Birchbark House

by Louise Erdrich

Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Middle Grade

Indian No More

by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

Regina Petit's family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe's reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina's tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes "Indian no more" overnight--even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.

Date Added: 07/29/2020


Category: Middle Grade

The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman

by Paul Goble

In this most important of all Lakota legends--and a vivid invocation of the magic of the Plains Indian culture--Paul Goble brings to life the story of a mysterious and wonderful gift. Full color.

Date Added: 04/21/2020


Category: Middle Grade

Two Roads

by Joseph Bruchac

A boy discovers his Native American heritage in this Depression-era tale of identity and friendship by the author of Code Talker

It's 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression.

Cal likes being a "knight of the road" with Pop, even if they're broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC--some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due--and Cal can't go with him.

So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School. At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings.

Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people's history and heritage. He learns their language and customs. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.

Date Added: 03/28/2019


Category: Middle Grade

Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask

by Anton Treuer

In matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of what's up with Indians, anyway. --What is the real story of Thanksgiving? --Why are tribal languages important? --What do you think of that incident where people died in a sweat lodge? White/Indian relations are often characterized by guilt and anger. Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask cuts through the emotion and builds a foundation for true understanding and positive action.

Date Added: 10/22/2018


Category: Middle Grade

The Window

by Michael Dorris

When ten-year-old Rayona's Native American mother enters a treatment facility, her estranged father, a black man, finally introduces her to his side of the family, who are not at all what she expected.

Date Added: 10/22/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Skeleton Man

by Joseph Bruchac

Trust your dreams. Both my parents said that. That's our old way, our Mohawk way. The way of our ancestors. Trust the little voice that speaks to you. That is your speaking. But when those feelings, those dreams, those voices are so confusing, what do you do then? "Help," I whisper. "Help."I'm not sure who I'm talking to when I say that, but I hope they're listening.Ever since Molly woke up one morning and discovered that her parents vanished, she has had to depend on herself to survive -- and find the reason for their disappearance.Social Services has turned her over to the care of a great-uncle, a mysterious man Molly has never met before. Then Molly starts having dreams about the Skeleton Man from a spooky old Mohawk tale her father used to tell her...dreams that are trying to tell her something...dreams that might save her, if only she can understand them.

Date Added: 10/22/2018


Category: Middle Grade

The Girl Who Married the Moon

by Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross

A collection of Native American stories of girls becoming women. These are stories from a broad array of tribes and tradtions.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Waterlily

by Ella Cara Deloria

Waterlily is a novel of Indian life---of the Dakotas, or Sioux. But apart from dealing with an actual people at a more-or-less-identifiable time and place, it has little in common with the conventional historical fiction centered on famous people and major events. For the book was written by Ella Deloria, herself a Sioux and an accomplished ethnologist, who sought to record and preserve traditional Sioux ways through this imaginative recreation of life in the camp circle. It is of special value because it is told from a woman's perspective---one that is much less well known than the warrior's or the holy man's. More fully and compellingly than any ethnological report, and with equal authority, it reveals the intricate system of relatedness, obligation, and respect that governed the world of all Dakotas as it takes the protagonist, Waterlily, through the everyday and the extraordinary events of a Sioux woman's experience.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Indian Shoes

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Together with Grampa, Ray Halfmoon, a Seminole-Cherokee boy, finds creative and amusing solutions to life's challenges.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Firekeeper's Daughter

by Angeline Boulley

For readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange, Angeline Boulley's debut novel, Firekeeper's Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community.

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Young Adult

Crooked Hallelujah

by Kelli Jo Ford

It's 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine's father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church - a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But Justine does her best as a devoted daughter until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever. Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine--a mixed-blood Cherokee woman-- and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world--of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces, like wildfires and tornados--intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home. In lush and empathic prose, Kelli Jo Ford depicts what this family of proud, stubborn, Cherokee women sacrifices for those they love, amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture. This is a big-hearted and ambitious novel of the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters by an exquisite and rare new talent.

Date Added: 10/21/2020


Category: Young Adult

#NotYourPrincess

by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy

NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Category: Young Adult

Who Will Tell My Brother?

by Marlene Carvell

International Reading Association Children's Book Award Winner. Determined to sway high school officials to remove disparaging Indian mascots, Evan assumes a struggle that spirals him onto a soul-searching journey and exposes him to a barrage of bullying, taunts, and escalating violence. Marlene Carvell's striking first novel is a timely look at a true story of a mixed-race teen caught up in an exploration of his past, his culture, and his identity.

Date Added: 10/22/2018


Category: Young Adult

The Marrow Thieves

by Cherie Dimaline

While working one afternoon on the Northern Divide, a young tree-marker makes a grisly discovery: in a squatter’s cabin near an old mill town, a family has been murdered.

An army vet coming off a successful turn leading a task force that took down infamous biker criminals, Detective Frank Yakabuski arrives in Ragged Lake, a nearly abandoned village, to solve the family’s murder. But no one is willing to talk. With a winter storm coming, Yakabuski sequesters the locals in a fishing lodge as he investigates the area with his two junior officers. Before long, he is fighting not only to solve the crime but also to stay alive and protect the few innocents left living in the desolate woods.

A richly atmospheric mystery with sweeping backdrops, explosive action, and memorable villains, Ragged Lake will keep you guessing ― about the violent crime, the nature of family, and secret deeds done long ago on abandoned frontiers.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

Rain Is Not My Indian Name

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

The next day was my fourteenth birthday, and I'd never kissed a boy--domestic style or French. Right then, I decided to get myself a teen life. Cassidy Rain Berghoff didn't know that the very night she decided to get a life would be the night that Galen would lose his. It's been six months since her best friend died, and up until now Rain has succeeded in shutting herself off from the world. But when controversy arises around her aunt Georgia's Indian Camp in their mostly white mid western community, Rain decides to face the outside world again--at least through the lens of her camera. Hired by her town newspaper to photograph the campers, Rain soon finds that she has to decide how involved she wants to become in Indian Camp. Does she want to keep a professional distance from the inter tribal community she belongs to? And just how willing is she to connect with the campers after her great loss? In a voice that resonates with insight and humor, Cynthia Leitich Smith tells of heartbreak, recovery, and reclaiming one's place in the world.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

The Night Wanderer

by Drew Hayden Taylor

A sleepy native reservation. A troubled teen girl. A vampire returns home. Nothing ever happens on the Otter Lake reservation. But when 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out "her" room, she's deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself. But he's also a little creepy.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

The Lesser Blessed

by Richard Van Camp

A fresh, funny look at growing up Native in the North, by award-winning author Richard Van Camp.Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school "tramp." When Johnny Beck, a Metis from Hay River, moves to town, Larry is ready for almost anything.In this powerful and often very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins. But through his friendship with Johnny, he's ready now to face his memories-and his future.Marking the debut of an exciting new writer, The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Native man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness.A coming-of-age story that any fan of The Catcher in the Rye will enjoy.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

Counting Coup

by Herman J. Viola and Joseph Medicine Crow

The book presents the amazing life story of Joseph Medicine Crow and illuminates the challenges faced by the Crow people as hurricanes of change raged through America.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

Killer Of Enemies

by Joseph Bruchac

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones--people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human--and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones' pets--genetically engineered monsters--turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen's powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter... Lozen is meant to be a hero.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Adult

Boozhoo

by Fond Du Lac Head Start Program Staff

This is a delightful picture book which invites children to play together. It also includes a pronunciation guide.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Young Readers

When We Were Alone

by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Category: Young Readers


Showing 1 through 25 of 32 results