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 50 results
 

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, this collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog). They are the heroes of their own stories.

Featuring stories and poems by: Joseph Bruchac, Art Coulson, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, Carole Lindstrom, Dawn Quigley, Rebecca Roanhorse, David A. Robertson, Andrea L. Rogers, Kim Rogers, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Monique Gray Smith, Traci Sorell, Tim Tingle, Erika T. Wurth, Brian Young

Date Added: 10/04/2022


Category: Middle Grade

The Birchbark House

by Louise Erdrich

This National Book Award finalist by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Louise Erdrich is the first installment in an essential nine-book series chronicling 100 years in the life of one Ojibwe family, and includes beautiful interior black-and-white artwork done by the author.

She was named Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop. Omakayas and her family live on an island in Lake Superior. Though there are growing numbers of white people encroaching on their land, life continues much as it always has.But the satisfying rhythms of their life are shattered when a visitor comes to their lodge one winter night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever—but that will eventually lead Omakayas to discover her calling.

By turns moving and humorous, this novel is a breathtaking tour de force by a gifted writer. The beloved and essential Birchbark House series by Louise Erdrich includes The Birchbark House, The Game of Silence, The Porcupine Year, Chickadee, and Makoons.

Date Added: 11/01/2022


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

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

Calling for a Blanket Dance

by Oscar Hokeah

A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction. Oscar Hokeah’s electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn.

Ever’s father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn’t understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever's relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances.

Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation. How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t made room for him to start with?

Date Added: 11/02/2022


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

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

Crossing Bok Chitto

by Tim Tingle

There is a river called Bok Chitto that cuts through Mississippi. In the days before the War Between the States, in the days before the Trail of Tears, Bok Chitto was a boundary. On one side of the river lived the Choctaws. On the other side lived the plantation owners and their slaves. If a slave escaped and made his way across Bok Chitto, the slave was free.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Readers

Elatsoe

by Darcie Little Badger

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

Date Added: 08/03/2022


Category: Young Adult

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 Fae Keeper

by H.E. Edgmon

In the heart-stopping sequel to The Witch King, Wyatt and Emyr attempt to rebuild Asalin despite unexpected new enemies within their kingdom.Two weeks after the door to Faery closed once more, Asalin is still in turmoil. Emyr and Wyatt are hunting Derek and Clarke themselves after having abolished the corrupt Guard, and are trying to convince the other kingdoms to follow their lead. But when they uncover the hidden truth about the witches' real place in fae society, it becomes clear the problems run much deeper than anyone knew. And this may be more than the two of them can fix.As Wyatt struggles to learn control of his magic and balance his own needs with the needs of a kingdom, he must finally decide on the future he wants—before he loses the future he and Emyr are building…

Date Added: 10/04/2022


Category: Young Adult

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

Fry Bread

by Kevin Noble Maillard

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food. It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time. It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation. It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us. It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

Date Added: 06/30/2020


Category: Young Readers

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

Healer of the Water Monster

by Brian Young

Brian Young’s powerful debut novel tells of a seemingly ordinary Navajo boy who must save the life of a Water Monster—and comes to realize he’s a hero at heart. When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it’s clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him. One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story—a Water Monster—in need of help. Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain. The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Date Added: 10/04/2022


Category: Middle Grade

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

by David Shannon and Robbie Robertson

Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.

Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Readers

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

I Can Make This Promise

by Christine Day

In her debut middle grade novel—inspired by her family’s history—Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family’s secrets—and finds her own Native American identity. All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers. Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her. Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?

Date Added: 10/04/2022


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

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

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

Jingle Dancer

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jenna, a contemporary Muscogee (Creek) girl in Oklahoma, wants to honor a family tradition by jingle dancing at the next powwow. But where will she find enough jingles for her dress?

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Category: Young Readers

Jo Jo Makoons

by Dawn Quigley

Jo Jo Makoons has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher.

Date Added: 10/04/2022


Category: Young Readers

Jo Jo Makoons: Fancy Pants

by Dawn Quigley

Filled with lots of glitter, raised pinkies, and humorous misunderstandings, this second book in the Jo Jo Makoons series—written by Dawn Quigley and illustrated by Tara Audibert—is filled with the joy of a young Ojibwe girl discovering her very own special shine from the inside out. First grader Jo Jo Makoons knows how to do a lot of things, like how to play jump rope, how to hide her peas in her milk, and how to be helpful in her classroom. But there’s one thing Jo Jo doesn’t know how to do: be fancy. She has a lot to learn before her Aunt Annie’s wedding! Favorite purple unicorn notebook in hand, Jo Jo starts exploring her Ojibwe community to find ways to be fancy. The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Date Added: 10/04/2022


Category: Young Readers


Showing 1 through 25 of 50 results