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Children's Books by Indigenous Authors

Description

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
Kevin Noble Maillard
Using illustrations that show the diversity in Native America and spare poetic text that emphasizes fry bread in terms of provenance, this volume tells the story of a post-colonial food that is a shared tradition for Native American families all across the North American continent. Includes a recipe and an extensive author note that delves into the social ways, foodways, and politics of America's 573 recognized tribes.
Thanku: Poems Of Gratitude
Miranda Paul
This poetry anthology, edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors [including Indigenous authors Joseph Bruchac and Cynthia Leitich Smith]
The Powwow Mysteries. The Powwow Thief
Joseph Bruchac
Twins Jamie and Marie Longbow are excited about spending the summer with their grandparents, traveling from powwow to powwow selling goods they helped make. But when their grandmother's necklace goes missing, it's up to the twins to solve the mystery.
A Day With Yayah
Nicola I. Campbell
On an outing in Nicola Valley, British Columbia, a Native American family forages for herbs and mushrooms while the grandmother passes down her language and knowledge to her young grandchildren. Includes glossary.
Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi'idim
Brenda J. Child
When Uncle and Windy Girl attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Uncle's stories inspire visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers--all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow.
I Can Make This Promise
Christine Day
When twelve-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother's adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family's history and her own identity.
Makoons
Louise Erdrich
Named for the Ojibwe word for little bear, Makoons and his twin, Chickadee, have traveled with their family to the Great Plains of 1860s Dakota Territory. There they must learn to become buffalo hunters and once again help their people make a home in a new land. But Makoons has had a vision that foretells great challenges -- challenges that his family may not be able to overcome. (Based on the author's own family history.) [One of a series of children's books following several generations of the same family.]
My Heart Fills With Happiness / Sakaskinew Niteh Miyweyihtamowin Ohci
Monique Gray Smith
This dual-language book that celebrates happiness and invites children to reflect on the little things in life that bring them joy. In English and Plains Cree.
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey Of Reconciliation
Monique Gray Smith
This nonfiction book examines how we can foster reconciliation with Indigenous people at individual, family, community and national levels.
When We Are Kind
Monique Gray Smith
This beautiful picture book looks at how the simple act of being kind, to others and oneself, affects all aspects of a child's life.
Awâsis And The World-famous Bannock
Dallas Hunt
As young Awâsis searches for the ingredients to make Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe, they run into a variety of other-than-human relatives that help them along in their journey. Includes a pronunciation guide and Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe at the back of the book.
Blueberry Patch = Meennunyakaa
Jennifer Leason
Based in Duck Bay, Manitoba, in the 1940s, an Elder shares his experience of packing up to go out to collect blueberries, a traditional gathering that took place every summer. He describes the journey and landscape with humor and such vivid imagery that readers will see themselves there with him, boarding the trail of wagons from surrounding communities and heading east toward the blueberry patch. The Elder's stories offer a journey back in time and are complemented by images of fields of plump blueberries, tall green grass, bannock baking over an open fire, clear freshwater streams and the tents the people slept in.
We Are Water Protectors
Carole Lindstrom
Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all... When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource. Inspired by the many indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.
In The Footsteps Of Crazy Horse
Joseph Marshall
Teased for his fair coloring, eleven-year-old Jimmy McClean travels with his maternal grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, to learn about his Lakota heritage while visiting places significant in the life of Crazy Horse, the nineteenth-century Lakota leader and warrior, in a tale that weaves the past with the present. Includes historical note and glossary.
Indian No More
Charlene Willing McManis
When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.
Sitting Bull : Lakota Warrior And Defender Of His People
S. D. Nelson
Sitting Bull was one of the greatest Lakota/Sioux warriors and chiefs who ever lived. From killing his first buffalo at age 10 to being named war chief to leading his people against the U.S. Army, "Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People" brings the story of the great chief to light.
The People Shall Continue
Simon J. Ortiz
Traces the progress of the Indians of North America from the time of the Creation to the present.
Powwow: A Celebration Through Song And Dance
Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane
Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series for middle readers. Illustrated with photographs, Powwow is a guide to the dance, music and culture of this Indigenous celebration.
The Barren Grounds
David Robertson
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.
In My Anaana's Amautik
Nadia Sammurtok
Nadia Sammurtok lovingly invites the reader into the amautik--the pouch in the back of a mother's parka used to carry a child--to experience everything through the eyes of the baby nestled inside, from the cloudlike softness of the pouch to the glistening sound of Anaana's laughter.
Jingle Dancer
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Jenna, a member of the Muscogee, or Creek, Nation, borrows jingles from the dresses of several friends and relatives so that she can perform the jingle dance at the powwow. Includes a note about the jingle dance tradition and its regalia.
At The Mountain's Base
Traci Sorell
At the mountain's base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family -- loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains them through trials on the ground and in the sky, as they wait for their loved one, a pilot, to return from war.
We Are Grateful : Otsaliheliga
Traci Sorell
Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude. Journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. A look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
First Laugh: Welcome, Baby!
Rose Ann Tahe
A Navajo family welcomes a new baby into the family with love and ceremony, eagerly waiting for that first special laugh. Includes brief description of birth customs in different cultures.
Nimoshom And His Bus
Penny M. Thomas
Nimoshom drives the kids in the community to school every morning. On the way, he always has something to say to them. Nimoshom and His Bus introduces basic Cree words
How I Became A Ghost : A Choctaw Trail Of Tears Story
Tim Tingle
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.
May We Have Enough To Share
Richard Van Camp
A beautiful board book about gratitude by celebrated Indigenous author Richard Van Camp, complemented by photos from tea & bannock, a collective blog by Indigenous women photographers.
Welcome Song For Baby: A Lullaby For Newborns
Richard Van Camp
From renowned First Nations storyteller Richard Van Camp comes a lyrical lullaby for newborns. Complemented with stunning photographs, this evocative board book is perfectly suited as a first book for every baby

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