NATIVE AMERICANS

 

 

Realistic fiction

Non-fiction

Traditional

Biography

Historical fiction

Poetry

Fantasy

 

CLICK ON THE BOOK’S TITLE TO LINK TO amazon.com TO PURCHASE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS.

 

NOTE: RECENTLY ADDED TITLES APPEAR IN RED.

 

REALISTIC FICTION:

 

Benchley, N. (1994). Small Wolf. Illustrated by J. Sandin. New York: HarperTrophy. (2-4)

 

A young Native American boy sets out to hunt on Manhattan Island and discovers some strange people with white faces and very different ideas about land. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac, J. (1999). Eagle song. Illustrated by D. Andreasen. New York: Puffin. (4-6).

 

Danny Bigtree’s family has moved to a new city, and Danny can’t seem to fit in. He’s homesick for the Mohawk reservation, and the kids in his class tease him about being an Indian, the thing that makes Danny most proud. Can he find the courage to stand up for himself? (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1997). Fox song. Illustrated by P. Morin. New York: Paper Star. (K-3)

 

After the passing of her great-grandmother, a young Indian girl recalls the times they spent together in a moving celebration of the love between the young and the old and the beauty of the natural world. (amazon.com)

 

Creech, S. (1996). Walk two moons. Illustrated by L. Desimini. New York: HarperTrophy. (4-6)

 

Alternately humorous, mysterious, and moving, an exploration of the life of young Samantha Hiddle shows how she comes to understand aspects of that life, including her feelings about her missing mother, as she travels across country with her eccentric grandparents. (amazon.com)

 

George, J. C. (1974). Julie of the wolves. Illustrated by J. Schoenherr. New York: HarperTrophy. (4-6)

 

Protected by a wolf pack while lost on the tundra, a 13-year-old Eskimo girl begins to appreciate her heritage and the oneness with nature that modern man is destroying. (amazon.com)

 

George, J. C. (1987). The talking earth. New York: HarperTrophy. (4-6)

 

Billie Wind ventures out alone into the Florida Everglades to test the legends of her Indian ancestors and learns the importance of listening to the earth’s vital messages. (card catalog)

 

Hudson, J. (1999). Sweetgrass. New York: Paper Star. (4-6)

 

Living on the western Canadian prairie in the nineteenth century, Sweetgrass, a fifteen-year-old Blackfoot girl, saves her family from a smallpox epidemic and proves her maturity to her father. (card catalog)

 

Joosse, B. M. (1998). Mama, do you love me? Illustrated by B. Lavallee. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. (K-2)

 

A child living in the Arctic learns that a mother’s love is unconditional. (card catalog)

 

Lacapa, K. (1999). Less than half, more than whole. Illustrated by M. Lacapa. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland. (K-4)

 

Tony notices that his skin is darker than yellow-haired, blue-eyed Scott’s, but lighter than that of his Native American friend, Will. A well-designed effort, this title is for all children of multicultural marriages who struggle to find an identity. It serves not only to illuminate Indian culture, but also as a gentle celebration of mixed heritage. (amazon.com)

 

McCain, B. R. (2001). Grandmother’s dreamcatcher. Illustrated by S. Schuett. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman. (K-3)

 

When Kimmy has bad dreams, Grandmother shows Kimmy a dreamcatcher, and with a twig, beads, feathers, and leather, they begin to make one just for Kimmy. Will it work? Instructions for making a dreamcatcher appear at the end of the book. (amazon.com)

 

Medearis, A. S. (1993). Dancing with the Indians. Illustrated by S. Byrd. New York: Holiday House. (K-3)

 

While attending a Seminole Indian celebration, an African American family watches and joins in several exciting dances. (card catalog)

 

Miles, M. (1985). Annie and the old one. Illustrated by P. Parnall. New York: Scott Foresman. (K-3)

 

When Annie’s Navajo grandmother says that when Annie's mother’s rug is completely woven that the grandmother will die, Annie tries to hold back time by unweaving the rug in secret. (amazon.com)

 

Osofsky, A. (1992). Dreamcatcher. Illustrated by E. Young. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

In the land of the Ojibwa a baby sleeps, protected from bad dreams, as the life of the tribe goes on around him. (card catalog)

 

Oughton, J. (1997). Music from a place called Half Moon. Boston: Laurel Leaf. (4-6)

 

In the summer of 1956, thirteen-year-old Edie Jo Houp, of Half Moon, North Carolina, must come to terms with entrenched prejudices against Native Americans and with the death of a special friend. (amazon.com)

 

Savageau, C. (1996). Muskrats will be swimming. Illustrated by R. Hynes. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing. (1-4)

 

A heart-warming tale of the lesson a girl learns from a Seneca creation story told to her by her grandfather--a lesson of knowing who you are and staying strong in the face of hurtful criticism. Elegantly illustrated, Muskrat Will Be Swimming is a treasure for all who have dealt with the fear of being different. (Borders.com)

 

Schick, E. (1996). My Navajo sister. New York: Simon & Schuster. (K-3)

 

A white girl lives for a short time on a reservation and forms a close bond with a Navajo girl. (card catalog)

 

Scott, A. H. (1996). Brave as a mountain lion. Illustrated by G. Coalson. New York: Clarion. (K-3)

 

When Spider’s teacher asks him to participate in the big school spelling bee, Spider is terrified to go on-stage. His family, however, offers him encouragement and tips on how to overcome his fears, and eventually Spider places second in the contest. This gentle story of courage takes place on a Shoshone reservation and is accompanied by warm watercolors in grays and earth tones. (Horn Book, 1996)

 

Smith, C. L. (2002). Indian shoes. Illustrated by J. Madsen. New York: HarperCollins. (3-5)

 

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 are forced to get creative after a homemade haircut makes Ray’s head look like a lawn-mowing accident. This collection of interrelated stories is heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about what it’s like to grow up as a Seminole-Cherokee boy who is just as happy pounding the pavement in windy Chicago as rowing on a lake in rural Oklahoma. (amazon.com)

 

Smith, C. L. (2000). Jingle dancer. Illustrated by C. Van Wright & Y. Hu. New York: Morrow Junior. (1-3)

 

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? An unusual, warm family story, beautifully evoked in Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu’s watercolor art. (amazon.com)

 

Sneve, V. D. H. (2007). Lana’s Lakota moons. University of Nebraska.  (5-8)

 

“In the Lakota way,” Lori and her cousin, Lana, are sisters, and while their parents work, the girls spend much of the time together with Grandpa and Grandma High Elk. Lori, quiet and obedient, is jealous of her lively cousin, a theme that plays out in the background during the course of 12 Lakota moons, as the girls celebrate Indian festivals and naming ceremonies, as well as Christmas in church, and make friends with a new classmate, whose Hmong family has arrived from Laos. The interweaving of traditional culture is sometimes heavy-handed (“We, the Lakota, believe”), but the mix of Great Plains history with the contemporary scene (including occasional e-mails) rings true, whether in the Indians’ view of the buffalo, Custer’s Last Stand, or the famous presidents enshrined at Mount Rushmore. Lori’s lively personal narrative will draw readers as she copes with anger, guilt, sorrow, and, finally, the loss of her sister, even as she realizes that, in the Lakota way, the girls will always be connected. (Booklist)

 

BACK

 

 

 

NON-FICTION:

 

Aliki. (1986). Corn is maize: The gift of the Indians. New York: HarperTrophy. (K-3)

 

A simple description of how corn was discovered and used by the Native Americans and how it came to be an important food throughout the world. (card catalog)

 

Ancona, G. (1993). Powwow. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace & Company. (4-6)

 

A photo-essay of the Native American’s celebration of their heritage on the Crow Reservation in Montana. (card catalog)

 

Bealer, A. W. (1996). Only the names remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears. Illustrated by K. Rodanas. Toronto: Little Brown and Company. (4-6)

 

A young reader’s history of the tragic Trail of Tears march from 1837 to 1838 describes the enforced journey of the Cherokee nation from Georgia to Arkansas, a period during which thousands of Native Americans died.  (amazon.com)

 

Bial, R. (1998). The Cherokee (Lifeways, Set 1). New York: Marshall Cavendish. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and notable people of the Cherokee Indians. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (2000). The Cheyenne (Lifeways, Set 2). New York: Benchmark Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and notable people of the Cheyenne Indians. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (2000). The Comanche (Lifeways, Set 2). New York: Benchmark Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and notable people of the Comanche Indians. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (1998). The Iroquois (Lifeways, Set 1). New York: Marshall Cavendish. (4-6)

 

Describes the history, social structure, and customs of the People of the Longhouse. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (1998). The Navajo (Lifeways, Set 1). New York: Marshall Cavendish. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, beliefs, changing ways, and notable people of the Navajo. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (2000). The Ojibwe (Lifeways, Set 2). New York: Benchmark Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and customs of the Ojibwe Indians.  (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (2000). The Pueblo (Lifeways, Set 2). New York: Benchmark Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, beliefs, changing ways, and notable people of the Pueblo. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (2000). The Seminole (Lifeways, Set 2). New York: Benchmark Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the history, culture, social structure, beliefs, and customs of the Seminole people. (card catalog)

 

Bial, R. (1998). The Sioux (Lifeways, Set 1). New York: Marshall Cavendish. (4-6)

 

Examines the origins, beliefs, language, and culture of the Sioux, also known as the Dakota Indians. (card catalog)

 

Bonvillain, N. (1996). The Cheyennes: People of the plains. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press. (4-6)

 

Examines the history, culture, way of life, and contemporary problems of the Cheyennes,a native American tribe that dominated the Plains region in the nineteenth century. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac, J. (1998). Many nations: An alphabet of Native America. Illustrated by R. F. Goetzl. New York: Troll Associates. (K-3)

 

From Anishinabe artists making birch bark bowls to Zuni elders saying prayers for the day that is done, the diversity of Native American cultures is simply presented in this unique alphabet book. Striking full-color paintings depict Native Americans living in harmony with their environment. (card catalog)

 

Carlson, L. (1994). More than moccasins: A kid’s activity guide to traditional North American Indian life. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press. (K-3)

 

Kids will discover traditions and skills from the people who first settled this continent, including gardening, making useful pottery, and communicating through Navajo codes. (amazon.com)

 

Dewey, J. O. (1996). Stories on stone; rock art, images from the ancient ones. Boston, MA: Little Brown & Company. (1-4)

 

The author developed an early interest in Anasazi rock art, both painted and carved, while she was growing up in New Mexico. Tales about numerous trips as a youngster are told in this book, which is richly illustrated with many samples of rock art. Also included are illustrations of numerous cliff dwellings and some speculation about how and why these paintings/carvings were done. The strength of this book is the range and variety of images reproduced. (Borders.com)

 

Erdosh, G. (1998). Food and recipes of the Native Americans. New York: Powerkids Press. (K-6)

 

Describes the different kinds of food and methods of cooking that had been common to Native Americans in each of five areas of the United States. Includes recipes. (card catalog)

 

Freedman, R. (2001). In the days of the vaqueros: America’s first true cowboys. New York: Clarion Books. (4-6)

 

In this rousing account of the first true cowboys, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman brings to life the days when the vaqueros rounded up cattle, brought down steers, and tamed wild broncos. In the service of wealthy Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century, Mexican ranch hands began herding cattle, often riding barefoot. They soon developed and perfected the skills for this dangerous work and became expert horsemen. Hundred of years later the vaqueros shared their expertise with the inexperienced cowboys of the American West, who adopted their techniques and their distinctive clothing, tools, and even lingo. Yet today it is the cowboy whom we remember, while the vaquero has all but disappeared from history. The vaqueros are at last given their due in this dramatic narrative, lushly illustrated with beautiful period paintings and drawings. (amazon.com)

 

Hucko, B. (1997). A rainbow at night: The world in words and pictures.  Illustrated by Navajo children. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. (4-6)

 

Through the eyes of children, readers learn about some of the special traditions of Navajo life while discovering the universality shared by children of all backgrounds. Hucko offers insights into the Navajo culture and suggests art projects relating to each image that invite children of all ages and cultures to get out their art materials and create. (amazon.com)

 

Jeffers, S. (1993). Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A message from Chief Seattle. New York: Dutton. (1-4)

 

A Suquamish Indian chief describes his people’s respect and love for the earth, and concern for its destruction. (card catalog)

 

Kamma, A. (1998). If you lived with the Cherokee. Illustrated by L. Gardner. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6)

 

The third title in a series about Native American people, this book reveals what it was like to grow up in a Cherokee family long ago. Full-color illustrations by a Cherokee artist complement facts about Cherokee games, language, dwellings, medicine, names, and more. (amazon.com)

 

Kamma, A. (1999). If you lived with the Hopi. Illustrated by L. Gardner. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6))

 

The history of the Hopi (meaning “wise and beautiful people”) is explored through a series of questions and answers, such as “Would you live in a teepee?” and “What did girls have to learn?” (amazon.com)

 

Kessel, J. K. (1986). Squanto and the first Thanksgiving. Illustrated by L. Donze. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. (K-3)

 

Describes how the Indian Squanto, an English-speaking Christian and former slave, whose village had been wiped out by smallpox, taught the Pilgrims the skills they needed to survive the harsh Massachusetts winter. (card catalog)

 

Left Hand Bull, J. (1999). Lakota Hoop-Dancer. Illustrated by S. Haldane. New York: Dutton. (4-6)

 

Repeated strikes on the drum-like a heartbeat-and an intense, chantlike song draw people near. In the still, stubborn heat of a summer’s day, an American Indian man performs a breathtaking dance for an eager audience. (amazon.com)

 

Levine, E. (1999). If you lived with the Iroquois. Illustrated by S. Hehenberger. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6)

 

Detailed, four-color paintings and a question-and-answer text bring to life the traditional life, customs, and everyday world of the Iroquois - one of the most powerful and influential of the Indian nations. (amazon.com)

 

Lucas, E. (1993). The Cherokees: People of the Southeast. Brookfield, CT: The Milbrook Press. (4-6)

 

Discusses the early history, beliefs, and daily life and customs of the Cherokee Indians, their daily interaction with white society, and the current status of the Cherokee Nation. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Apache Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Apache people, covering their daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Cherokee Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Cherokee people, covering their daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Comanche Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Comanche people, covering their daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Iroquois Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Discusses the Iroquois as a modern group with a unique history and its own special practices and customs. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Ojibwa Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Ojibwa people, including daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Pomo Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Pomo people, including daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

Lund, B. (1997). The Seminole Indians. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books. (3-4)

 

Provides an overview of the past and present lives of the Seminole people, including daily life, customs, relations with the government and others, and more. (card catalog)

 

McGovern, A. (1992). If you lived with the Sioux Indians. Illustrated by J. S. Drew. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6)

 

In question-and-answer style, the author describes the daily life of the Sioux before and after the coming of the white man. Boys and girls will be surprised to know that each child had a second mother and father who helped take care of him... that everyone had his own “medicine bundle” to keep danger away... that the men sometimes had more than one wife... that a boy was expected to hunt his first buffalo calf before he was ten years old. They’ll discover what happened to someone who broke the rules of a tribe, what was considered the bravest thing a Sioux Indian could do, and the ritual ceremonies at which children were accepted as adults. In a final section the author explains what is happening to these Indians today.  (amazon.com)

 

Miller, J. (1997). American  Indian festivals. Chicago, IL: Children’s Press. (1-5)

 

Briefly describes some of the customs and practices related to festivals celebrated in various North American Indian cultures. (Borders.com)

 

Simmons, M. (2004). Friday the Arapaho boy: A true story from history. Illustrated by R. Kil. University of New Mexico Press. (2-4)

 

By the Anglos’ calendar it was the last week of May 1831 and the Arapahos were camped beside the Cimarron River in what is today southwestern Kansas. Young Warshinun strayed from the camp as he hunted for prairie dogs and became separated from his family and the tribe. This is the true story of Warshinun’s adventures. Nearly dead of thirst and hunger after hiding for a week from Kiowa raiders, the young Arapaho was discovered and cared for by Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Rocky Mountain trader. Fitzpatrick named the boy "Friday” for the day of the week he first found the young Indian, and took him to Santa Fe and Taos, Colorado and Wyoming in search of Friday’s family. The trader finally took Friday to St. Louis, enrolled him in school, but continued looking for the boy’s family as he traveled through Arapaho country. Friday grew up to become an important Arapaho leader. (To this day, "Friday” is a prominent family name among the Arapaho.) He attended the famous council in Wyoming that led to the Fort Laramie treaty of 1851. Friday spent the last thirty years of his life trying to prevent war between his people and the Anglos, and died in 1881.

 

Steedman, S. (1997). How would you survive as an American Indian? Danbury, CT: Franklin Watts. (4-6)

 

A second-person narrative invites readers to imagine themselves transported back through time to the heyday of the Plains Indians. Readers are provided with facts about food, clothing, dress, and customs. (Horn Book, 1996)

 

Stein, R. C. (1993). The trail of tears. Chicago, IL: Children’s Press. (4-6)

 

Describes the Federal government’s seizure of Cherokee lands in Georgia and the forced migration of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma along the route that came to be known as the Trail of Tears. (card catalog)

 

Tapahonso, L. (1999). Navajo ABC: A Dine alphabet book. Illustrated by E. Schick. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (1-4)

 

A simple alphabet book describes aspects of Navajo life, joining A with Arroyo, B with Belt, C with Cradleboard, and so on, in an introduction to one of the largest Native American tribes in the United States. (amazon.com)

 

Weber, E. N. R. (2004). Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood. Photographs by R. Renkun.  Lee & Low. (4-8)

 

Weber’s memoir of growing up in the early 1900s brings readers into the thoughts and surroundings of her eight-year-old self with humor and sincerity. When her grandmother died, her father took her to live with him at Crown Point Indian Agency on the Eastern Navajo Reservation. At the school there, she witnessed boys being beaten with a horsewhip, which haunted her. "I carried a mortal shame, fear, and hurt away with me.”  Just as she started to feel at home at Crown Point, she was sent to the faraway Phoenix Indian School, where her father was educated. However, she and her new friends became survivors ("we learned early–laughing was best.”) Her memories of the ridiculous teachers and underground games are expressed in a conversational voice that begs to be read aloud. Readers will identify with her predicaments, whether they are learning about a different culture or recognizing their own. The voice does shift occasionally throughout the book to one that seems oddly outsider, and a homecoming ceremony involving Sacred Yellow Corn Pollen is not fully explained. But then Weber’s evocative voice resurfaces. The recollections are illustrated with black-and-white photos of unidentified contemporary children posed in the New Mexico landscape as if they were part of the story, which sometimes makes an odd contrast, though they are beautiful. For its unique voice, consider this collection as supplementary material on the Indian boarding school experience, or as a captivating read-aloud. (School Library Journal)

 

BACK

 

TRADITIONAL LITERATURE:

 

Baker, O. (1985). Where the buffaloes begin. Illustrated by S. Gammell. New York: Viking Press. (1-4)

 

After hearing the legend retold by the tribe's oldest member, Little Wolf hopes to someday witness the beginning of the buffaloes at the sacred lake. (card catalog)

 

Bierhorst, J. (2000). The people with five fingers: A native Californian creation tale. Illustrated by R. A. Parker. New York: Marshall Cavendish. (K-3)

 

Luminous watercolors and a concise text work together to capture the humor and insight of Native American storytellers in this engaging creation tale from California. Since ‘this earth cannot stay naked!” the plan is to create people. Masterminded by Coyote but carried out by all the animals, the strategy calls for a world in which people are different, yet the same. They will speak different languages. They will be different in color. Yet, they will live in harmony since “they will all have hands with five fingers.” A tale that cleverly accounts for the past...we can only hope it also predicts the future. (amazon.com)

 

Bierhorst, J. (1999). The woman who fell from the sky: The Iroquois story of creation. Illustrated by R. A. Parker. New York: Morrow. (K-3)

 

A fresh, authoritative retelling of the Iroquois creation story, in which the world as we know it today begins with a woman who fell from the sky and her two small children. Robert Andrew Parker’s luminous paintings add spectacular details to this simple, yet profound, tale of our beginnings and of the mystery and harmony of the universe. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1999). Between earth and sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places. Illustrated by T. Locker.  New York: Voyager. (2-5)

 

With grace and drama, Abenaki poet Joseph Bruhac retells traditional native legends of ten of America’s most awe-inspiring natural landscapes. These wise stories, together with Thomas Locker’s glowing painting, evoke the essential spiritual power of the earth. A full-color map charting the homelands of nearly 200 North American tribes is included. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1995). Flying with the eagle, racing the great bear: Stories from  Native North America. Illustrated by M. Jacob. New York: Troll Associates. (5-6)

 

Drawn from 16 Native North American cultures, this collection of authentic tribal tales focuses on a theme of universal appeal--the rite of passage from boyhood to manhood. At the heart of each story lies an exciting adventure and a journey toward self-discovery. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. & Bruchac, J. (2003). How Chipmunk got his stripes. Illustrated by J. Aruego & A Dewey. New York: Puffin. (K-3)

 

The Bruchacs, famous for their Native American folklore retellings, have joined forces with the best-selling illustration team of Aruego and Dewey to create a buoyant picture book teeming with surprises, glowing colors, and big, boastful fun! When you tease someone, you might just end up with more than you bargained for! Brown Squirrel is very small, but that doesn’t  keep him from saying what’s on his mind. When Big Bear brags that he can do anything, Squirrel challenges him to keep the sun from rising the next morning. The sun comes up, of course, and Squirrel can’t resist the mean urge to tease. But soon Big Bear teaches him a hard lesson: The new claw marks down Brown Squirrel’s back will be a permanent reminder of his bad behavior! And henceforth, Brown Squirrel will be known as Chipmunk, “the striped one.” (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. & Caduto, M. J. (1999). Keepers of the Earth: Native American stories and environmental activities for children. Illustrated by J. K. Fadden & C. Wood. Golden, CO: Fulcrum. (4-6)

 

A selection of traditional tales from various Native American peoples, each accompanied with instructions for related activities dealing with the environment. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac, J. & Caduto, M. J. (1994). Keepers of the night: Native American stories and nocturnal activities for children. Illustrated by J. K. Fadden & C. Wood. Golden, CO: Fulcrum. (4-6)

 

Eight Native American stories and nighttime artistic and scientific activities teach children about astronomy and nocturnal weather, plants, and animals, helping them to develop a caring, constructive relationship with nature and the out-of-doors. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. & Bruchac, J. (2004). Raccoon’s last race: A traditional Abenaki story. Illustrated by J. Aruego & A. Dewey. Dial. (K-4)

 

Long ago, Azban the Raccoon loved to race on his long legs. He was the fastest of all the animals, but he was also the most conceited. When the other animals grew tired of his attitude, Azban chose Big Rock as his next opponent. But, busy taunting instead of running, Azban tripped . . . and Big Rock flattened him--splat! Only the ants would help stretch Azban out again--as long as he promised to be their friend. Did Azban keep this promise? Is the raccoon still the fastest of all the animals? In this lively, funny romp, the team that created How Chipmunk Got His Stripes and Turtle’s Race with Beaver once again captures the fun and energy of traditional Native American stories. This time, they have chosen an Abenaki tale that warns against arrogance and honors the importance of keeping your promises.  (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1995). The boy who lived with the bears and other Iroquois stories. New York: Harper Collins. (4-6)

 

In this collection of animal tales, the reader will meet clever Rabbit, hungry Fox, vain Buzzard, smart Chipmunk and a young Boy, who finds love with a family of bears. These tales celebrate the tradition of storytelling with glorious depictions of nature and humorous accounts of lessons learned. (amazon.com)

 

Bruhac, J. (1998). The first strawberries: A Cherokee story. Illustrated by A. Vojtech. New York: Puffin. (K-3)

 

A quarrel between the first woman and the first man is reconciled when the Sun causes strawberries to grow out of the Earth. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac J. & Bruchac, J.  (2008). The girl who helped thunder and other Native American folktales.  Illustrated by  S. Vitale.  Sterling.  (4-6)

 

Welcome the second book in the Folktales of the World series! Engaging, inspirational, and above all entertaining, these legends come from Native American peoples across the U.S. Richly illustrated with original art, they capture a wide range of belief systems and wisdom from the Cherokee, Cheyenne, Hopi, Lenape, Maidu, Seminole, Seneca, and other tribes. The beautifully retold tales, all with informative introductions, range from creation myths to animal fables to stirring accounts of bravery and sacrifice. Find out how stories first came to be, and how the People came to the upper world. Meet Rabbit, the clever and irresistible Creek trickster. See how the buffalo saved the Lakota people, and why the Pawnee continue to do the Bear Dance to this very day.
Stefano Vitale’s art showcases a stunning array of animal figures, masks, totems, and Navajo-style rug patterns, all done in nature’s palette of brilliant turquoises, earth browns, shimmering sun-yellow, vivid fire-orange, and the deep blues of a dark night. 
(amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. & Ross, G. (1996). The girl who married the moon: Tales from Native North America. Illustrated by S. S. Burrus. New York: Troll Associates. (5-6)

 

A companion volume to Bruchac’s Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear, this anthology focuses on the role of women in traditional Indian cultures. Culled from 16 Native North American cultures, these traditional tribal tales dwell on the time in a young girl’s life when she discovers she is becoming a woman. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1994). The great ball game: A Muskogee story. Illustrated by S. L. Roth. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

 

With characteristic action and wit, renowned Native American storyteller Bruchac retells the amusing and rousing folktale of an epic ball game between the Birds and the Animals, which offers the explanation as to why birds fly south every winter. Roth’s brilliant collage art enhances the story. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1995) & Ross, G. The story of the Milky Way: A Cherokee tale. Illustrated by V. Stroud. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. (K-3)

 

The legend of the Milky Way tells of an elderly couple who lived long ago. One day they discovered that a giant spirit dog had stolen some of their cornmeal and drove the dog from the village into the night sky. The band of stars that formed in its wake is the Milky Way. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. & Bruchac, J. (2005). Turtle’s race with Beaver. Illustrated by J. Aruego & A. Dewey. Puffin. (1-3)

 

When Beaver challenges Turtle to a swimming race for ownership of the pond, Turtle outsmarts Beaver, and Beaver learns to share. (card catalog)

 

Casler, L. (1994). The boy who dreamed of an acorn. Illustrated by S. Begay. New York: Philomel. (K-3))

 

A powerful story based on the Native American rite known as the spirit quest. One night, beneath the yellow moon, three boys climb the slopes of a great mountain. There, each boy hopes to dream a dream that will symbolize the path he will take through life. One boy dreams only of a tiny acorn, and wonders what power this common thing could possibly hold for him. (Borders.com)

 

Cohen, C. (1992). The mud pony. Illustrated by S. Begay. New York: Scholastic Trade. (K-3)

 

A poor boy becomes a powerful leader when Mother Earth turns his mud pony into a real one, but after the pony turns back to mud, he must find his own strength. (card catalog)

 

Cohlene, T. (1991). Clamshell boy: A Makah legend. Illustrated by C. Reasoner. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications L. L. C. (4-6)

 

Retells the legend of Clamshell Boy, who rescues a captured group of children from the dreaded wild woman Ishcus. Includes information on the customs and lifestyle of the Makah Indians. (card catalog)

 

Cohlene, T. (1991). Dancing drum: A Cherokee legend. Illustrated by C. Reasoner. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications L. L. C. (4-6)

 

Retells the Cherokee legend in which Dancing Drum tries to make Grandmother Sun smile on the People again. Also describes the history, culture, and fate of the Cherokee Indians. (card catalog)

 

Cohlene, T. (1991). Little Firefly: An Algonquian legend. Illustrated by C. Reasoner. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications L. L. C. (4-6)

 

A retelling of the Algonquian Indian legend of how a young girl, badly mistreated by her sisters, becomes the bride of the great hunter known as the Invisible One. Includes information on the history and customs of the Algonquian Indians. (card catalog)

 

Cohlene, T. (1991). Quillworker: A Cheyenne legend. Illustrated by C. Reasoner. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications L. L. C. (4-6)

 

A Cheyenne legend explaining the origins of the stars. (amazon.com)

 

Cohlene, T. (1991). Turquoise boy: A Navajo legend. Illustrated by C. Reasoner. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications L. L. C. (4-6)

 

A retelling of a Navajo Indian legend in which Turquoise Boy searches for something that will make the Navajo people’s lives easier. Includes a brief history of the Navajo people and their customs. (card catalog)

 

Dabcovich, L. (1999). The polar bear son: An Inuit tale. New York: Clarion Books. (K-3)

 

A lonely old woman adopts, cares for, and raises a polar bear as if he were her own son, until jealous villagers threaten the bear’s life, forcing him to leave his home and his “mother”, in a retelling of a traditional Inuit folktale. (amazon.com)

 

dePaolo, T. (1996). The legend of the bluebonnet. New York: Paper Star. (K-3)

 

This favorite legend, based on Comanche lore, tells the story of how the bluebonnet, the state flower of Texas, came to be. (amazon.com)

 

dePaolo, T.  (1996). The legend of the Indian paintbrush. New York: Scott Foresman. (K-3)

 

Little Gopher follows his destiny, as revealed in a dream-vision, of becoming an artist for his people and eventually is able to bring the colors of the sunset down to earth. (card catalog)

 

French, F. (1997). Lord of the animals: A Miwok Indian creation myth. Brookfield, CT: The Milbrook Press. (K-3))

 

In a beautifully illustrated retelling of a Native American creation myth, Coyote convenes a council of the animals to discuss his ideas for a superior being who will rule over all creation. (amazon.com)

 

Goble, P. (1998). Adopted by the eagles: A Plains Indian story of friendship and treachery.  New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (3-5)

 

Stunning full-color portraits of the wildlife and landscapes of the Great Plains complement a dramatic retelling of a Lakota tale of treachery and adventure. (amazon.com)

 

Goble, P. (1987). Buffalo woman. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

A young hunter marries a female buffalo in the form of a beautiful maiden, but when his people reject her he must pass several tests before being allowed to join the buffalo nation.

 

Goble, P. (1995). Crow Chief: A Plains Indian story. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

Crow Chief always warns the buffalo that hunters are coming, until Falling Star, a savior, comes to camp, tricks Crow Chief, and teaches him that all must share and live like relatives together. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1997). Dream Wolf. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

When two Plains Indian children become lost, they are cared for and guided safely home by a friendly wolf. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1992). Iktomi and the berries: A Plains Indian story. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

Relates Iktomi’s fruitless efforts to pick some buffalo berries. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1991). Iktomi and the boulder. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

Iktomi, a Plains Indian trickster, attempts to defeat a boulder with the assistance of some bats, in this story which explains why the Great Plains are covered with small stones. (amazon.com)

 

Goble, P. (1996). Iktomi and the buffalo skull: A Plains Indian story. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

Iktomi, the Plains Indian trickster, interrupts a powwow of the Mouse People and gets his head stuck in a buffalo skull. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1994). Iktomi and the ducks: A Plains Indian story. New York: Orchard Books. (K-3)

 

After outwitting some ducks, Iktomi, the Indian trickster, is outwitted by Coyote. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1993). Her seven brothers. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

Retells the Cheyenne legend in which a girl and her seven chosen brothers become the Big Dipper. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (1999). The gift of the sacred dog. New York: Bt. Bound. (3-5)

 

In response to an Indian boy's payer for help for his hungry people, the Great Spirit sends the gift of the Sacred Dogs, horses, which enable the tribe to hunt for buffalo.

 

Goble, P. (1999). The girl who loved wild horses. New York: Bt. Bound. (3-5)

 

Though she is fond of her people, a girl prefers to live among the wild horses where she is truly happy and free. (card catalog)

 

Goble, P. (2002). The legend of the white buffalo woman. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society. (4-6)

 

In this picture book for older readers, Goble uses his characteristic decorative paintings to help retell an important sacred legend of the Lakota people. He describes a great flood, which killed almost all life on the earth, and relates how the nation came to be born again from the union of a woman of the earth and an eagle of the sky. He then explains how the people came upon hard and frightening times and tells of the arrival of the powerful White Buffalo Woman, who gave the Lakota people the Sacred Calf Pipe, a gift of the Great Spirit. (Booklist)

 

Goble, P. (2003). Mystic horse. HarperCollins. (1-3)

 

Adapted from a Pawnee story recorded in 1889, this magical tale tells of a poor boy and his grandmother who rescue a sickly horse. When an unnamed tribe attacks, the horse tells the boy to cover him in mud and ride directly into the enemy: "But do not do it more than four times!” When the boy attacks a fifth time, an arrow kills the animal. While in mourning, the boy sees the dead horse rise and head to the place of the spirit animals. Later, the animal returns with enough horses for the boy, his grandmother, and others in need. The ink, watercolor, and gouache paintings make full use of color, texture, and form, both in the minutely detailed naturalistic flora and fauna and in the exquisite abstract patterning. A lovely rhythm makes the story good for reading aloud, and the pictures will definitely stand up to repeated examination. Goble, who has studied Plains cultures deeply, provides clear notes and references to his work. (Booklist)

 

Martin, R. (1997). The eagle’s gift. Illustrated by T. Kiuchi. New York: Putnam. (K-3)

 

After Marten’s two brothers disappear, Marten sets off to find them with the help of a magical eagle that guides him along the way while teaching him important lessons of life, in a traditional Innuit Alaskan tale. (amazon.com)

 

Martin, R. (1998). The rough-face girl. Illustrated by D. Shannon. New York: Paper Star. (K-3)

 

In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, the rough-face girl and her two beautiful but heartless sisters compete for the affections of the Invisible Being. (card catalog)

 

McDermott, G. (1977). Arrow to the sun: A Pueblo Indian tale. New York: Viking. (K-3)

 

A Pueblo Indian tale about the creation of the prodigy of the Lord of the Sun who proves himself the son of the Lord through a test of his endurance. (card catalog)

 

McDermott, G. (1999). Coyote: A trickster tale from the American Southwest. New York: Voyager Books. (2-5)

 

Coyote, who has a nose for trouble, insists that the crows teach him how to fly, but the experience ends in disaster for him. (card catalog)

 

McDermott, G. (2001). Raven: A trickster tale from the Pacific Northwest. New York: Harcourt Brace. (1-3)

 

Raven, a native American trickster, must figure out a way to steal the light from the house of the Sky Chief where it is hidden and bring it to the world. (amazon.com)

 

McDermott, G. (1996). Zomo the rabbit: A trickster tale from Africa. New York: Voyager Books. (K-3)

 

Zomo the rabbit, a West African trickster, is given three apparently impossible tasks to complete before the Sky God will give him the wisdom that Zomo seeks, in a colorful version of a traditional tale from West Africa. (amazon.com)

 

Oughton, J. (1996). How the stars fell into the sky: A Navajo legend. Illustrated by L. Desimini.  New York: Houghton Mifflin. (K-3)

 

A Navajo myth explaining the constellations in the sky. (card catalog)

 

Pollock, P. (1996). The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella story. Illustrated by E. Young. New York: Little Brown. (K-3)

 

A young girl who tends turkeys for a living dreams of going to the Dance of the Sacred Bird. But how can a poor girl with tattered clothing ever hope to attend such a festival? One day, to her amazement, one of the turkeys offers to help and makes a magical gown of feathers and jewels. But there’s a stipulation: the girl must return home before the first rays of the sunrise –

or the turkeys will abandon her forever. (amazon.com)

 

San Souci, R. D. (1997). Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella story. New York: Bantam Books. (K-4)

 

In a Native American version of the Cinderella story, two lazy sisters force Sootface, their younger sister, to do all the housework, but when a mighty warrior seeks a kind and honest wife, it is Sootface he chooses. (amazon.com)

 

Stevens, J. (1994). Coyote steals the blanket: A Ute tale. New York: Holiday House. (K-3)

 

Coyote receives his comeuppance when he tries to take something that does not belong to him. (amazon.com)

 

Taylor, C. J. (2006).  All the stars in the sky: Native stories from the heavens. Tundra.  (2-4)

 

Drawing from several North American tribal traditions, Taylor offers seven memorable stories that explain the "skyworld.”  From a story about Coyote creating the Big Dipper to a selection about Grandmother bringing light to the world, these easy-to-understand, thought-provoking tales range from funny to instructional to inspirational. Each tale is illustrated with a colorful full-page painting that adds visual appeal. Taylor, of Mohawk heritage, explains more about the tales in an afterword and expresses her hope that the selections will awaken children’s wonder in the night skies. No source notes are provided, although each tale is attributed to a specific tribe.  (Booklist)

 

Van Lann, N. (1993). Buffalo dance: A Blackfoot legend. Illustrated by B. Vidal. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. (4-6)

 

A graceful and attractive retelling of a Native-American myth explains the origin of the buffalo dance of the Blackfoot people and the contribution of one brave young woman to the welfare of her tribe. Illustrated with handsome colored-pencil illustrations, the tale of the relationship between hunter and prey is marked by a clear, poetic text and close attention to source material. (Horn Book, 1994)

 

Van Laan, N. (1999). Rainbow crow. Illustrated by B. Vidal. New York: Bt. Bound. (3-6)

 

When the weather changes and the ever-falling snow threatens to engulf all the animals, it is Crow who flies up to receive the gift of fire from the Great Sky Spirit. (amazon.com)

 

Young, E. (1993). Moon mother: A Native American creation tale. New York: Harper Collins. (3-5)

 

When the creator of the first men departs with his newfound spirit wife -- who becomes the moon -- they leave their baby daughter behind, and she grows up to be the first woman. Young’s technique of concealing one image within another is especially appropriate in his expressive illustrations for this moving adaptation of a tale from an unspecified tribe. (Horn Book, 1994)

 

BACK

 

 

Biography:

 

Adler, D. A. (2001). A picture book of Sacagawea. Illustrated by D. Brown. New York: Holiday House. (1-4)

 

This picture book tells the story of Sacagawea’s life, courage, and spirit as a captured Shoshone taken far from her people. Colorful illustrations complement the story of an important figure in our history. (Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2001, p. 4)

 

Adler, D. A. (1993). A picture book of Sitting Bull. Illustrated by S. Byrd. New York: Holiday House. (1-4)

 

A brief biography of the Sioux chief who worked to maintain the rights of Native Americans and who led the defeat of General Custer at the Little Big Horn in 1876. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac, J. (1998). A boy called Slow: The true story of Sitting Bull. Illustrated by R. Baviera. New York: Scott Foresman. (1-4)

 

Longing for a more powerful name than Slow which he is called because he is slow in everything, a young Sioux proves his courage during a battle with enemy Crow and is given a new name, Sitting Bull, in honor of his bravery. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (2000). Crazy Horse’s vision. Illustrated by S. D. Nelson. New York: Lee and Low. (1-4)

 

Joseph Bruchac tells the compelling story of how a young boy named Curly seeks a vision in the hope of saving his people - and grows into the brave and fierce warrior Crazy Horse. Sioux artist S. D. Nelson’s paintings, in the traditional ledger style of the Plains Indians, evokes the drama and the tragedy of this important American figure. (card catalog)

 

Bulla, C. R. (1990). Squanto: Friend of the pilgrims. Illustrated by R. Williams. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks. (4-6)

 

Tells of the adventurous life of the Wampanoag Indian, Squanto. (amazon.com)

 

Cwiklik, R. & Baird, W. D. (1993). Tecumseh: Shawnee rebel. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House. (4-6)

 

Documents the struggle of the great Shawnee chief in his attempts to unite all Indians in a battle against the usurping white settlers and his partial success in creating a large Indian confederacy by the time of his death in 1813. (amazon.com)

 

Eisenberg, L. (1991). The story of Sitting Bull: Great Sioux chief. Illustrated by D. Rickman. New York: Yearling. (4-6)

 

From a very young age, Sitting Bull demonstrated bravery and determination, qualities that would make him an exceptional leader of the Sioux Nation. He fought long and hard to keep his people off the reservations, and his victory over Custer at Little Big Horn will never be forgotten. His remarkable story is brought to life for young readers in this lively biography. (amazon.com)

 

Ferris, J. (1991). Native American doctor: The story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. (4-6)

 

A biography of the young Omaha Indian woman who became the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school. (card catalog)

 

Freedman, R. (1992). Indian chiefs. New York: Holiday House. (4-6)

 

Biographies of six Western Indian chiefs who led their people in a historic moment of crisis, when a decision had to be made about fighting or cooperating with the white pioneers encroaching on their grounds. (card catalog)

 

Greene, C. (1989). Pocahontas: daughter of a chief. Danbury, CT: Children's Press. (3-5)

 

A brief biography of the American Indian princess who as a young girl befriended John Smith, saving him from death at the hands of her father, and later was very helpful to the colonists at Jamestown. (card catalog)

 

Laribee, E. (1998). I am Native American (Our American Family Series). New York: Powerkids Press. (1-4)

 

No synopsis available.

 

Penner, R. (1994). The true story of Pocahontas. Illustrated by P. Johnson. New York: Random House. (K-3)

 

An easy-to-read biography of Pocahontas follows the life of the Powhatan Indian girl who played a key role in the early history of America. (amazon.com)

 

Rinaldi, A. (1999). My heart is on the ground: The diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux girl. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks. (4-6)

 

Acclaimed historical novelist Ann Rinaldi makes her "Dear America" debut with the diary of a Sioux girl who is sent to a government-run boarding school to learn the white man’s customs and language. (amazon.com)

 

Rowland, D. (1989). The story of Sacajawea, guide to Lewis and Clark. New York: Yearling Books. (4-6)

 

This book draws an accurate portrait of the woman who helped forge the trail across the West. Sold as a slave to a fur trader, Sacajawea later became his wife and met Lewis and Clark. (amazon.com)

 

Rumford, J. (2004). Sequoyah: The Cherokee man who gave his people writing. Houghton. (1-4)

 

This fascinating biography, presented in a tall, slim format, introduces Sequoyah, who decided in the early 1800s to give the Cherokee language a written form. Creating 84 symbols for sounds, he began to teach the language to others in the Cherokee nation. This technique spread, enabling the publication of books and newspapers, and it survives today. Below the paragraphs of English text, appearing usually on the book’s right-hand pages, is a translation into the Cherokee language. Like the giant sequoia trees that appear in the framework story, the illustrations on the facing pages are vertical and stately. Created in ink, watercolor, pastel, and pencil, the unusual artwork has a primitive quality that reflects the strength and deceptive simplicity of the text. Back matter includes a chart showing the Cherokee syllabary, a discussion of Sequoyah and his accomplishment, and a time line of his life. (Booklist)

 

 

Sanford, W. R. & Green, C. R. (1997). Sacagawea: Native American hero. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow. (4-6)

 

Profiles the life of the young Shoshoni woman Sacagawea, who served as an interpreter and guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition at the beginning of the nineteenth century. (Borders.com)

 

Schwartz, M. & Baird, W. D.  (1992). Geronimo: Apache warrior. New York: Chelsea House. (4-6)

 

Examines the life and career of the Apache warrior chief. (card catalog)

 

Stevenson, A. (1996). Sitting Bull: Dakota boy. Illustrated by R. Jenney. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (4-6)

 

Sitting Bull was admired by friends and enemies alike for his courage, strength, intelligence, and humanity. A great Sioux chief, he fought to preserve his people’s homeland and way of life from the encroachment of the white man. (amazon.com)

 

Tallchief, M. & Wells, R. (1999). Tallchief: America’s prima ballerina. Illustrated by G. Kelley. New York: Viking Press. (3-5)

 

From her early years on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma to her dance training in Los Angeles to her departure for New York and a professional career, the fascinating story of Maria Tallchief, America’s prima ballerina, is sure to captivate the hearts of young readers and dance lovers alike. (amazon.com)

 

Turner, A. W. (1999). The girl who chased away sorrow: The diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo girl, New Mexico, 1864. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6)

 

In her first book for the Dear America series, acclaimed historical fiction writer Ann Turner brings readers the deeply affecting story of a Navajo girl on the long walk. (amazon.com)

 

 

BACK

 

 

HISTORICAL FICTION:

 

Ackerman, N. (2002). Spirit Horse. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks. (4-6)

 

Running Crane’s mother has married a member of the Kainaa band, and he still feels like an outsider. When he is unexpectedly chosen to participate in a horse raid on the Snake People he sees it as an opportunity to prove himself. The unrelenting bullying and hostility from Weasel Rider, another boy chosen for the raid, makes everything more difficult. But when the raid goes wrong, Running Crane finds himself lost on the prairie and driven by dreams to find and tame the legendary Spirit Horse. (Kirkus Reviews, 1998)

 

Bierhorst, J. (2001). Is my friend at home? Pueblo fireside tales. Illustrated by W. Watson. New York: Farrar Strauss & Giroux. (K-3)

 

Bierhorst and Watson, who teamed up for Doctor Coyote (1987), are back together for this retelling of seven trickster tales. The setting is a Hopi desert cliff dwelling on a winter evening, when “the Sun climbs the long ladder down to the underworld” and people sit around campfires and tell stories. In the stories the animals both help and trick one another, revealing some surprises--for example, why the gullible Coyote has short ears and how Snake lost her only friend. Watson’s paintings, which set cartoonlike creatures against a glowing desert landscape rendered in the golds and purples of evening light, strike exactly the right note for the tales. (Booklist)

 

Bruchac, J. (2002). The arrow over the door. New York: Puffin. (4-6)

 

In the year 1777, a group of Quakers and a party of Indians have a memorable meeting. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1998). Children of the longhouse. New York: Puffin. (4-6)

 

Tekwaarathon (known now as lacrosse) is used to settle a dispute between two boys in this novel set in a fifteenth-century Mohawk village. Eleven-year-old Ohkwa'ri gains the grudging respect of his archrival, an older boy, and comes to realize that, as his sister has told him, sometimes things do happen that you did not expect. Bruchac provides an interesting afterword on the people of the longhouse. (Horn Book, 1996)

 

Bruhac, J. (2006). Hidden roots. Scholastic. (5-9)

 

Eleven-year-old Sonny and his mother can’t predict his father’s sudden abusive rages. Jake’s anger only gets worse after long days at the paper mill -- and when Uncle Louis appears. Louis seems to show up when Sonny and his mother need help most, but there is something about his quiet wisdom that only fuels Jake’s rage. Through an unexpected friendship with a new school librarian, Sonny gains the strength to stand up to his father, and to finally confront his mother and uncle about a secret family heritage that may be the key to his father’s self-hatred. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (2000). Squanto’s journey: The story of the first Thanksgiving. Illustrated by G. Shed. Austin, TX: Raintree/Steck-Vaughn. (2-4)

 

This first-person text recounts the story of the first Thanksgiving from a Native American viewpoint. Squanto’s tale is told with respect and dignity, without glossing over the more difficult aspects of his life or the relationship between the native inhabitants and the colonists. The gouache paintings display a proud Native American past. (Horn Book, 2001)

 

Carbone, E. (2006). Blood on the river: James Town, 1607. Viking Juvenile. (5-8)

 

Following Stealing Freedom (1998) and Storm Warriors (2001), both set in the nineteenth century, Carbone dips further back in U.S. history to the founding of James Town. Young orphan Samuel Collier narrates from his viewpoint as Captain John Smith’s page, and the gripping historical fiction reflects Carbone’s heavy reliance on primary source material, which she cites in an appendix. The dense particulars of daily life may tire readers who demand high-action plots. Others, though, will be easily caught up in the meticulously drawn scenes, from the fetid ship’s hold to the snowy forests where Samuel learns to hunt with Powhatan friends. The cover, showing two crouched Powhatan Indians surveying the settlement, is a puzzling choice, particularly since the British characters are the focus. Still, like Joseph Bruchac’s Pocahontas (2003), the text offers a view of Indian life that is far from the Disney stereotypes. An author’s note offers more historical contest. A strong, visceral story of the hardship and peril settlers faced, as well as the brutal realities of colonial conquest. (Booklist)

 

Carvell, M. (2005)  Sweetgrass basket.  Dutton.  (5-6)

 

In prose poetry and alternating voices, Marlene Carvell weaves a heartbreakingly beautiful story based on the real-life experiences of Native American children. Mattie and Sarah are two Mohawk sisters who are sent to an off-reservation school after the death of their mother. Subject to intimidation and corporal punishment, with little hope of contact with their father, the girls are taught menial tasks to prepare them for life as domestics. How Mattie and Sarah protect their culture, memories of their family life, and their love for each other makes for a powerful, unforgettable historical novel. (amazon.com)

 

Cherry, L. (2002). A river ran wild: An environmental history. New York: Voyager Books. (2-5)

 

An environmental history of the Nashua River, from its discovery by Indians through the polluting years of the Industrial Revolution to the ambitious clean-up that revitalized it. (card catalog)

 

Cornelissen, C. (1999). Soft rain: A story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears. New York: Laureleaf. (4-6)

 

Set in 1838, a tale captures the struggles of a young Native American girl who is separated from her family and forced to march the Trail of Tears alongside other Cherokee people in a mandated relocation process by the U.S. government. (amazon.com)

 

Erdrich, L. (2002). The birchbark house. New York: Hyperion Press. (4-6)

 

In the first of a cycle of novels partly based on her own family history, Erdrich offers a compelling and original saga, told from the point of view of a young Ojibwa girl on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. (amazon.com)

 

Erdrich, L. (2006). The game of silence. New York: HarperCollins.  (4-6)

 

Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior. It is 1850, and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows. The satisfying routines of Omakayas’s days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desperate and mysterious people. From them, she learns that all their lives may drastically change. The chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island in Lake Superior and move farther west. Omakayas realizes that something so valuable, so important that she never knew she had it in the first place, is in danger. Her home. Her way of life.

In this captivating sequel to National Book Award nominee The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich continues the story of Omakayas and her family. (amazon.com)

 

Hudson, J. (2000). Dawn rider. New York: Penguin Putnam Books. (4-6)

 

Kit Fox knows she can learn to ride the horse her tribe has captured from their enemies. But the elders object, so the girl learns in secret. Then the tribe is attacked, and it’s up to Kit to save her people. (Borders.com)

 

Hunter, Sara H. (1996). The unbreakable code. Illustrated by J. Miner. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing. (K-3)

 

John’s mother is getting married and he has to leave the reservation. John’s grandfather tells him he has the special unbreakable code to take with him. This story portrays the quiet pride of a Navajo code talker as he explains to his grandson how the Navajo language, faith and ingenuity helped win World War II. (amazon.com)

 

Kulinski, K. (1995). Night Bird: A story of the Seminole Indians. Illustrated by J. Watling. New York: Puffin. (4-6)

 

In 1840 Night Bird, whose clan of Seminole Indians is fighting to preserve its traditional way of life in Florida, must decide whether to seek land and an unknown future in distant Oklahoma. (card catalog)

 

McGraw, E. J. (1986). Moccasin Trail. New York: Penguin Putnam Books. (4-6)

 

A pioneer boy, brought up by Crow Indians, is reunited with his family and attempts to orient himself in the white man’s culture. (card catalog)

 

O’Dell, S. (1987). Island of the Blue Dolphins. Illustrated by T. Lewin. New York: Random House. (4-6)

 

Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life. (card catalog)

 

O’Dell, S. (1992). Sing down the moon. New York: Yearling Books. (4-6)

 

The Spanish slavers were an ever present threat to the Navajo way of life. This historical novel is about a young Navajo girl who is kidnapped and enslaved by Spaniards and then rescued by her husband-to-be. (amazon.com)

 

O’Dell, S. (1996). Zia. New York: Laurelleaf. (4-6)

 

A young Indian girl, Zia, caught between the traditional world of her mother and the present world of the Mission, is helped by her aunt Karana whose story was told in the Island of the Blue Dolphins. (amazon.com)

 

Porter, P. (2004). Sky. Illustrated by M. J. Gerber. Groundwood. (3-5)

 

Eleven-year-old Georgia lives with her grandparents, Paw Paw and Gramma, on the edge of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Spring comes, and it rains and rains until one afternoon the creek behind their house suddenly becomes a wall of water, washing away everything the family owns — their house, their barn, and even Daisy, the only stuffed animal Georgia has ever had. Through sheer determination, Georgia and her grandparents gradually rebuild their lives, but it’s not until Georgia finds Sky — a foal that somehow survived the flood — that the family begins to heal and find meaning again despite their losses. Based on the true story of Georgia Salois and written in the haunting voice of a young child, Sky vividly describes the historic flood of 1964 and its effect on Georgia and her people. Their courage in overcoming disaster, poverty, and discrimination provides young readers with a compelling portrayal of endurance. (amazon.com)

 

Roop, P. (1994). Ahyoka and the talking leaves. New York: Beech Tree Books. (4-6)

 

Ahyoka helps her father Sequoyah in his quest to create a system of writing for his people. (card catalog)

 

Santiago, C. (2002). Home to Medicine Mountain. Illustrated by J. Lowry. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press. (3-6)

 

Two young Maidu Indian brothers sent to live at a government-run Indian residential school in California in the 1930s find a way to escape and return home for the summer. (amazon.com)

 

Stroud, V. A. (1994). Doesn’t fall off his horse. New York: Dial Books for young Readers. (1-4)

 

Saygee’s great-grandfather tells her the story of how he got his name, Doesn't Fall Off His Horse. (card catalog)

 

Tingle, T. (2008).  Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw tale of friendship and freedom.  Illustrated by J. R. Bridges. Cinco Puntos Press. (2-4)

 

Dramatic, quiet, and warming, this is a story of friendship across cultures in 1800s Mississippi. While searching for blackberries, Martha Tom, a young Choctaw, breaks her village’s rules against crossing the Bok Chitto. She meets and becomes friends with the slaves on the plantation on the other side of the river, and later helps a family escape across it to freedom when they hear that the mother is to be sold. Tingle is a performing storyteller, and his text has the rhythm and grace of that oral tradition. It will be easily and effectively read aloud. The paintings are dark and solemn, and the artist has done a wonderful job of depicting all of the characters as individuals, with many of them looking out of the page right at readers. The layout is well designed for groups as the images are large and easily seen from a distance. There is a note on modern Choctaw culture, and one on the development of this particular work. This is a lovely story, beautifully illustrated, though the ending requires a somewhat large leap of the imagination.  (School Library Journal)

 

Waters, K. (1996). Tapenum’s day: A Wampanoag Indian boy in Pilgrim times. Photographs by R. Kendall. New York: Scholastic Trade. (4-6)

 

Chosen to become a special warrior prince in 1627, Tapenum prepares himself for the great honor by hunting, fishing, and sharing a day with friends and family, in a story that is complemented by photographs of Plymouth Plantation. (amazon.com)

 

Whelan, G. (1987). Next spring an oriole. Illustrated by P. Johnson. New York: Random House. (4-6)

 

In 1837 ten-year-old Libby and her parents journey by covered wagon to the Michigan frontier, where they make themselves a new home near friendly Indians and other pioneers. (card catalog)

 

Whelan, G. (1996). Night of the full moon. Illustrated by L. Bowman. New York: Random House. (3-6)

 

In 1840, Libby, living with her family on the Michigan frontier, finds herself inadvertently caught up in the forced evacuation of a group of Potawatomi Indians from their tribal lands. (card catalog)

 

Whelan, G. (1997). Shadow of the wolf. Illustrated by T. Meers. New York: Random House. (4-6)

 

Libby Mitchell is reunited with her friend Fawn after her family relocates to an area next to Fawn’s Indian camp, and when greedy men try to cheat the Indians out of their land, Libby helps Fawn devise a plan to prevent this from happening. (amazon.com)

 

Whelan, G. (1997). The Indian School. Illustrated by G. Dellosso. New York: HarperTrophy. (4-6)

 

When shy, ten-year-old Lucy comes to live with her aunt and uncle at their mission school, she’s surprised at the number of harsh rules and restrictions imposed on the children. Why, she wonders, should the Indians have to do all the changing? And why is her aunt so strict with them? Then a girl called Raven runs away in protest, and Lucy knows she must overcome her timidity and stand up to her aunt—no matter what the consequences. Once again Gloria Whelan has taken a chapter from our past and transformed it into gripping, accessible, historically accurate fiction. (amazon.com)

 

Wyss, T. H. (2005).  Bear Dancer: The story of a Ute girl.  McElderry. (4-6)

 

Elk Girl, sister of a Ute chief, lives a traditional life with her tribe high in the Rocky Mountains in 1860. Elk Girl is bold: She loves to hunt deer with her brother, and she races her pony to win. She also knows the importance of ceremonies like the Bear Dance, which wakes the bears from hibernation and celebrates spring. But all of that changes when Cheyenne warriors capture Elk Girl. They take her to the Great Plains and make her a slave. On the Plains, Elk Girl encounters white men for the first time, and she sees how the Cheyenne have come to depend on their handouts. She also sees the truth of what her brother has told her: The white men are the real enemy. Their soldiers are everywhere. Even if Elk Girl could escape, how would she get home? Thelma Hatch Wyss has crafted a moving story based on the life of a real girl. It is both a gripping personal adventure and a compelling look at two cultures confronting each other at a pivotal time of change. (amazon.com)

 

Yolen. J. (1996). Encounter. Illustrated by D. Shannon. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace. (4-6)

 

An old Salvadoran man recounts the story of his first encounter with the white men who landed on the island in 1492 as a warning to people everywhere of the threat of invasion and conquest that destroyed his people and culture. (amazon.com)

 

BACK

 

 

 

POETRY:

 

Baylor, B. (1993). Desert voices. Illustrated by P. Parnall. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

Desert inhabitants describe the beauty of their home. (card catalog)

 

Baylor, B. (1986). Hawk, I’m your brother. Illustrated by P. Parnall. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

Determined to learn to fly, Rudy adopts a hawk hoping that their kinship will bring him closer to his goal. (card catalog)

 

Baylor, B. (1992). One small blue bead. Illustrated by R. Himler. New York: Atheneum. (K-3)

 

A small boy, the member of a hunter-gatherer tribe living long ago, begins to suspect that the earth is inhabited by others like him, and one day he finds his suspicions confirmed when he meets a little boy from another group. (amazon.com)

 

Baylor, B. (1987). The desert is theirs. Illustrated by P. Parnall. New York: Scott Foresman. (1-4)

 

Simple text and illustrations describe the characteristics of the desert and its plant, animal, and human life. (card catalog)

 

Baylor, B. (1987). When clay sings. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. (K-3)

 

The daily life and customs of prehistoric southwest Indian tribes are retraced from the designs on the remains of their pottery. (card catalog)

 

Bierhorst, J. (1994). On the road of stars: Native American night poems and sleep charms. Illustrated by J. Pedersen. New York: Simon & Schuster. (4-6)

 

A collection of Native American night poems, sleep charms, and other special night songs intended to soothe, heal, bring dreams, or make sleep irresistible. (card catalog)

 

Bruchac, J. (1998). The earth under Sky Bear’s feet: Native American poems of the land. Illustrated by T. Locker. New York: Paper Star. (4-6)

 

In the companion to Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back, Sky Bear, the great storytelling bear made of stars, tells of nature’s nighttime wonders and Native American legends from his post in the sky. (amazon.com)

 

Bruchac, J. (1997). Thirteen moons on turtle’s back: A Native American year of moons. Illustrated by T. Locker. New York: Paper Star. (2-4).

 

Celebrates the seasons of the year through poems from the legends of such Native American tribes as the Cherokee, Cree, and Sioux. (card catalog)

 

De Coteau Orie, S. (1996). Did you hear wind sing your name?: An Oneida song of spring. Illustrated by C. Canyon. New York: Walker and Company. (K-3)

 

Pictures and words pay homage to the Oneida Indians' view of the cycle of spring. (amazon.com)

 

Grossman, V. (1995). Ten little rabbits. Illustrated by S. Long. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. (K-1)

 

This well-designed counting book features rabbits who celebrate the traditions of native Americans. Though the simple rhyming text refers to neither native Americans nor rabbits, an afterword shows clearly that each double-page spread depicts the clothing and practices of a different tribe. (Horn Book, 1991)

 

Lee, F., editor. (1999). When the rain sings: Poems by young Native Americans. New York: Simon & Schuster. (4-6)

 

A collection of poems written by Native Americans ranging in age from seven to seventeen gives passionate voice to their experiences both past and present. Representing eight tribes, the poems were primarily written in response to pictures of indigenous artifacts and archival photos from the National Museum of the American Indian. A spare but handsome design underscores the power of the words and pictures. (Horn Book, 1999)

 

Longfellow, H. W. (1996). Hiawatha. Illustrated by S. Jeffers. New York: Puffin. (K-3)

 

An abridgement of the epic poem describing the life and deeds of a legendary Native American brave. (card catalog)

 

Philip, N. (1996). Earth always endures: Native American poems. Photographs by E. S. Curtis. New York: Viking Books. (4-6)

 

More than forty duotone photographs by the legendary photographer and a collection of sixty poems come together to form an insightful portrait of the world of Native Americans, their beliefs, lifestyles, traditions, and views on many various topics. (amazon.com)

 

Swann, B. (1998). Touching the distance: Native American riddle poems. Illustrated by M. Rendom. New York: Harcourt Brace. (3-6)

 

Children who like guessing games may enjoy this picture-book collection of 14 succinct riddle-poems. Each selection is accompanied by a picture of an unusual collage construction, which hints at the answer to the riddle. Some of the answers are fairly easy to guess, but many are challenging. (Booklist)

 

BACK

 

 

Fantasy

 

Erdrich, L. (1999). Grandmother’s pigeon. Illustrated by J. Lamarche. New York: Hyperion Press. (1-4)

 

A year after Grandmother hitches a ride on the back of a porpoise, her family finds a nest of three eggs in her bedroom. The eggs hatch, and the family soon discovers that the squabs belong to an extinct species of passenger pigeons. Rich, expressive illustrations rendered in acrylic and colored pencil perfectly complement the poignant work of magic realism. (Horn Book, 1996)

 

Momaday, N. S. (1999). Circle of wonder:A Native American Christmas Story. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. (4-6)

 

A mute Indian child has an extraordinary experience one Christmas when, following a figure who seems to be his beloved grandfather who has died, he becomes part of a circle in which he, animals, nature, and all the world join in a moment of peace and good will. (card catalog)