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Native American Studies Research Guide: Children's Books

Selected Titles.

The full #NativeReads list compiled by Dr. Debbie Reese including the "Ten Ways You Can Make a Difference" is available as a free PDF download at this link.  Note: a few other books in the MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection  have been added to this compilation.

 

Wild Berries  by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis) for Head Start and Preschool

Wild Berries is a delightful story about Clarence and his grandma, picking blueberries in the woods. Written and illustrated by Cree-Métis artist Julie Flett, it embodies the significance of relationships between elders and children, and the teachings that are passed from one generation to the next. Every page in the bilingual text includes words such as grandma, bears and spider in Cree as well as in English. Publisher: Simply Read Books.

Find the Discussion Guide Here.

Learn More About the Author:  http://www.julieflett.com/books

Location :  MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture Book Collection PZ73.F6358 Wil 2013

 

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker  by Robbie Robertson (Mohawk/Cayuga) for Early Elementary Grades K-3

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker : Hiawatha, a Mohawk, is plotting revenge for the murder of his wife and daughters by the evil Onondaga Chief, Tadodaho, when he meets the Great Peacemaker, who enlists his help in bringing the nations together to share his vision of a new way of life marked by peace, love, and unity rather than war, hate, and fear. Includes historical notes..

Learn More About the Author: Robbie Robertson is the lead guitarist and primary songwriter of th legendary musical group The Band, as well as an esteemed solo artist. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. As a child of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, he learned the story of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker with his family on the Six Nations of the Grand River Indian Reservation.

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture MSU JUV Book Collection PZ7.1 .R635 Hi 2015  

 

How I Became a Ghost : a Choctaw Trail of Tears Story  by Tim Tingle  (Oklahoma Choctaw) - for Early Elementary Grades K-3

How I Became a Ghost : a Choctaw Trail of Tears Story A Choctaw boy tells the story of his tribe's removal from the only land its 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.

About the author : Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw and an award-winning author and storyteller. His great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and his paternal grandmother attended a series of rigorous Indian boarding schools in the early 1900's. Responding to a scarcity of Choctaw lore, Tingle began collecting tribal stories in the early 90's.

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture Book Collection PZ7.T489 Ho 2013

 

 

 

Crossing Bok Chitto : a Choctaw tale of friendship & freedom  by Tim Tingle (Oklahoma Choctaw) - for  Grades 2-4

Crossing Bok Chitto : a Choctaw tale of friendship & freedom In the 1800s.  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.

About the author : Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw and an award-winning author and storyteller. His great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and his paternal grandmother attended a series of rigorous Indian boarding schools in the early 1900's. Responding to a scarcity of Choctaw lore, Tingle began collecting tribal stories in the early 90's.

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture Book Collection PZ7.T489 Cro 2006

 

 

 

Jingle Dancer  by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee (Creek) - for Early Elementary Grades K-3

Jingle Dancer is, at once, celebratory and meditative. Jenna, a Muscogee (Creek) girl living in a suburban neighborhood, is going to do the Jingle Dance for the first time. Native women in her family and community help her, gifting her with story and items she needs for the regalia she’ll wear when she dances. The story, set in the present day, dispels the idea that Native people no longer exist. It also demonstrates that Native ways of being are part of the lives of Native children, families, and their nations, today. Illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu and Cornelius Van Wright. Publisher: Harper Collins.

Find the Discussion Guide Here.

Learn More About the Author: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2013/03/event-report-feral-nights-eternal.html

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture Book Collection PZ7.S64464 Ji 2000

 

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse  by Joseph Marshall III (Sicangu Lakota) - for Middle Grades 4-7

In Joseph Marshall’s In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, Jimmy, a Lakota boy, is being teased by other kids because he’s got blue eyes and brown hair. On a road trip with his grandpa, Jimmy learns that his great-great grandfather, Crazy Horse, also had brown hair. Along the way his grandfather gives him a Native point of view on the sites they visit, thereby teaching him an important lesson about biased presentations of history and the realities of war and conflict. Illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk. Publisher: Abrams Books.

Find the Discussion Guide Here.

Learn More About the Author: http://www.josephmarshall.com/

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection PZ7.1 .M3728 In 2015

 

 

If I Ever Get Out of Here  by Eric Gansworth (Onondaga) - for High School Grades 8-12

If I Ever Get Out of Here is told from the point of view of Lewis Blake, a Tuscarora tribal member who knows about his tribes’ nationhood and all that Native nationhood entails. His knowledge is the norm, for him and others in his family and community. That knowledge is unknown by others in the story, like George – a white boy Lewis meets when he starts a new year at a non-reservation school. Through Lewis and his family, George and his family (and readers of If I Ever Get Out of Here) acquire a great deal of information about Native peoples. Gansworth also illustrated the book, with the jacket art and design by Christopher Stengel. Publisher: Scholastic.

Find the Discussion Guide Here.

Learn More About the Author: http://www.ericgansworth.com/

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection PZ7.G1532 If 2013  

 

 

 

Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner  by Tim Tingle (Oklahoma Choctaw) - for High School Grades 6-10

Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner Danny Blackgoat is a teenager in Navajo country when soldiers burn down his home, kill his sheep and capture his family. During the Long Walk of 1864, Danny is labeled a troublemaker and given the name Fire Eye. Refusing to accept captivity, he is sent to Fort Davis, Texas, a Civil War prisoner outpost. There he battles bullying fellow prisoners, rattlesnakes and abusive soldiers until he meets Jim Davis. Jim teaches Danny how to hold his anger and starts him on the road to literacy. In a stunning climax, Jim—who builds coffins for the dead—aids Danny in a daring and dangerous escape. Set in troubled times, Danny Blackgoat is the story of one boy's hunger to be free and be Navajo.

About the author : Choctaw author Tim Tingle is a four-time winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award. Tim turns historical events into adventure novels featuring young Indian heroes struggling to survive. He has traveled to Navajo country every year since 1993, and the Danny Blackgoat series emerged from his travels through the mountains and canyons of New Mexico and Arizona. For more information, visit www.timtingle.com

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection (Juvenile Book Collection) PZ7.T489 Dan 2013  

 

 

Danny Blackgoat, Rugged Road to Freedom  by Tim Tingle (Oklahoma Choctaw) - for High School Grades 6-10

Danny Blackgoat, Rugged Road to Freedom Danny Blackgoat, a Navajo teenager, was taken to a Civil War prison camp during the Long Walk of 1864. He escaped in volume one, Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner, but in this second installment, he must still face many obstacles in order to rescue his family and find freedom. Whether it s the soldiers and bandits who are chasing him or the dangers of the harsh desert climate, Danny ricochets from one bad situation to the next, but his bravery doesn t falter and he never loses faith.

About the author: Choctaw author Tim Tingle is a four-time winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award. Tim turns historical events into adventure novels featuring young Indian heroes struggling to survive. He has traveled to Navajo country every year since 1993, and the Danny Blackgoat series emerged from his travels through the mountains and canyons of New Mexico and Arizona. For more information, visit www.timtingle.com.

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection (Juvenile Book Collection)  PZ7.T489 Dan 2014  

 

 

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team  by Steve Sheinkin for Ages 10 and up

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story―and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin, it’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat. Jim Thorpe: Super athlete, Olympic gold medalist, Native American and Pop Warner: Indomitable coach, football mastermind, Ivy League grad. Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.

About the author: Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of fast-paced, cinematic nonfiction histories for young readers. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, was a National Book Award finalist and received the 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, won both the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the YALSA award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War was a National Book Award finalist and a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist. Sheinkin lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection (Juvenile Book Collection)  on order  

 

 FALL IN LINE, HOLDEN by Daniel W.  VandeverFall in Line, Holden! by Daniel W. Vandever ; illustrated by Daniel W. Vandever. Recommended for ages 4-8.
In a modern-day school within the Navajo Nation, the children are expected to conform, but young protagonist Holden’s imagination cannot be reined in. As he and his classmates walk single file to recess through the school corridors, Holden stops to imagine that the pictures on the wall have come to life. Unattributed dialogue in large, bold letters—readers will assume it’s spoken by an unseen teacher—orders him to stay with the group by calling out the book’s refrain: “Fall in line, Holden!” Holden continues to lag as they walk: past the gymnasium, where students playing ball are dressed as Roman centurions; past the cafeteria, where the lunch ladies don witches’ hats and ride brooms; past the computer lab, where astronauts float in space; past the music room, where the notes morph into birds. However, when they reach their destination, Holden discovers a pleasant surprise. Debut author/illustrator Vandever grew up on Navajo land, listening to elders speak of the lasting trauma of boarding schools, as he discloses in concluding notes. His illustrations’ limited palette is effective in showing how the students toe the line. The figures are rendered as negative space with just black hair and eyes and minimal clothing details—a striking effect. Occasionally the text’s rhyme and meter seem forced, but the overall message that creativity and imagination will occur even within strict boundaries will resonate with many readers. Kirkus Review.
Author interview
Location : MSU Libraries Children's and Young Adult Collection Picture Book Collection PZ8.3.V3343 Fal 2017

 

Children’s Books, Native American Authors, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature, Daniel Vandever, Navajo Nation, Navajo Technical University, Boarding Schools, Native American History, Indian Stereotypes, Native American Stereotypes, Native American Identity, Native American Students, Native American Education, Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein

Courtesy Cooperative Children’s Book Center

This graphic shows how little representation minorities, especially Native Americans get in children’s books.

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