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Book Lists

Indigenous Peoples of North America Juvenile Fiction

Fictional books for kids in 3rd to 8th grade written by Indigenous People of North America or that feature characters that are Indigenous People of North America.

Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
J PIC+ BRU
"The story of the first efforts to save the vanishing bison (buffalo) herds from extinction in the United States in the 1870s and 1880s. Based on the true story of Samuel Walking Coyote, a Salish (Kalispel) Indian who rescued and raised orphaned buffalo calves"--Provided by publisher.

Tingle, Tim.
J PIC+ TIN
In the 1800s, a Choctaw girl becomes friends with a slave boy from a plantation across the great river, and when she learns that his family is in trouble, she helps them cross to freedom.

Marshall, Joseph, 1945-
J FICTION MAR
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.

Tingle, Tim, author.
J FICTION TIN
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.

Gansworth, Eric L.
J FICTION GAN
Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites--and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Robertson, Robbie, author.
J PIC+ ROB
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.

Erdrich, Louise, author, illustrator.
J FICTION ERD
Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. For as long as Omakayas can remember, she and her family have lived on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. Although the chimookoman, white people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has. Every summer the family builds a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long, cold winters at maple-sugaring camp. In between, Omakayas fights with her annoying little brother, Pinch, plays with the adorable baby, Neewo, and tries to be grown-up like her beautiful older sister, Angeline. But the satisfying rhythms of their lives are shattered when a visitor comes to their lodge one winter night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever. Set on an island in Lake Superior in 1847, and filled with fascinating details of traditional Ojibwa life, The Birchbark House is a breathtaking novel by one of America's most gifted and original writers.

Erdrich, Louise, author.
J FICTION ERD
Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.

Campbell, Nicola I.
J PIC+ CAM
Shi-shi-etko, a Native American girl, spends the last four days before she goes to residential school learning valuable lessons from her mother, father, and grandmother, and creating precious memories of home.

Callaghan, Jodie, 1984- author.
J PIC+ CAL
"The dual-language edition, in English and Mi'gmaq, of the Silver Birch Express-nominated title, The Train. Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. Ashley sees his sadness, and Uncle tells her of the day years ago when he and the other children from their community were told to board the train before being taken to residential school where their lives were changed forever. They weren't allowed to speak Mi'gmaq and were punished if they did. There was no one to give them love and hugs and comfort. Uncle also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle by the train tracks, in remembrance of what was lost."-- Provided by publisher.

Dupuis, Jenny Kay, author.
J PIC+ DUP
"A picture book based on a true story about a young First Nations girl who was sent to a residential school. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite the efforts of the nuns to force her to do otherwise. Based on the life of Jenny Kay Dupuis' own grandmother, I Am Not a Number brings a terrible part of Canada's history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to"-- Provide by publisher.

Day, Christine, 1993- author.
J FICTION 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"-- Provided by publisher.

McManis, Charlene Willing, 1953-2018, author.
J FICTION MCM
In 1957, ten-year-old Regina Petit's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and forced to leave Oregon, but in Los Angeles her family faces prejudice and she struggles to understand her identity as an Indian far from tribal lands. Includes historical photographs and notes.

Luby, Brittany, author.
J PIC+ LUB
Awakened gently by Sun, Sailor sets off to explore new lands where he meets Fisher, and although they speak and dress differently, they find they have much in common. Includes author's note about the first encounter between a European explorer and a Native North American.

Tingle, Tim, author.
J FICTION TIN
"Martha Tom knows better than to cross the Bok Chitto River to pick blackberries. The Bok Chitto is the only border between her town in the Choctaw Nation and the slave-owning plantation in Mississippi territory. The slave owners could catch her, too. What was she thinking? But crossing the river brings a surprise friendship with Lil Mo, a boy who is enslaved on the other side. When Lil Mo discovers that his mother is about to be sold and the rest of his family left behind. But Martha Tom has the answer: cross the Bok Chitto and become free. Crossing to freedom with his family seems impossible with slave catchers roaming, but then there is a miracle -- a magical night where things become unseen and souls walk on water. By morning, Lil Mo discovers he has entered a completely new world of tradition, community, and... a little magic. But as Lil Mo's family adjusts to their new life, danger waits just around the corner. In an expansion of his award-winning picture book Crossing Bok Chitto, acclaimed Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle offers a story that reminds readers that the strongest bridge between cultures is friendship." -- Provided by publisher.

Young, Brian (Brian Lee), author.
J FICTION YOU
"Nathan, a young Navajo boy from Phoenix, Arizona, goes on an epic hero's journey."--Kirkusreviews.com

Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- author.
J FICTION BRU
"The story of Sequoyah and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, as told by his thirteen year old son"-- Provided by publisher.

Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- author.
J FICTION BRU
"Twelve-year-old Malian lives with her grandparents on a Wabanaki reservation during the COVID-19 pandemic"-- Provided by publisher.

Robinson, Gary, 1950- author.
J FICTION ROB
This historical novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old Chumash boy and his family who become captives in a California Spanish mission sometime more than 200 years ago. This is historical fiction based entirely on historical fact that reveals the devastating impact the missions had on California Native peoples. Written for fourth, fifth and sixth graders, the story ends on a hopeful note as a small group of Native children are able to escape their captors and begin a journey to join other Native escapees in a remote mountain village. As mandated by the California Department of Education, every 4th grader is taught the "Mission Unit," which perpetuates the "idyllic mission myth" that glorifies the priests, denigrates California Indians and fails to mention that Indians were actually treated as slaves held captive by a Spanish colonial institution. The manuscript has been reviewed and approved by the Director of the Santa Ynez Chumash Culture Department and a member of the California American Indian Education Oversight Committee. It has the endorsement of a fourth grade teacher in California who has shared the story with her class and a local librarian who is excited about sharing the story with elementary age children through the library. It has also been endorsed by the local library branch manager and a former professor of Anthropology within the University of California system.

Robinson, Gary, 1950- author.
J FICTION ROB
"Kilik, Tuhuy and the rest of the members of this Chumash Indian family step into the Gold Rush Era and the early years of California statehood before returning to their ancient home in the lands of their ancestors" -- https://www.amazon.com/Lands-our-Ancestors-Book-Three/dp/0578495163/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9780578495163&qid=1570559768&s=books&sr=1-1

Robinson, Gary, 1950- author.
J FICTION ROB
"Kilik, Tuhuy and the other Native American children have escaped from a Spanish mission in California in the early 1800s. They find the village of other runaway Indians and become part of that community. As they grow and mature, they have children of their own. Together they must face a new set of adversaries, the Mexican Rancheros who have received massive land grants to establish huge cattle ranches. Book Two recounts the exciting and dangerous adventures this Chumash family experience in this multigenerational saga" -- https://www.amazon.com/Lands-Our-Ancestors-Book-Two/dp/0980027284

Quigley, Dawn, author.
J FICTION QUI
"Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn--about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she's worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore"-- Provided by publisher

Smoker, M. L. (Mandy L.), 1975- author.
J GN FICTION SMO
"If Aiyana hears one more traditional Lakota story, she'll scream! More interested in her social media presence than her Native American heritage, Aiyana is shocked when she suddenly finds herself in a magical world-with no cell coverage! Pursued by the trickster Raven, Aiyana struggles to get back home, but is helped by friends and allies she meets along the way. Her dangerous journey through the Spirit World tests her fortitude and challenges her to embrace her Lakota heritage. But will it be enough to defeat the cruel and powerful Raven?"--Provided by publisher.

Day, Christine, 1993- author.
J FICTION DAY
After an injury sidelines her dreams of becoming a ballet star, Maisie is not excited for her blended family's midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

J FICTION ANC
A volume of interconnected stories and poems set at a Native American Dance for Mother Earth Powwow celebration in Ann Arbor, Michigan, includes contributions by such new and veteran writers as Joseph Bruchac, Dawn Quigley, and Traci Sorell.

Roanhorse, Rebecca, author.
J FICTION ROA
Guided by her Navajo ancestors, seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay discovers she is descended from a holy woman and destined to become a monsterslayer, starting with the evil businessman who kidnapped her father. Includes glossary of Navajo terms.