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Diverse Children's Books @ SCF Libraries: Native American Lit for Children

Recommended books for children with diverse characters and themes

Heading Native YA

Recommended books for children* by and about Native Americans

Native YA kidlit

We Are Water Protectors

Picture Book

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption--a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Fry Bread

Picture Book

Fry bread is food. It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate. Fry bread is time. It brings families together for meals and new memories. Fry bread is nation. It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond. Fry bread is us. It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Picture Book

The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Bowwow Powwow

Windy Girl is blessed with a vivid imagination. From Uncle she gathers stories of long-ago traditions, about dances and sharing and gratitude. Windy can tell such stories herself-about her dog, Itchy Boy, and the way he dances to request a treat and how he wriggles with joy in response to, well, just about everything. When Uncle and Windy Girl and Itchy Boy attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers in their jingle dresses and listens to the singers.

Jo Jo Makoons: the Used-To-Be Best Friend

Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is. 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.

Borders

Borders is a masterfully told story of a boy and his mother whose road trip is thwarted at the border when they identify their citizenship as Blackfoot. Refusing to identify as either American or Canadian first bars their entry into the US, and then their return into Canada. In the limbo between countries, they find power in their connection to their identity and to each other.

The Sea in Winter

It's been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions. Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can't understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she's dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

Disclaimer

* What does "recommended" mean?

The titles included in this page have been selected by the SCF Librarians based on literary merit, accuracy and authenticity of treatment of the culture portrayed, and age appropriateness. They are books mostly written by "own voices": authors and illustrators belonging to the cultural group portrayed.

* About the age and reading level categories: 

The books in this page can be read by people of all ages! They vary in reading level. We do not assign AR or Lexile levels,  because we want you to read a book because you like it, not because of a school-assigned level.

Those classified as "picture books" are suitable for independent reading or for an adult to read to and with children, while showing the "pictures".

Those classified as "children" are best suited to be read by children in grades as recommended. Some are short books, chapter books, or novels, with or without illustrations. They can also be graphic novels.

* Books for ALL children:

The titles recommended in this page represent mirrors for all children in our community, windows to see experiences different from their own, and sliding doors to enter other worlds and discover commonalities and differences (Bishop, 1990).

We recognize that the experiences portrayed in these books do not reflect each kid's experience, but we strive to include representations of as many experiences as possible. We invite parents, caregivers, and teachers to explore these books with their children and discuss what their children have in common (or not) with the children in these stories.

 

 

 

Bishop, R. S. (1990). "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors". Perspectives 6(3). https://scenicregional.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Mirrors-Windows-and-Sliding-Glass-Doors.pdf