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KCLS Recommends: Children's - Native American Heritage

Buffalo Bird Girl
Buffalo Bird Girl A Hidatsa Story By Nelson, S. D. (Book - 2012 ) JB WAHEENEE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Hidatsa/ Three Affiliated Tribes) Interweaving historical photographs with beautiful illustrations, Waheenee-wea tells a story of dramatic changes to the American people and it's landscape using Waheenee-wea's own writing to create a first person narrative.

Tasunka A Lakota Horse Legend By Montileaux, Donald F., 1948- (Book - 2014 ) E978.004975 MON LAKOTA ENGLISH Available in some locations

Annotation:(Lakota) This bilingual book written in English and Lakota tells the legend of how a young man through patience, learns to tame the wild horse and how this great gift is then taken away as a result of misuse. Ages 5 - 10.

The Legend of Thunder and Lightning
The Legend of Thunder and Lightning By Ikuutaq Rumbolt, Paula, 1990- (Book - 2013 ) J398.208997 IKU Available in some locations

Annotation:(Inuit- Kivalliq) In The Legend of Lightning and Thunder, a traditional legend that has been told in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut for centuries, two siblings resort to stealing from their fellow villagers, and inadvertently introduce lightning and thunder into the world. Ages 6 - 10

When I Was Eight
When I Was Eight By Jordan-Fenton, Christy (Book - 2013 ) E371.829971 JOR Available in some locations

Annotation:(Inuit) This book chronicles the unbreakable spirit of an Inuit girl while attending an Arctic residential school. Ages 5 - 8

How I Became A Ghost
How I Became A Ghost A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story By Tingle, Tim (Book - 2013 ) J TINGLE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Choctaw) 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. Ages 8 - 12

Wild Berries
Wild Berries Pikaci-Minisa By Flett, Julie (Book - 2013 ) E FLETT Available in some locations

Annotation:(Cree) Bilingual in Cree ("n" dialect or Swampy Cree) and English, this book tells the story of a child and his grandma discovering the woods together. Ages 4 - 7

Baby Rattlesnake
Baby Rattlesnake By Ata, Te (Book - 1989 ) J398.2089 ATA Available in some locations

Annotation:(Chickasaw) Willful Baby Rattlesnake throws tantrums to get his rattle before he’s ready, but he misuses it and learns a lesson. Ages 5-8

Bad River Boys
Bad River Boys A Meeting of the Lakota Sioux With Lewis and Clark By Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (Book - 2005 ) J SNEVE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Sioux) A group of young Dakota Indians encounters members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Ages 6 – 10.

Beaver Steals Fire
Beaver Steals Fire A Salish Coyote Story (Book - 2005 ) J398.245297 BEA Available in some locations

Annotation:(Salish and Kootenai Tribe) Grizzly Bear, Wren, Snake, Frog, Eagle and Beaver help Coyote in his plan to steal fire from the sky world. Ages 4 - 7

The Birchbark House
The Birchbark House By Erdrich, Louise (Book - 1999 ) J ERDRICH Available in some locations

Annotation:(Ojibwa) 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. Ages 9-12

Black Elk's Vision
Black Elk's Vision A Lakota Story By Nelson, S. D. (Book - 2010 ) JB BLACK ELK Available in some locations

Annotation:(Lakota) Covers the life of Lakota-Oglala medicine man Black Elk, from his childhood vision to beware the "Wha-shi-choo," to his message of hope to his people, to his travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, to being injured at the Wounded Knee massacre.

Bull Trout's Gift
Bull Trout's Gift A Salish Story About the Value of Reciprocity (Book - 2011 ) J398.208997 BUL Available in some locations

Annotation:(Salish and Kootenai Tribes) Readers learn about the history and culture of the Jocko River and its meaning in Native life, tradition, and religion. Ages 8- 12

Chickadee By Erdrich, Louise (Book - 2012 ) J ERDRICH Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 15 copies

Annotation:(Ojibwa) In 1866, Omakayas's son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne'er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home. Ages 7 – 12.

The Christmas Coat
The Christmas Coat Memories of My Sioux Childhood By Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (Book - 2011 ) EB SNEVE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Sioux) Virginia and her brother are last to receive anything from the charity box on account of being the priest’s children. Ages 6-10

A Coyote Solstice Tale
A Coyote Solstice Tale By King, Thomas, 1943- (Book - 2009 ) E KING Available in some locations

Annotation:A little girl leads Coyote and his friends to the mall. Coyote has never been to the mall before. He happily joins in the holiday rush by filling a shopping cart with stuff, only to discover that he has to have money to pay for them. Ages 4-9

Crossing Bok Chitto
Crossing Bok Chitto A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom By Tingle, Tim (Book - 2006 ) E TINGLE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Choctaw) In the 1800’s, a Choctaw girl befriends a slave boy from a Mississippi plantation across the great river and when she learns his mother has been sold, she helps his family cross the river to freedom. Ages 5-8

Fatty Legs
Fatty Legs A True Story By Jordan-Fenton, Christy (Book - 2010 ) J371.829971 JOR Available in some locations

Annotation:(Inuit) The true story of an Inuit girl who at age 8, volunteers to leave her village to attend residential school. Ages 8 - 16

The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales
The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales By Bruchac, James (Book - 2008 ) J398.08997 BRU Available in some locations

Annotation:A rich traditional collection of Native American stories from across North America. The northwest legends are from the Yakama, Salish and Wasco. Ages 7-12

Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks A Native American Good Morning Message By Swamp, Jake, 1941- (Book - 1995 ) E299.74 SWA Available in some locations

Annotation:(Iroquois/Six Nation) Based on ceremonial tradition of the Six Nation people, Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp, has simplified this invocation of thanks. Ages 5 - 9

Indian Shoes
Indian Shoes By Smith, Cynthia Leitich (Book - 2002 ) J SMITH Available in some locations

Annotation: (Seminole/Cherokee) Together with Grampa, Ray Halfmoon, a Seminole-Cherokee boy, finds creative and amusing solutions to life's challenges. Set in Chicago, this story is told in six stand alone chapters. Ages 7 – 12.

Jingle Dancer
Jingle Dancer By Smith, Cynthia L. (Book - 2000 ) E SMITH Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 10 copies

Annotation:(Muscogee/Creek) Jenna, a member of the Muscogee, or Creek Nation, borrows jingles from the dresses of several friends and relations so that she can perform the jingle dance at the powwow. Ages 5-8

The Journal of Jesse Smoke
The Journal of Jesse Smoke A Cherokee Boy By Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- (Book - 2001 ) J DEARAMERICA MYNAMEISAME Available in some locations

Annotation:(Cherokee) Jesse Smoke, a sixteen-year-old Cherokee, begins a journal in 1837 to record stories of his people and their difficulties as they face removal along the Trail of Tears. Ages 9-12

Rabbit's Snow Dance
Rabbit's Snow Dance A Traditional Iroquois Story By Bruchac, James (Book - 2012 ) J398.208997 BRU Available in some locations

Annotation:(Iroquois) A whimsical wintertime fable finds Rabbit using a traditional Iroquois drum and song to perform a snow dance, irritating his fellow creatures by causing incremental snowfall amounts well into the spring. Ages 3 – 7.

The Rattlesnake Who Went to School
The Rattlesnake Who Went to School By Strete, Craig (Book - 2004 ) E STRETE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Cherokee) On his first day of school, Crowboy pretends he is a rattlesnake, but then he meets a girl in his class who wants to be a rattlesnake too. Ages 5-8

Red Bird Sings
Red Bird Sings The Story of Zitkala-S̈a, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist By Capaldi, Gina (Book - 2011 ) JB ZITKALA-SA Available in some locations

Annotation:(Sioux) Recounts the life of Zitkala-Sa (known as Redbird), a music teacher, composer, musician, author and public speaker who used her many talents to lobby for Native American rights. Ages 8 - 12

Saltypie A Choctaw Journey From Darkness Into Light By Tingle, Tim (Book - 2010 ) JB TINGLE Available in some locations

Annotation:(Choctaw) Tells of Tingle’s grandmother, Mawmaw, as an orphan at an Indian boarding school, the discrimination she encountered living in Texas, and finally the surgery that would restore her vision. Ages 5 – 12

Secret of the Dance
Secret of the Dance By Spalding, Andrea (Book - 2006 ) E SPALDING Available in some locations

Annotation:(Kwaka’ka’waka) Set in the Northwest in 1935, a Native American boy tells the story of a forbidden potlatch. Ages 5-8

Shin-chi's Canoe
Shin-chi's Canoe By Campbell, Nicola I. (Book - 2008 ) E CAMPBELL Available in some locations

Annotation:(Salish) Through cruel treatment, hunger and separation from his sister, he keeps a forbidden miniature canoe carved by his father. Ages 6 – 12

Skeleton Man
Skeleton Man By Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- (Book - 2001 ) J BRUCHAC Available in some locations

Annotation:(Mohawk) After her parents disappear and she is turned over to the care of a strange “great-uncle”, Molly must rely on her dreams about an old Mohawk story for her safety and maybe even her life. Ages 9-12

Thanks to the Animals
Thanks to the Animals By Sockabasin, Allen, 1944- (Book - 2005 ) E SOCKABASIN Available in some locations

Annotation:(Passamaquoddy) During the annual migration to their winter home, Baby Zoo Sap falls off the family bobsled and is protected by the animals until his loving father returns to find him. Ages 4-7

When Turtle Grew Feathers
When Turtle Grew Feathers A Folktale From the Choctaw Nation By Tingle, Tim (Book - 2007 ) J398.208997 TIN Available in some locations

Annotation:(Choctaw) Did Rabbit really race Turtle? And why is Turkey wearing Turtle’s shell? Ages 4 - 7


“Native American Heritage” includes the people and culture of any of the many indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. This includes indigenous people of North, Central, South and Island America. In this booklist we will consider children’s literature that includes the experience of fully, bi- and multi- racial people of Native American descent; people with tribal citizenship as well as those who, for whatever reason do not have legal tribal status. To the best of our ability, we will strive to minimize misrepresentation of the indigenous experience and to consider Native reviewers as a fundamental resource. For the most part, books for this list should be written from a Native American perspective and by Native American authors. Books on this booklist should portray both past and present Native American experiences. The list may include picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, folklore, biography, both fiction and non-fiction.

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