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We Still Belong
A thoughtful and heartfelt middle grade novel by American Indian Youth Literature Honor-winning author Christine Day (Upper Skagit), about a girl whose hopeful plans for Indigenous Peoples' Day (and plans to ask her crush to the school dance) go all wrong--until she finds herself surrounded by the love of her Indigenous family and community at an intertribal powwow.
Wesley is proud of the poem she wrote for Indigenous Peoples' Day--but the reaction from a teacher makes her wonder if expressing herself is important enough. And due to the specific tribal laws of her family's Nation, Wesley is unable to enroll in the Upper Skagit tribe and is left feeling "not Native enough." Through the course of the novel, with the help of her family and friends, she comes to embrace her own place within the Native community.
Christine Day's debut, I Can Make This Promise, was an American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Book, was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, the Chicago Public Library, and NPR, and was also picked as a Charlotte Huck Honor Book. Her sophomore novel, The Sea in Winter, was an American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Book, as well as named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and School Library Journal.
We Still Belong is an accessible, enjoyable, and important novel from an author who always delivers.
A People Magazine Best Book Fall 2021
From celebrated Indigenous author Thomas King and award-winning Métis artist Natasha Donovan comes a powerful graphic novel about a family caught between nations.
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.
Borders explores nationhood from an Indigenous perspective and resonates deeply with themes of identity, justice, and belonging.
This beautifully designed, interactive nonfiction work celebrates North American Indigenous thinkers and inventions--perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
" Essential for kids and adults. We need this book." --Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh and The Family Romanov
Corn. Chocolate. Fishing hooks. Boats that float. Insulated double-walled construction. Recorded history and folklore. Life-saving disinfectant. Forest fire management. Our lives would be unrecognizable without these, and countless other, scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans. Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, Indigenous Ingenuity is a wide-ranging STEM offering that answers the call for Indigenous nonfiction by reappropriating hidden history. The book includes fun, simple activities and experiments that kids can do to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life.
An American Association of Geography Recommended Book
A National Education Society Read Across America selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls
A middle-grade novel by James Bird about a boy sent to his Ojibwe family to straighten out his life.
Benjamin Waterfalls comes from a broken home, and the quickest fix he’s found for his life is to fill that emptiness with stuff he steals and then sells. But he’s been caught one too many times, and when he appears before a tough judge, his mother proposes sending him to “boot camp” at the Ojibwe reservation where they used to live.
Soon he is on his way to Grand Portage, Minnesota, to live with his father – the man Benny hasn’t seen in years. Not only is “boot camp” not what he expects, but his rehabilitation seems to be in the hands of the tribal leader’s daughter, who wears a mask. Why? Finding the answer to this and so many other questions prove tougher than any military-style boot camp. Will answers be enough for Benny to turn his life around and embrace his second chance?
What if a school's mascot is seen as racist, but not by everyone? In this compelling middle-grade novel in verse, two best-selling BIPOC authors tackle this hot-button issue.
In Rye, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, people work hard, kids go to school, and football is big on Friday nights. An eighth-grade English teacher creates an assignment for her class to debate whether Rye’s mascot should stay or change. Now six middle schoolers–-all with different backgrounds and beliefs–-get involved in the contentious issue that already has the suburb turned upside down with everyone choosing sides and arguments getting ugly.
Told from several perspectives, readers see how each student comes to new understandings about identity, tradition, and what it means to stand up for real change.
"Waters and Sorell's plain spoken verse is always sharp and direct." —The New York Times Book Review
Liam and the Forest Friends
When Liam hears his parents having an argument, he escapes into an imaginary world with animal friends he has drawn. His new friends help Liam understand that even when things feel out of his control, he is always safe, always loved, and a brighter day is just ahead. K-3 readers will find a friend in this series featuring quiet but strong Indigenous third-grader Liam Kingbird.
A fierce, feminist, and fun middle grade fantasy graphic novel about a twelve-year-old Indian American girl named Shakti who must learn the power of her ancestral magic if she wants to save her family and town from a dangerous curse. Written by Stonewall Honor Book recipient and Lambda Literary Fellow SJ Sindu and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali.
Shakti is used to being the new girl at school. She and her two moms have moved more times than she can count. With her unborn baby brother on the way, Shakti hopes her family has found their forever home in Amherst, Massachusetts, and that she can finally make friends.
On her first day of seventh grade, she meets Xi and they bond over their shared passion for manga (and pizza with mayo). But the three meanest girls in school--Harini, Emily, and Kelly (aka "HEK")--are determined to make life miserable for Shakti and her new friends.
When Shakti and Xi discover HEK casting spells in the woods, they fear what might happen to the other kids at school. Drawing on ancient Indian magic, Shakti seeks the aid of Durga Ma to stop HEK. But instead, Shakti accidentally conjures Kali Ma, the destroyer--Durga Ma's dangerous twin. Kali Ma punishes HEK by transforming them into monsters and curses the entire town. As more and more people begin to fall ill, including Shakti's mom, will Shakti be able to harness her own strength, power, and empathy to save those she loves--and put an end to all the hate?
A magical realistic middle grade debut about the origin story of the Iñupiaq Messenger Feast, a Native Alaskan tradition.
As his family prepares for winter, a young, skilled hunter must travel up the mountain to collect obsidian for knapping—the same mountain where his two older brothers died.
When he reaches the mountaintop, he is immediately confronted by a terrifying eagle god named Savik. Savik gives the boy a choice: follow me or die like your brothers.
What comes next is a harrowing journey to the home of the eagle gods and unexpected lessons on the natural world, the past that shapes us, and the community that binds us.
Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson is part cultural folklore, part origin myth about the Messenger’s Feast – which is still celebrated in times of bounty among the Iñupiaq. It’s the story of how Iñupiaq people were given the gift of music, song, dance, community, and everlasting tradition.
Sky Wolf's Call
From healing to astronomy to our connection to the natural world, the lessons from Indigenous knowledge inform our learning and practices today.
How do knowledge systems get passed down over generations? Through the knowledge inherited from their Elders and ancestors, Indigenous Peoples throughout North America have observed, practiced, experimented, and interacted with plants, animals, the sky, and the waters over millennia. Knowledge keepers have shared their wisdom with younger people through oral history, stories, ceremonies, and records that took many forms.
In Sky Wolf's Call, award-winning author team of Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger reveal how Indigenous knowledge comes from centuries of practices, experiences, and ideas gathered by people who have a long history with the natural world. Indigenous knowledge is explored through the use of fire and water, the acquisition of food, the study of astronomy, and healing practices.
Race to the Sun
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he's Mr. Charles, her dad's new boss at the oil and gas company, and he's alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he's a threat, but her father won't believe her. When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says "Run!", the siblings and Nizhoni's best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . . Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.
In this Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition, two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. And without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn't have helped.
An important picture book honoring both the history and tradition that surrounds the story of the first Thanksgiving.
The First Woman Cherokee Chief: Wilma Pearl Mankiller
Find out all about Wilma Pearl Mankiller, the first woman Cherokee chief whose image will appear on a 2022 US quarter, in this Step 3 Biography Reader.
In 1985, Wilma Pearl Mankiller became the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She had to convince her people that the chief should be the best person for the job, man or woman.
Before the English came to what is now the United States, Cherokee women and men shared the leadership of the tribe. This created balance. But the English colonists told the Native People that men should be in charge.
It stayed that way for many years, until Wilma Pearl Mankiller made history. She used the concept of gaduji, of everyone helping each other, to make the Cherokee Nation strong.
Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots and popular topics—for children who are ready to read on their own.
Healer of the Water Monster
American Indian Youth Literature Award Winner: Best Middle Grade Book! Brian Young's powerful debut novel tells of a seemingly ordinary Navajo boy who must save the life of a Water Monster--and comes to realize he's a hero at heart.
When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he's in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it's clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him.
One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story--a Water Monster--in need of help.
Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.
The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
Sharice's Big Voice
Rich, vivid illustrations by Ojibwe Woodland artist Pawis-Steckley are delivered in a graphic style that honors Indigenous people. The bold artwork adds impact to the compelling text. (Kirkus starred review) The prose is reminiscent of an inspirational speech ("Everyone's path looks different"), with a message of service that includes fun biographical facts, such as her love of Bruce Lee. Pawis-Steckley (who is Ojibwe Woodland) contributes boldly lined and colored digital illustrations, inflected with Native symbols and bold colors. A hopeful and accessible picture book profile. (Publishers Weekly) This picture book autobiography tells the triumphant story of Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas. When Sharice Davids was young, she never thought she'd be in Congress. And she never thought she'd be one of the first Native American women in Congress. During her campaign, she heard from a lot of doubters. They said she couldn't win because of how she looked, who she loved, and where she came from. But here's the thing: Everyone's path looks different and everyone's path has obstacles. And this is the remarkable story of Sharice Davids' path to Congress. Beautifully illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist, this powerful autobiographical picture book teaches readers to use their big voice and that everyone deserves to be seen--and heard! The back matter includes information about the Ho-Chunk written by former Ho-Chunk President Jon Greendeer, an artist note, and an inspiring letter to children from Sharice Davids
★ "Clearly organized and educational--an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries." --School Library Journal, starred review
Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
Weird Rules to Follow
★"Readers will be left with a rich image of Mia's world and the family and people that surround her as well as a strong sense of how culture and class impact people's experiences. A touching exploration of identity and culture."--Kirkus Reviews
Mia knows her family is very different than her best friend's.
In the 1980s, the coastal fishing town of Prince Rupert is booming. There is plenty of sockeye salmon in the nearby ocean, which means the fishermen are happy and there is plenty of work at the cannery. Eleven-year-old Mia and her best friend, Lara, have known each other since kindergarten. Like most tweens, they like to hang out and compare notes on their crushes and dream about their futures. But even though they both live in the same cul-de-sac, Mia's life is very different from her non-Indigenous, middle-class neighbor. Lara lives with her mom, her dad and her little brother in a big house, with two cars in the drive and a view of the ocean. Mia lives in a shabby wartime house that is full of relatives--her churchgoing grandmother, binge-drinking mother and a rotating number of aunts, uncles and cousins. Even though their differences never seemed to matter to the two friends, Mia begins to notice how adults treat her differently, just because she is Indigenous. Teachers, shopkeepers, even Lara's parents--they all seem to have decided who Mia is without getting to know her first.
Thunder Boy Jr.
From New York Times bestselling author Sherman Alexie and Caldecott Honor winning Yuyi Morales comes a striking and beautifully illustrated picture book celebrating the special relationship between father and son.
Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name...one that's all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn't want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.
But just when Little Thunder thinks all hope is lost, dad picks the best name...Lightning! Their love will be loud and bright, and together they will light up the sky.
The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories
"Enjoyable for reading aloud or sharing around a campfire." -- KIRKUS
"Be careful of what you accept from spirits."
Loup Garrou, trickster rabbits, and spirits with names that can't be spoken -- the plains and forests of North America are alive with characters like these, all waiting to meet you in this collection of folklore retold in comics!
This fifth volume of the "Cautionary Fables and Fairytales" anthology series features updated takes on ancient stories from tribes spanning the continent, bursting with bedside tales that are thrilling, chilling, and most of all inspiring. Featuring the work of JORDAAN ARLEDGE, MAIJA AMBROSE PLAMONDON, MILO APPLEJOHN, and more!