Native Americans

Useful sites:
Embracing the Child – Native American,

S-Collection – Native American Children’s and Young Adult Literature,

Cynthia Leitich Smith- Native American Indians Authors and Illustrators

Picture Books:

Crazy Horses’ Vision – Joseph Bruchac
Picture book about Crazy Horse’s boyhood, (Lakota warrior) zeroing in on a pivotal event in his life, as a youth. Crazy Horse witnessed U.S. Army soldiers brutally and unjustly attack his people. Troubled, he embarks on a vision quest and sees a figure on horseback riding untouched through a storm of lightning, hail and bullets. His father interprets the vision, telling him that “the man on that horse is the one you will become” and that he is destined to defend his people.
4 Star.

 

The 13 moons of the Sioux year are marked by notches on a “moonstick,”
3.5 Star

 

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses – Paul Goble
Based on a Cheyenne myth, a tale of a young girl who is devoted to the care of her tribe’s horses but feels a strong kinshipo with the wild ones that run free.  Her passion for horses results in her finally becoming one of them.
Simple text, brilliant illustrations.
Paul Goble is the author of many Native American titles.
3.5 Stars

 

A proud wildcat gets his comeuppance when he tries to make a meal out of the magical Great Rabbit(Algonquin legend). Wildcat bets his tail that he’ll find and devour the largest and most delicious rabbit of the land, but the wily bunny–who has overheard Wildcat’s boast–pulls out all the stops to trick the beast out of his dinner. Mystical powers allow Great Rabbit to appear to Wildcat in different guises, including a tomahawk-wielding (read tail-chopping) warrior.
Not strictly a Native American story. Long and laborious.
2 Star

 

Annie and the Old One – Miska Miles
Annie, a Navajo child, resorts to extremes in trying to prevent her dear grandmother from dying. The “old one” has said she will return to Earth when she has finished helping Annie and Annie’s mother to weave their new rug, so the child does everything she can to delay the project. When the grandmother explains her beliefs, Annie understands and no longer attempts to hold back time.
4 Star

 

The Star Husband – Jane Mobley
A retelling of an Indian legend in which a young maid’s wish to have a sky-dweller for a husband comes true.
3.5 Star

Timothy Tall Feater – Charlotte Pomerantz
Indian-lore loving Timothy cajoles his grandfather into telling him a bedtime story. As Grandpa begins a couple of story lines involving western Native Americans, Timothy corrects Grandpa’s inconsistencies. In the story, Timothy becomes Timothy Tall Feather on a Dakota Indian buffalo hunt. He proves his mettle when he kills a buffalo with one perfectly aimed arrow.
Pretty Light.

2 Star

 

Little Coyote Runs Away – Craig Srete
Upset about having to wash before eating, a little coyote decides to run away. His mother reminds him to take his special medicine bag to guard him from danger. Little Coyote’s magic tricks protect him against a giant goat, a buzzard, and a bear. But when he reaches a busy highway, there is nothing that can help him. Lesson learned, he goes home where he is safe.
Not strictly a Native American story.
2.5 Star

Long Picture Book:


The Trail of Tears – Joseph Bruchac
In 1838, settlers moving west forced the great Cherokee Nation, and their chief John Ross, to leave their home land and travel 1,200 miles to Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation were well educated, farmed alongside their white neighbours, and were totally betrayed. This was a period of history we knew nothing about, I was totally devasted and cried my way through the book.
5 Stars

 

Chapter Books:

Kateri Tekakwitha; Mohawk Maid – Evelyn Brown (Vision Book)
This is the inspiring story of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a holy young Indian woman, who was converted to Christianity by the French missionaries led by St. Isaac Joques during the 1600’s.
We absolutely loved this book. 5 Star

Children of the Longhouse – Joseph Bruchac
A chapter book set in a longhouse village in upstate New York. 11 year old Ohkwa’ri works to become a respected member of his tribe, he overhears a plot by tribal youths to attack another village, when he reports the plot these youths plot to get even with him. Glimpses of Native American culture; such as the importance of respect and honor are  towards elders, name giving, government, and family relations. Ohkwa’ri builds and sleeps in his own lodge, illustrating the Mohawk’s independence and self-sufficiency.
We really enjoyed this book, Joseph Bruchac is now a respected author in our home.
4.5 Stars.

 

Father Marquette and the Great Rivers – August Derleth
A biography of the French Catholic priest who arrived in Canada in 1666 to serve as a missionary, and became part of the first group of white men to travel down the Mississippi River and back.
Another Vision Book.

 

Saint Isaac and the Indians – Milton Lomask
From the famous and popular series of stories for children from Vision books, the inspiring story about St. Isaac Jogues, S.J., a Jesuit missionary who worked fearlessly among the fierce Huron and Iroquois Indian tribes of North America in the 1600s. We don’t have this book yet, but all Vision books are excellent.

 

 

 

 

Sign of the Beaver – Elizabeth George Speare

13-year-old Matt is left alone to guard his family’s newly built homestead, when his father returns East to collect the rest of the family. One day, Matt is brutally stung when he robs a bee tree for honey. He returns to consciousness to discover that his many stings have been treated by an old Native American and his grandson. Matt offers his only book as thanks, but the old man instead asks Matt to teach his grandson Attean to read.  In the mornings, Matt tries to Attean to read, while in the afternoons, Attean teaches Matt about wilderness survival and Native American culture.
One of the most engrossing reads in a long time, very popular with the children. 5 Star
Non-Fiction:
The Very First Americans – Cara Ashrose
Non-Fiction written for the younger child, followering the Makah who set out in canoes to hunt whales to the Comanche who chased buffalo on horseback . . . . Beautiful watercolor paintings accurately depict clothing, dwellings, art, tools, and other Native American artifacts.
4 Star
Brown Paper School US Kids History: Book of the American Indians
Another non-fiction title written more for the primary aged child.
Well written, thorough and interesting.  Excellent sketches and activity ideas.
4 Star
Living History, Make it Work
Hands on Activity Book, one-quarter of the book is devoted to Native American projects.
4 Star

 

 

 

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