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Native Languages of the Americas:
American Indian Children's Books and Literature

This page is our collection of links to good books for kids by Indian authors or about Indian topics, which are available for sale online. If you would like to recommend a Native American book for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please contact us telling us why.

Thanks, and happy reading!

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Native American Children's Books
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Picture books for young kids

Dreamcatcher: * Powwow Summer: * Jingle Dancer: * Coyote in Love with a Star: * Star Boy:
     Shingebiss: An Ojibwe Legend: * Northwoods Cradle Song:
     Picture books for young children about American Indian life.
Raccoon's Last Race * How Chipmunk Got His Stripes * Turtle's Race With Beaver:
    Lively picture books of Native American animal legends by Abenaki Indian storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Efraín of the Sonoran Desert:
    A heartwarming children's story about a Seri family befriended by a zebra-tailed lizard.
Sharice's Big Voice:
    Inspirational picture book based on the life of a Native American congresswoman.

Books for kids about Native American culture and history

Weaving a California Tradition: * Ininatig's Gift of Sugar: * Clambake:
     Songs From The Loom: * A Story to Tell: * Fort Chipewyan Homecoming:
     Four Seasons of Corn: * Kinaalda: * The Sacred Harvest:
     Shannon, Ojibway Dancer: * Children of Clay: * Drumbeat, Heartbeat:
     The charming "We Are Still Here" photoessays on Indian life, featuring contemporary young protagonists and their families.
Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes:
     This reference book clearly presents past and present information about the cultures of native North America.
     It's easy to read and a little over-simplified in places, but overall extremely accurate and helpful.
Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Native American History, Culture, and Life:
     Another good resource book presenting different ancient and modern Indian cultures respectfully and fairly. It's harder
     reading than Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, but contains more material actually contributed by Native American writers.
Atlas of the North American Indian:
     A collection of excellent, detailed maps showing the pre-Columbian, colonial, and current locations of hundreds of
     native tribes and nations. A great classroom reference.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People:
     Non-fiction book of American history from the Native American perspective, written for high schoolers.
     This blog post has some online lesson plans to accompany the book.
People of the Buffalo:
     Childrens book about the Plains Indians, written by a Metis (mixed-blood Cree) author.
Keepers of the Earth: Native American environmental activities for children: * Native American Games:
    Kids' books of Native American stories and projects by a Native American author.

Native American literature for kids

Ancestor Approved:
     Excellent collection of short stories celebrating Native American communities and traditions throughout America.
Arrow Over The Door:
     Chapter book about a friendship between Quaker and Native American teenagers during the Revolutionary War.
My Name Is Sepeetza:
     This is a moving book by a Native American writer based on her experiences at residential school, a kind of boarding
     school that Indian children in both the US and Canada used to be forced to attend. These schools were notorious for neglect
     and abuse, but this particular book doesn't describe any graphic abuses and is appropriate for older grade-schoolers.
Muskrat Will Be Swimming:
     This book is about a modern Native American girl learning to be proud of her heritage and ignore kids who tease her.
     The writing is good but simple-- even the youngest grade-school kids could enjoy this book.
Mary and the Trail of Tears:
     Child-appropariate story of this difficult time in history by a Cherokee author.
Crossing the Starlight Bridge:
     Story of a nine-year-old Native American girl struggling to keep her culture after her parents' divorce forces her to leave the reservation.
Rain Is Not My Indian Name: * Hearts Unbroken:
     Coming-of-age novels about contemporary Native American teenagers, written by a Creek Indian author.
Night of the Full Moon:
     Historical fiction novel about two girls (one Potawatomi, one white) trying to escape from a forced relocation westward.
Code Talker:
    Young adult novel by a Native author based on the true story of the famous Navajo marines of World War II.

Native American mythology and folklore for kids

And It Is Still That Way:
    Charming anthology of traditional legends told by Arizona Indian children.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Trickster: Native American Tales:
    Anthology of illustrated American Indian stories about trickster animals from many tribes.

Native American children's poetry

When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans:
     Poetry by Native American elementary and middle school students presented by the National Museum of the American Indian.
The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet: * Between Earth and Sky:
     Nature-based children's poems by an Abenaki author.

Biographies of famous Native American people

Jim Thorpe: 20th-Century Jock:
     Good biography of the celebrated athlete, dealing with the complexity of his racial status as well as his athletics.
Forest Warrior:
     Kids' biography of Ottawa Chief Pontiac.
Maria Tallchief:
     Biography of Maria Tallchief, the Osage ballerina.

And a few of the best adult Native American books for teens and advanced readers

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West:
     A powerful and highly informative history book from 1971 that showed the Native American side of the "Indian Wars"
     to the public for the first time. This book is about a violent time in history and would be difficult for younger kids,
     but very good for teens with good critical thinking skills.

Book Recommendations for Kids about Specific Native American Tribes

Abenaki Alabama Aleut Algonquian Apache Arapaho Arawak Arikara
Assiniboine Aymara Beothuk Blackfeet Caddo Cahuilla Calusa Carib
Carrier Catawba Cayuga Cherokee Cheyenne Chickasaw Chinook Choctaw
Chumash Comanche Cree Creek Crow Dakota Delaware Dene
Gros Ventre Gwich'in Haida Hidatsa Hopi Huron Illinois Innu
Iroquois Kansa Karok Kickapoo Kiowa Koyukon Lumbee Maidu
Mandan Menominee Miami Mikmaq Miwok Mohawk Mohegan Mohican
Nanticoke Narragansett Navajo Nez Perce Ojibwe Oneida Onondaga Osage
Ottawa Passamaquoddy Pawnee Penobscot Potawatomi Powhatan Pueblo Sauk
Seminole Seneca Shawnee Shoshone Sioux Tlingit Tohono O'odham Tuscarora
Ute Wampanoag Winnebago Wintu Yaqui Yuchi Yurok Zuni

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