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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. 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

Picture books for young kids

Dreamcatcher: * Powwow Summer: * Jingle Dancer: * Coyote in Love with a Star: * Star Boy:
     Cheyenne Again: * Death of the Iron Horse: * 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.

Books for kids about Native American culture and history

Weaving a California Tradition (Mono): * Ininatig's Gift of Sugar (Chippewa): * Clambake (Wampanoag):
     Songs From The Loom (Navajo): * A Story to Tell (Tlingit): * Fort Chipewyan Homecoming (Dene/Metis):
     Four Seasons of Corn (Winnebago): * Kinaalda (Navajo): * The Sacred Harvest (Ojibway):
     Shannon, Ojibway Dancer (Ojibway): * Children of Clay (Pueblo): * Drumbeat, Heartbeat (Assiniboine):
     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.
People of the Buffalo:
     Book about the Plains Indians, written by a Metis (mixed-blood Cree) author.

Native American literature for kids

Arrow Over The Door:
     Historical fiction chapter book about a friendship between Quaker and Native American teenagers during the American Revolutionary War.
My Name Is Sepeetza:
     This is a moving book by a Native American author 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.
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.
Night of the Full Moon:
     Historical fiction about two girls (one Potawatomi, one white) trying to escape from a forced relocation westward.

Native American mythology and folklore for kids

Native American Animal Stories:
    Engaging collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

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 really good 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 Nation Alabama Tribe Algonquin Nation Arapaho Tribe Arikara Tribe
Beothuk Nation Blackfeet Tribe Caddo Tribe Calusa Tribe Catawba Tribe
Cayuga Tribe Cherokee Tribe Cheyenne Tribe Chickasaw Tribe Choctaw Tribe
Coushatta Tribe Cree Nation Creek Tribe Crow Tribe Delaware Tribe
Gros Ventre Tribe Huron Tribe Illinois Tribe Innu Tribe Iroquois Nations
Kickapoo Tribe Lumbee Tribe Maliseet Nation Menominee Tribe Miami Tribe
Miccosukee Tribe Micmac Tribe Mohawk Tribe Mohegan Tribe Mohican Tribe
Nanticoke Tribe Odawa Nation Ojibwe Tribe Oneida Tribe Onondaga Nation
Passamaquoddy Tribe Penobscot Nation Potawatomi Tribe Powhatan Confederacy Sauk Tribe
Seminole Tribe Seneca Tribe Shawnee Nation Tuscarora Tribe Wampanoag Tribe
Winnebago Tribe Wiyot Tribe Yuchi Tribe Yurok Tribe



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