Ancestor Approved-Intertribal Stories For Kids

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).
They are the heroes of their own stories.
Featuring stories and poems by:
Joseph Bruchac
Art Coulson
Christine Day
Eric Gansworth
Carole Lindstrom
Dawn Quigley
Rebecca Roanhorse
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Kim Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Traci Sorell,
Tim Tingle
Erika T. Wurth
Brian Young

War Is Over

It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s father is fighting in the trenches far away in France, while his mother works in a menacing munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany. One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a dreamlike meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can one day scatter the seeds of peace. David Almond brings his ineffable sensibility to a poignant tale of the effects of war on children, interwoven with David Litchfield’s gorgeous black-and-white illustrations.

The Everything I Have Lost

12-year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico. Life in Juarez is strange. People say it’s the murder capital of the world. Dad’s gone a lot. They can’t play outside because it isn’t safe. Drug cartels rule the streets. Cars and people disappear, leaving behind pet cats. Then Dad disappears and Julia and her brother go live with her aunt in El Paso. What’s happened to her Dad? Julia wonders. Is he going to disappear forever? A coming-of-age story set in today’s Juarez.

Journey To America- Escaping the Holocaust to Freedom

In 1938, Lisa Platt and her family know something dangerous is happening in Germany. Lately, there have been more and more restrictions for Jews: yellow stars they have to wear, schools they cannot attend, things they are forbidden to do. When their neighbors are arrested for petty reasons, the Platts realize they have to escape.
Forbidden to bring money or possessions out of the country, Lisa’s father secretly leaves for America, planning to work until he can send for them. But when conditions in Germany worsen, Lisa, her mother, and her sisters flee to Switzerland to wait, surviving on what little they have in a continent hurtling toward war.

Efrén Divided

While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efren Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico. Includes glossary of Spanish words.

Efrén Divided has been discussed in My Take/Your Take for April 2021.

Ode To The Goddess Of The Luo River

The Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River is an ancient Chinese poem created by Cao Zhi, a writer living in the state of Wei during the Three Kingdoms period (c. 220-280 CE). In his tale, Cao Zhi is returning from the capital to his own land when he stops at the Luo River for a rest, where he sees a vision of the goddess so powerful that he instantly falls in love with her. Cao sees a nymph of peerless beauty “as elegant as a startled swan and supple as a swimming dragon”. Though he’s swept away by her ethereal beauty, it’s a love that isn’t meant to be. With its high production values and amazingly-detailed-multi-page foldout spreads, this is a special book that will entice art lovers of all ages.

The Land Of Roar

When Arthur and Rose were little, they were the heroes of Roar, a magical world they invented where the wildest creations of their imaginations roamed. Now that they’re eleven, Roar is just a distant memory. But it hasn’t forgotten them.
When their grandfather is spirited away into Roar by the villain who still haunts their nightmares, Arthur and Rose must go back to the world they’d almost left behind. And when they get there, they discover that Grandad isn’t the only one who needs their help.
This enchanting, action-packed novel is perfect for readers who’ve always dreamed of exploring Narnia and Neverland.

The Barren Grounds

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Aski, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

The Wanderer

As with Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, it gives us collective goosebumps to introduce the singular talent and imagination of Peter Van den Ende to North America. Without a word, and with Escher-like precision, Van den Ende presents one little paper boat’s journey across the ocean, past reefs and between icebergs, through schools of fish, swaying water plants, and terrifying sea monsters. The little boat is all alone, and while its aloneness gives it the chance to wonder at the fairy-tale world above and below the waves uninterrupted, that also means it must save itself when it storms. And so it does. We hope that readers young and old will find the strength and inspiration that we did in this quietly powerful story about growing, learning, and life’s ups and downs.

Deeplight

The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?