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 Lost Ones

Despite her father’s warnings that their tribe is always in danger, Casita, a ten-year-old Lipan Apache girl, has led a relatively peaceful life with her tribe in Mexico, doing her daily chores and practicing for her upcoming Changing Woman ceremony, in which she will officially become a woman of the tribe.

Fishing With Grandma

After showing the kids how to prepare for a fishing trip, Grandma and the kids enjoy a day of jigging in the ice for fish. Grandma shows them every step they need to know to complete a successful fishing trip, from what clothes to wear, to how to drill and clear holes in the ice, and to how to make a traditional Inuit jigging rod.

House of Purple Cedar

“The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville.” Thus begins Rose Goode’s story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year’s Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town’s people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom.

Sarah and the People of Sand River

Twelve-year-old Sarah is told by her widowed father that she must leave the Frog Bay wilderness and go to school in the city to learn to speak English, but when the family that she lives with is cold and cruel, keeping her out of school, she earns the angel-like protection of a wise raven.

Coyote And The Sky: How The Sun, Moon, And Stars Began

According to Santa Ana Pueblo legend, the animals’ spirit Leader created the sun, moon, and stars by using woven yucca mats and hot coals. He selected certain animals to climb from their homes in the Third World up to the Fourth World. The Squirrel, the Rabbit, and the Badger were all allowed to go. The Coyote, however, was forbidden to accompany them because he was always causing trouble and stealing food from the others. Regardless of what he was told, Coyote refused to stay in the Third World. He found a hiding place and waited for a chance to follow the animals to the Fourth World. When the other animals discovered Coyote, they summoned the Leader to the Fourth World to deal with him. Coyote’s punishment is a lesson in what happens to animals, or people, when they refuse to obey instructions. Writing for the younger reader, Emmett ‘Shkeme’ Garcia, a member of the Santa Ana tribe, shares his Pueblo’s story of the beginnings of the stars and constellations. Victoria Pringle’s illustrations provide visual elements that enhance the action of the story. All ages.

An Eskimo Birthday

eskimoYoung Eeka lives in Point Hope, Alaska, well above the Arctic Circle where there is little daylight during the winter months. It’s her birthday and Eeka is hoping that her mother may have found the right fur for the newly made velveteen parka that her mother has just made for her. However, with the coming of a storm, her attention moves towards the safety of her father who may be caught in the great winter storm that has developed while checking his traps. From Eeka escorting her younger cousin home from school, to the stories of survival and legend told by Eeka’s grandfather, young (and older) readers will be introduced to a bit of Eskimo culture. Lastly, Glo Coalson’s lovely and descriptive illustrations are integral to the book.