Forever Cousins

Amanda and Kara are cousins and best friends in an intertribal Native American family; but Kara’s family leaves the city and moves back to the Rez, making both girls sad–but the summer reunion reminds them that they will always be cousins.

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

Wampanoag children listen as their grandmother tells them the story about how Weeâchumun (the wise Corn) asked local Native Americans to show the newcomers how to grow food to yield a good harvest–Keepunumuk–in 1621. The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. And without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn’t have helped.

We Are Water Protectors

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

This book is discussed in WOW Review: Volume 14, Issue 2, WOW Currents: Water In Indigenous Children’s Literature, and WOW Currents: Environmental Sciences.

Itzel And The Ocelot

A gorgeous picture book inspired by a traditional Central American Indigenous story about a snake with the power to bring the rain, told in lyrical language and evocative art, and subtly conveying an environmental theme.
Itzel listens as her nana tells the story of when the giant snake would be awakened from its sleep: “And first with a whisper that would rustle the leaves, and then with a deep thunderous cry, the giant snake would bring the arrival of the rainy season.” But now, since many no longer believe in the snake, her nana says, “It has returned to the place where the water is born.” Now, Itzel and her nana are desperate for rain to water their bone-dry crops. So Itzel decides she must find and awaken the snake herself. She sets out in the night alone, but soon she is joined by an ocelot, and a bevy of other jungle creatures in need of the rain. And Itzel worries, is she leading them on a fruitless journey?

Borders

A boy and his mother refuse to identify themselves as American or Canadian at the border and become caught in the limbo between nations when they claim their citizenship as Blackfoot.

Borders is a WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for January 2022.

Jo Jo Makoons

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn–about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she’s worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore.

We Dream Medicine Dreams

When a little girl dreams about a bear, her grandfather explains how we connect with the knowledge of our ancestors through dreams. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life. But when Grampa gets sick and falls into a coma, the little girl must lean on his teachings as she learns to say goodbye.

Hunting By Stars

French has been captured by the Recruiters, confined to one of the infamous residential schools, where the government extracts the marrow of Indigenous people in order to steal the ability to dream, and where the captured are programmed to betray others of their kind, something he discovers has been done to his brother; meanwhile the other survivors, his found family, are hunting for him, determined to rescue him–and French has to decide just how much, and whom, he is willing to sacrifice to survive and be reunited with Rose and the others.

Sequel to The Marrow Thieves.

This book is a WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for March 2022.

One Real American: The Life Of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem And Civil War General

Ely S. Parker (1828–1895) is one of the most unique but little-known figures in US history. A member of the Seneca (Iroquois) Nation, Parker was an attorney, engineer, and tribal diplomat. Raised on a reservation but schooled at a Catholic institution, he learned English at a young age and became an interpreter for his people. During the American Civil War, he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel and was the primary draftsman of the terms of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. He eventually became President Grant’s Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the first Native American to hold that post. Award-winning children’s book author and Native American scholar Joseph Bruchac provides an expertly researched, intimate look at a man who achieved great success in two worlds yet was caught between them. Includes archival photos, maps, endnotes, bibliography, and timeline.