If I was starting a library in a middle school, these are the first ten books I'd buy. In reading these books, students would be reading stories Native writers create about Native people and places. The books I list here include fiction, historical fiction, and poetry.
- Bruchac, Joseph. Hidden Roots.
- Carvell, Marlene. Who Will Tell My Brother?
- Dorris, Michael. Sees Behind Trees.
- Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House
- Loyie, Larry. As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Last Summer before Residential School
- Ortiz, Simon. The People Shall Continue
- Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Indian Shoes
- Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Rain Is Not My Indian Name
- Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. High Elk's Treasure
- Sterling, Shirley. My Name is Seepeetza
Update: Jan 7, 2012
Though she is not Native, Debby Dawl Edwardson has lived her adult life with her husband in his Inupiaq village in Alaska. Her commitment to Native lives and story is not abstract or romantic. Add her book, My Name is Not Easy to this list of must-have books for middle grade students.
Top Ten Books Recommended for High School
Top Ten Books Recommended for Elementary School
Download a pdf with all three lists:
Selecting Children's and Young Adult Literature about American Indians