Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books by and about American Indians: 2009

Each year, I rely on CCBC Choices to provide me with statistics about the number of children's books about American Indians and by American Indians published in the previous year. Each year, I add to the table from the previous year. It's not a spiffy-looking graphic, but the info is important!

Year---Number of bks---About Amer Ind---By Native writer and/illustrator


As CCBC is careful to note:
These statistics represent only quantity, not quality or authenticity. A significant number—well over half—of the books about each broad racial/ethnic grouping are formulaic books offering profiles of various countries around the world. Additionally, the number of books created by authors and illustrators of color does not represent the actual number of individual book creators, as some individuals created two or more books.
What are the 33 books about American Indians? And who are the 12 authors/illustrators (keeping in mind that the number is not 12 different authors or illustrators)? I'll need to do some research to find out what books they received. Reading their website, I see one of the books they received is Joseph Bruchac's Night Wings. I haven't read it yet.


Doret said...

12 Native Writers published in 2009sounds too high

If you find out who the 12 are please do share.

Debbie Reese said...


I'll write to CCBC and ask if they can provide a list.

Using the Comprehensive Children's Literature Database, I searched using "Indians of North America" and got 13 hits:

Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown

Rabbit and the Fingerbone Necklace, by Deborah Duvall

Look Both Ways, by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Minnow and Rose: An Oregon Trail Story, by Judy Young

Remember Me, mikwid hamin: Tomah Joseph's gift to Franklin Roosevelt, by Donald Soctomah and Jean Flahive

Lifting the Sky, by Mackie D'Arge

Mudville, by Kurtis Scaletta

The Great Death, by John SMelcer

Crows and Cards: A Novel, by Joseph Helgerson

The Crimson Cap, by Ellen Howard

The Book of Dreams, by O.R. Melling

Night Wings, by Joseph Bruchac

The Runaway Skeleton, by Kathleen M. Muldoon

Of that list, I recognize three books. First is REMEMBER ME: TOMAH JOSEPH'S GIFT TO FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT. I like that book but haven't written about it yet or done any research on it. It's in my to-do pile. Soctomah is Passamaquoddy.

The second is John Smelcer's THE GREAT DEATH. I've written about him before. The clouds around him are so dark that I doubt that I'll read his book. (This has to do with the ways he is constructing his identity, and, the ways he has gone about his research.)

Third is Joseph Bruchac's NIGHT WINGS. I haven't read it.

The other nine books and authors, I do not know...

Doret said...

Black Angels is set at the end of the Civil War - Three kids who find themselves alone stick together

They end up living with Betty Strong Foot a half Indian half Black woman for a while.

Many people loved Black Angels. It didn't work for me. I had mixed feelings about Betty Strong Foot.

I loved Mudville but I don't rememeber any American Indian characters.