Showing posts sorted by relevance for query girl who loved wild horses. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query girl who loved wild horses. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NOT RECOMMENDED: Paul Goble's THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES (updated re Goble's identity)




Is Paul Goble's The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses one of your favorite books? Published in 1978 by Bradbury Press, it won the Caldecott Medal thirty-five years ago. Let's take a look at it. 

Here's the first paragraph in the story:
The people were always moving from place to place following the herds of buffalo. They had many horses to carry the tipis and all their belongings. They trained their fastest horses to hunt the buffalo.
With the word 'tipis' in that paragraph Goble suggests that these are Plains people. The buffalo are another clue that suggests the story is one belonging to the Plains tribes.

As the story begins, we learn of "a girl" (we are never given her name) who loved horses. People in the village see that she has a way with them. One day when she is out with the herd of horses, a huge storm erupts. She leaps onto one as the herd races in fear. When the horses stop that night, the girl looks around and realizes that they are lost. The next morning she wakes to the neighing of a handsome stallion who tells her he is the leader of the wild horses that roam the hills. He welcomes her to live with them. She and her herd are happy.

Meanwhile, her people spend the next year looking for her. One day, two hunters see the stallion and the girl, too. She's on a horse, leading a colt. They call and wave at her. She waved back, but the stallion drove her and the herd away from the hunters. Other men join them in an attempt to reach the girl, but the stallion keeps them away from the girl and the colt. But, the girl's horse stumbles, and she falls. The hunters take her back to the village. She was happy to see her parents but she is sad. She misses the colt and the wild horses. At night, the stallion calls to her. The girl is lonely and gets sick. Doctors ask what would make her happy again, and she says she wants to return to the wild horses.

The stallion and wild horses come to the village. The people give the horses blankets and saddles and they give the girl a beautiful dress and the best horse in the village. The girl gives her parents a colt, and she rides away, beside the stallion, reunited with the herd. Each year, she brings her parents another colt. But one year, she doesn't return at all.

Then, the hunters see the stallion again. Beside him is "a beautiful mare with a mane and tail floating with wispy clouds about her." They believe the girl is that mare, that she has become a wild horse, too. The story ends with:
Today we are still glad to remember that we have relatives among the Horse People. And it gives us joy to see the wild horses running free. Our thoughts fly with them.
Nowhere in The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses do we have any sources for that story. As noted earlier, Goble's use of 'tipis' suggests a Plains tribe. What we know as the Great Plains is a vast area. Here's a map from the Smithsonian:



See how that area stretches from the north to south, spanning at least 1500 miles? See the 20 or so tribes listed in that area? There's a lot more than just those 20. They don't speak the same language and they don't tell the same stories.

The question is, who does this story about a girl who became a wild horse belong to? It'd be good to know. If it is a story Goble came up with, then it isn't a Native story, is it?

Though it won the Caldecott, and though a lot of people love Goble's art, I think it is (past) time to set aside The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. What do you think?


Update, 6:00 AM, June 11, 2014

(1) Elsewhere people are noting how much like they like his art. It is a style most people would recognize as "Goble" but let's pause again. I haven't done a close study of it, but does it suffer from the same ambiguity we see in The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses?

(2) Someone noted that Goble was adopted by a tribe.  His Adopted by the Eagles (Macmillian, 1994) includes this:



Does being given a name and being called "Son" mean he was adopted? Was he adopted by Edgar Red Cloud? Or was it by a tribe, as was done with President Obama? I've ordered Goble's autobiography and will revisit this post when it arrives. It may provide details about how he met Edgar Red Cloud.

(3) The Author's Note for Adopted by the Eagles says:
"I would like to think that Edgar somehow sensed, right from the start (1959), that I would one day make books of some of the stories he told me."
Many authors say something similar to that... about how Native people they know/live amongst asked them to write a story about them. As readers of AICL now, I frown on that phrase.

(4) Goble's note ends with this curious paragraph:
Finally, it needs to be stated that the traditional kola friendship of the two Lakota men, as described in this story, was never a homosexual relationship. Kolas sought to guard each other from all errors; to share their strengths while walking life's Good Red Road together.
I wonder why Goble felt compelled to include that paragraph? Adopted by the Eagles was published in 1994. Perhaps it was prompted by a fear that people wouldn't buy a book about friendship between two men, but, do other books published then have a similar disclaimer?

(5) The last item on the page with the Author's Note is a very important note for teachers. Here it is, in its entirety:
When a book like this has been read in the classroom, students are sometimes asked to write their own "Indian" stories. It is not asked with bad intentions, but it belittles these traditional stories, suggesting that any child can invent them. When studying the Greek myths, or the legends of King Arthur, or Bible stories, students would never be asked to invent stories in the manner of... Instead, children should be encouraged to write down the stories in their own words to help remember them. Over the years they will come to think about the inner meanings which all these stories hold.
I say that, too. I'm glad to see it in Goble's book. But he's invented stories! Is it ok, since he is not a child? I don't think so!

See my previous posts about Goble. I'll have more to say when I get Goble's biography.
July 22, 2009: About Paul Goble and his books...
April 3, 2011: Dear Mr. Goble: 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dear Mr. Goble: Questions for Paul Goble about THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

Paul Goble's The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses was published in 1978. It won the prestigious Caldecott Medal.

Due to the popularity of his style, and the Caldecott, too, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses has been printed and reprinted lots of times. The copy I'm looking at right now (dated 2001) indicates I have one that was in the 12th reprinting.

As we saw in the discussion of Robert Lawson's They Were Strong and Good, books can be revised, with problematic language removed in the process.

I'm wondering if Paul Goble or an editor at Simon & Schuster might do some revising of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses?

Well---maybe not revising, but an addition to the book. By that, I mean information about the story itself. I mean a source note!

Let's look at his book, using criteria developed by Betsy Hearne in her "Cite the Source: Reducing Cultural Chaos in Picture Books, Part 1" article. It was published in 1993 in School Library Journal. Betsy called her criteria "A Source Note Countdown."

Before I start, I'll say I find the book as problematic as the other "Native" book that won the Caldecott in the 70's: Gerald McDermott's Arrow to the Sun. The subtitle for McDermott's book is A Pueblo Tale. There are nineteen different pueblos... which one does he mean? Does he think we're all the same? What is the source for the story he tells? Does McDermott know that the pueblos in the northern, mountainous part of New Mexico are not the same as the ones located in more southern areas of the state, where the geography is not as mountainous? There are significant differences, in fact, even within a single pueblo, from one society or clan to the next one...  Without providing a source, McDermott introduces the chaos Betsy points to by being non-specific. An elementary school teacher who chooses to use his book to supplement teaching about Pueblos people heads down a rather risky road...

Course, his book---and Goble's, too---were written in the 1970s...  Because of that, some might argue that it isn't fair to judge them by today's standards. Still, given their status as Caldecott books, maybe we can ask them to be updated with a solid source note...

In her source note countdown, Betsy writes about five ways an author can acknowledge his or her sources. Worst case is #5, "The nonexistent source note." Next is #4, "The background-as-source-note." Number 3 is "The fine-print source note." At #2 is "The well-made source note." And the best note, #1, is "The model source note."

In Betsy's countdown, the worst note is "the nonexistent source note."  In this case, the subtitle or jacket copy makes a vague claim that is, as Betsy writes, "faithfully picked up and authoritatively echoed in the Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication statement." To the right is the cover of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. No subtitle. The text on the jacket book flap, however, says "In simple words and brilliant paintings that sweep and stampede across his pages, Paul Goble tells of a Native American girl's love of horses."  And here's the CIP info:
Summary: Though she is fond of her people, a girl prefers to live among the wild horses where she is truly happy and free. [1. Fairy tales. 2. Indians of North America-Fiction. 3. Horses-Fiction] 
I'm guessing the Library of Congress cataloger used the jacket copy to assign the book its 2nd category (Indians of North America-Fiction). There isn't an author or source note anywhere in the book. The only information we are given is the Library of Congress summary. No "background as source note" or "fine-print source note" or "well-made" or "model" note. In interviews, Goble says he does extensive research. So...

----------------
April 3, 2011 

Dear Mr. Goble, 

Can you tell your editor at Simon and Schuster that you'd like to add a well-made source note to this book? One that tell us the specific source (or sources) you used to tell this story? Can you give us a description of the cultural context in which this story was/is told? And, can you tell us what you've done to change it, and why you've changed it as you did (if you did)? 

Thanks,
Debbie Reese

(I'll send this on to Simon and Schuster, and to Mr. Goble, too, if I can find a way to contact him. I'll let you know if I hear back from either one.)

Update, June 11, 2014:
I did receive a reply to my letter. In it, Mr. Goble said that I could not quote him. The gist of his short letter is that publishers cannot afford to add pages like the one I requested. I find that answer curious because his later books include that information.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Was Paul Goble adopted into the Yakima and Sioux tribes?

Within the framework of children's books, one thought that comes to mind when I hear the word "adopted" is Paul Goble. Let me preface this post by saying that I find his children's books highly problematic. See Paul Goble's The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses for background.

For years, I've read that he was adopted by Chief Edgar Red Cloud. Here's an example from the World Wisdom website:
Paul Goble was adopted into the Yakima and Sioux tribes (with the name "Wakinyan Chikala," Little Thunder) by Chief Edgar Red Cloud.
I've been skeptical of such statements and have started some research into that statement. I kind of doubt he was adopted into either one. Maybe Chief Edgar Red Cloud adopted him into his own Lakota family, but I doubt it was an adoption into the nation itself, wherein Goble's name was put down on the tribal census. The Oglala Lakota tribal constitution says members are those who are born to a member of the tribe.

The Yakima and Sioux are two distinct nations, by the way, and using both in that sentence tells us that the person who wrote it doesn't understand that they are two different nations.

I did some searching using "Paul Goble" and "Little Thunder" and found this at the website of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library:
His interest in Native Americans was so deep and genuine that he was adopted into the Yakama (Yakima) tribe by Chief Alba Shawaway and into the Sioux tribe by Chief Edgar Red Cloud.
Alba Shawaway was Yakama and maybe he did adopt Goble into his immediate family, but again, I doubt he would have been adopted into the tribe itself. 

Doing some research on Edgar Red Cloud, I came across Phil Jackson's book, Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior. Jackson is a big name in the National Basketball Association. Edgar Red Cloud gave him a name, too in 1973: Swift Eagle.  Jackson writes:
Call me Swift Eagle. That's the name Edgar Red Cloud gave me during the 1973 basketball clinic that Bill Bradley and I conducted at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Edgar, the grandson of the famous chief Red Cloud, said I resembled an eagle as I swooped around the court with my arms outstretched, always looking to steal the ball. Swift Eagle. Oknahkoh Wamblee. the name sounded like wings beating the air. 
In the next paragraph, Jackson writes that Edgar Red Cloud gave Bill Bradley a name, too: Tall Elk.

But let's get back to Goble. I haven't found anything he's written himself that says he was adopted. Here's the dedication in his Adopted by the Eagles: 




See that? He says he was given a Lakota name and called son by Chief Edgar Red Cloud, but Goble doesn't say he was adopted. He doesn't say anything about it in an interview at the Wisdom Tales website.* And he doesn't say anything about it in his autobiography, Hau Kola-Hello Friend published by Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc. in 1994.  

So... what is the source of information that says he was adopted? I'll keep looking. If you find something, do let me know.

Why it matters: Having his work cloaked with an adoption story suggests that he's got an insider perspective. As my post on The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses indicates, I find his work problematic, and so do Doris Seale, a librarian who is Santee, Cree, and Abenaki, and Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, an American Indian Studies professor who is Crow Creek Sioux. At the bottom of that post, you'll see a link to a post where I quote them. That post is About Paul Goble.


Monday, November 08, 2010

"Bestsellers in Children's Native American Books"

A colleague wrote to ask if I know of a study of the most-assigned Native author in schools. I don't know of one, but will be looking for one, or, trying to figure out how to get the answer to the question, which is basically, "What book about American Indians is most-often taught/assigned in school?" Course, that would vary by grade level and school and other factors like state, public/private, etc.

One thing I (always) wonder about is best-selling books. One source of info is Amazon. In their "Bestsellers in Children's Native American Books" (time/date of list: 7:23 AM, Central Time, November 8, 2010) are the following titles. Some are on their more than once. In some cases, its clear that the duplicate is a Kindle edition, but others seem to just be repeats. There isn't, for example, a note that says it is an audio copy.

It is, overall, a disappointing list and it makes me grumpy on this Monday morning...  I'm glad to see Native authors on the list, but duplicates of some really problematic books like Touching Spirit Bear?! And it is pretty easy to see that Amazon's customers want works of historical fiction or "myths, legends and folktales."  


#1 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
#2 - Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
#3 - One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims, by B. G. Hennessy
#4 - Island of the Blue Dolphins (Kindle), by Scott O'Dell
#5 - Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac
#6 - Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen
#7 - North American Indians, by Douglas Gorsline
#8 - Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times
*#9 - Encounter, by Jane Yolen
#10 - Sing Down the Moon, by Scott O'Dell
#11 - The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin
#12 - Paddle-to-the-Sea, by Holling C. Holling
#13 - Diamond Willow, by Helen Frost
#14 - Red Fox and His Canoe (I Can Read Book), by Nathaniel Benchley
#15 - The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare
#16 - The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, by Tomie de Paola
#17 - Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale, by Gerald McDermott
#18 - Touching Spirit Bear (Kindle) by Ben Mikaelson
#19 - Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
#20 - Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen
#21 - Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski
#22 - Mountain Top Mystery (Boxcar Children), by Gertrude Chandler Warner
#23 - Grandmother's Dreamcatcher, by Becky Ray McCain
#24 - On Mother's Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott
#25 - Horse Diaries #5: Golden Sun, by Whitney Sanderson
#26 - The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynn Reid Banks
#27 - Sacagawea: American Pathfinder, by Flora Warren Seymour
#28 - Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War II, by Joseph Bruchac
#29 - The Heart of a Chief, by Joseph Bruchac
#30 - Little Runner of the Longhouse (I Can Red Book 2) by Betty Baker
#31 - Paddle-to-the-Sea, by Holling C. Hollins
#32 - Love Flute, by Paul Goble
#33 - Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, by Cornelia Cornelissen
#34 - The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee Boy, Trail of Tears, 1838, by Joseph Bruchac
#35 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
#36 - The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdrich
#37 - The Legend of the Bluebonnet, by Tomie dePaola
#38 - Buffalo Woman, by Paul Goble
#39 - Cheyenne Again, by Eve Bunting
#40 - Where the Broken Heart Still Beats: The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker, by Carolyn Meyer
#41 - Julie, by Jean Craighead George
#42 - Children of the Longhouse, by Joseph Bruchac
#43 - Sacred Fire, by Nancy Wood
#44 - Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
#45 - Mama, Do You Love Me, by Barbara J. Joosse
#46 - The Year of Miss Agnes, by Kirkpatrick Hill
#47 - Sweetgrass Basket, by Marlene Carvell
#48 - Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy, by Augusta Stevenson
#49 - The Talking Earth, by Jean Craighead George
#50 - Rainbow Crow, by Nancy Van Laan
#51 - The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble
#52 - The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale, by Lydia Dabcovich
#53 - The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble
#54 - Song of the Seven Herbs, by Walking Night Bear
#55 - Ten Little Rabbits, by Virginia Grossman
#56 - The Lost Children: The Boys Who Were Neglected, by Paul Goble
#57- Moccasin Trail, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
#58 - Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, by Scott O'Dell
#59 - Meet Kaya: An American Girl, by Janet Beeler Shaw
#60 - When the Legends Die, by Hal Borland
#61 - Sacajawea, by Joseph Bruchac
#62 - Knots on a Counting Rope, by John Archambault
#63 - The Porcupine Year, by Louise Erdrich
#64 - Star Boy, by Paul Goble
#65 - Jim and Me, by Dan Gutman
#66 - Kaya: An American Girl: 1764/Box Set, by Janet Beeler Shaw
#67 - Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places, by Joseph Bruchac
#68 - Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen
#69 - Weasel, by Cynthia Defelice
#70 - When the Shadbush Blooms, by Carla Messinger
#71 - On Mother's Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott
#72 - The Captive Princess: A Story Based on the Life of Young Pocahontas
#73 - Powwow's Coming, by Linda Boyden
#74 - The Gift of the Sacred Dog, by Paul Goble
#75 - Streams to the River, River to the Sea, by Scott O'Dell
#76 - Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts - Rhode Island, 1653 (Royal Diaries) by Patricia Clark Smith
#77 - Indian Trail (Choose Your Own Adventure) , by R. A. Montgomery
#78 - Arrow Over the Door, by Joseph Bruchac
#79 - At Seneca Castle, by William W. Canfield
#81 - Pocahontas, by Joseph Bruchac
#82 - Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac
#83 - Christmas Moccsains, by Ray Buckley
#84 - The Game of Silence, by Louise Erdrich
#85 - Encounter, by Jane Yolen
#86 - Beyond the Ridge, by Paul Goble
#87 - Death of the Iron Horse, by Paul Goble
#88 - The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
#89 - Island of the Blue Dolphins (illustrated) by Scott O'Dell
#90 - Frozen Fire: A Tale of Courage by James Houston
#92 - Blood on the River: James Town 1607, by Elisa Carbone
#92 - The Give-Away: A Christmas Story in the American Tradition, by Ray Buckley
#93 - Mystic Horse, by Paul Goble
#94 - Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners, by Lucilee Recht Penner
#95 - Mysteries in Our National Parks: Cliff Hanger, by Gloria Skurzynski
#96 - Jim Thorpe, Olympic Champion, by Guernsey Van Riper Jr
#97 - Good Hunting, Blue Sky (I Can Read Book) by Peggy Parish
#98 - Guests, by Michael Dorris
#99 - Hiawatha and Megissogwon by Henry W. Longfellow
#100 - Sing Down the Moon, by Scott O'Dell


Observations? Books by four Native authors are on the list: Sherman Alexie, Joseph Bruchac, Louise Erdrich, and Michael Dorris.  I'll return to this list later to share analyses and observations. Right now, I gotta head to class. The class? American Indian Studies 101, where, over the course of the semester, students gain insight and skills in recognizing problematic depictions of Native peoples. It is encouraging to see that development in them. I wish everyone in the US could take an Intro to American Indian Studies course. Then maybe there'd be some CHANGE in what they buy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Scholastic, Joseph Bruchac, and the out-of-print status of HIDDEN ROOTS

A few weeks ago, I posted news that Joseph Bruchac was going to bring his out-of-print Hidden Roots back into publication by publishing it with his own press.

Earlier today I learned from him that Scholastic will not revert rights to him so that he can reprint Hidden Roots. He was told that Scholastic will continue to make it available to the school market through book clubs, but that means you and I can't get it (unless we have access to a school book club and the book is actually listed in the new catalog each month.)

From Joe, I also learned that his previously positive relationship with Scholastic has changed drastically. This happened when the editor he worked with for years left Scholastic. Since then, Scholastic has been slow to respond to his questions and has not kept him informed of the status of his books as had been done in the past. He was not told, for example, that Hidden Roots or Geronimo were out of print and that Scholastic has no plans to reprint them.

How to make sense of this, I wonder... 

Were those two books not money-makers for Scholastic? Scholastic is, after all, a business that wants to be profitable, and, it wants books that will sell.  So.... what does Scholastic offer in the way of books about American Indians? Or books written by American Indians?

I went to their site and searched. I found these books when I searched on "Native American."


The Journal of Jesse Smoke, A Cherokee Boy. Hmm... No author listed on the website. I dug around and found out the author's name: Joseph Bruchac! The Journal of Jesse Smoke is in the "My Name is America" series of historical journals that Scholastic has been publishing for several years now.  It was preceded by the "Dear America" series of historical diaries that featured female protagonists. (The "My Name is America" series is historical fiction journals featuring male protagonists.) Anyway, when the Dear America series first got started, Scholastic did not include the author's name prominently on the books. Many readers thought they were actual diaries. The reading community wasn't happy with being misled that way, and so, Scholastic started adding author's names to the book spine (not sure about the covers).  I guess they didn't think it necessary to do that on the website? Or, did they revert back to the misleading style of packaging the books? I haven't read The Journal of Jesse Smoke.

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park. I don't think there is anything in it about American Indians. I don't know why it came back in the search.

The Starving Time: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary. As with Jesse Smoke, no author's name is provided on the website, but the author's name (Patricia Hermes) IS on the cover.  I haven't read it, but given its setting, I'm guessing Elizabeth had some run-ins with Indians... 


Greetings from the Fifty States: How They Got Their Names, by Sheila Keenan and Selina Alko. This book was probably scooped up in the search because a lot of states' names are Native words.

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble. Originally published by Simon & Schuster. This won the Caldecott when it came out in 1979. Goble is not Native, but has published a great many books about American Indians. Some---especially his Iktomi stories---have been met with strong objections from Elizabeth Cook-Lyn and Doris Seale. I've got to look into The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. From everything I can find (online), there is no mention of a tribe. This is a generic "Native American" story. And, on the Scholastic website, on the Discussion Guide, one suggestion is to "Have the class leaf through the book's illustrations to find symbols that they readily associate with Native Americans (e.g., arrows, feathers as hair ornaments, tipis, men with long, braided hair, etc.). Wow! Children can, in fact, associate all those things with "Native Americans"----but if the kids come to think (as many do) that all Indians live in tipis, then, that exercise is a problem, and, it points to the problems with a generic "Native American" story...

Dear America: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, by Kathryn Lasky. I haven't read this book, but maybe I should! The description on the Scholastic page says that the protagonist wants "more than anything" to meet and befriend a Native American...  And then "Her wish comes true when she meets Squanto..."

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Native story, Native writer, award-winning book.

The First Thanksgiving, by Garnet Jackson. This looks like one of those wonderful (not) stories that doesn't name the tribes (Wampanoag, for example) who encountered the Pilgrims. Instead, it is "Native Americans" and Pilgrims...

If You Were at the First Thanksgiving, by Anna Kamma. Based on description provided, it's the same-old-same-old lovely (not) story...

Saving the Buffalo, by Albert Marrin. His previous books about American Indians were a mess.

Of all those, I'd order two (Jesse Smoke and Diary) if I was interested in Native stories by Native writers.

But consider how many Pilgrim/Indian stories are in this set! And, how many non-Native writers presenting---explicitly and implicitly---outsider perspectives on Native Americans! It really seems to me that Scholastic ought to bring Hidden Roots and Geronimo back into print. I'm guessing, though, that they're catering to the public, that they are after the dollars that those Thanksgiving stories bring into their coffers...

Come on, Scholastic!  Bring Hidden Roots back into print! Or, give Bruchac the rights to do it! The book is discussed in several children's literature textbooks. It won the award given by the American Indian Library Association!

I'm going to write to Scholastic and ask why they aren't going to keep it in print. They've got an online form to use, if you're interested in writing as well.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Dear Katherine Handcock at A MIGHTY GIRL...

November 16, 2015

Katherine Handcock
A Mighty Girl
amightygirl.com

Dear Katherine,

I saw your November 15, 2015 post at A Mighty Girl. Your topic is celebrating Native American Heritage Month. Of course, I applaud A Mighty Girl for lot of reasons, and I am glad to see you contributing a post about Native peoples, but some of the books you chose are pretty awful.

I'll start with Scott O'Dell. Though he meant well and people who decided to give his books medals meant well, too, his books are not accurate. Rather than providing children with worthwhile information about Native peoples, children's misconceptions of who Native people were--and are--are affirmed by the misrepresentations and bias in his books. Please don't recommend Sing Down the Moon or Island of the Blue Dolphins

My guess is, Katherine, that you read those books when you were a child. They resonated with you. That's the case with a lot of people. They read something when they were a child, but upon re-reading it as an adult, they are taken aback by the ways that Native people are depicted. A few weeks ago, CBC Diversity recommended Island of the Blue Dolphins in a post about strong female characters. The pushback from social media was immediate. It came from Native people, and from scholars in children's literature, too. Within hours, CBC Diversity had removed the book from that post.

Julie of the Wolves... oh dear. Wrong in so many ways! Same with Mama Do You Love Me!

I see you also have The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses on that list. It's a fail, too, when looked at critically. Pretty art, some say, and a Caldecott Medal, too, but there's no tribe in that story! It is a made-up story--made up by a well-intentioned British writer/illustrator (Paul Goble). It looks like a Native story, and to most people, it will be assumed to be a Native story, but it isn't. Same with Frog Girl. That is made up, too, by someone (Paul Owen Lewis) who is not Native.

You do have some terrific books listed, including:

  • Buffalo Bird Girl, written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson
  • Crossing Bok Chitto, written by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges
  • Morning Girl, written by Michael Dorris
  • The Birchbark House, written by Louise Erdrich
  • Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home: by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
  • House of Purple Cedar, by Tim Tingle
  • Native Women of Courage, by Kelly Fournel
  • SkySisters, written by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by Brian Dienes
  • Jingle Dancer, written by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
  • Very Last First Time, written by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Ian Wallace


Anything I didn't list above is something I've not read, or, that I have read but cannot recommend and haven't yet written about in my book chapters, journal articles, or at my blog American Indians in Children's Literature.  I should also note that I'm a Pueblo Indian woman, a former school teacher and professor in American Indian Studies.

A few additional thoughts: because Capaldi's book about Carlos Montezuma was so flawed, I suspect that her book on Zitkala-Sa has similar problems. Same thing with regard to dePaola. His Legend of the Indian Paintbrush has problems, so I suspect that his Legend of the Bluebonnet might have similar problems. And, Katherine, if you're into children's literature, I highly recommend a new blog called Reading While White. Among its writers are librarians at the CCBC (you cited CCBC in your post).

Please reconsider the books you have on your list. Like thousands (millions?) of people, you meant well, but intentions don't matter. The content of a book and what it tells children is what matters most of all. Some of the books you recommended actually work against what I think A Mighty Girl is all about. Affirmation. Some of the books you recommend affirm stereotypes. Can you remove them?

Thanks,
Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature
http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"We" the People?

A few years back, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association began a "We the People" Bookshelf program that was designed to, on an annual basis, select a handful of books with specific themes. These books would reflect the peoples of the United States of America. That first "shelf" of books was troubling in many ways. Those who view literature critically for its representation (or lack thereof) of American Indians took great issue with that list. We wrote letters to NEH and ALA to document our concerns, but no changes were made to that first shelf, and books chosen in the ensuing years give evidence that our concerns were not taken seriously. Or, perhaps they were, but the NEH in the Bush administration has a specific agenda driving the selection of books that dismisses us.

Conversations about those "bookshelfs" continue. Below is a post written by Professor Jean Mendoza, a colleague and friend with whom I celebrate and commiserate about life and books. Jean's post was part of conversation taking place recently on the CCBC-NET listserv. I share it here with her permission.

_______________

Date: Friday, May 18, 2007

Oh, goodness, this mention of "We, the People" touches a nerve.

A colleague and I have decided the NEH and ALA should call it, "We, Some People" because significant voices are left out and others effectively silenced in and by several of the selections each year.

If one believes (as I do) in the notion of "mirrors and windows" (per Sims-Bishop and others) -- that good literature for children offers them mirrors of their own lives and windows on the lives of people who are "different from them" -- several "WE, the People" selections are highly problematic, distorting both the reflections and the view....

After the first "Bookshelf" list came out, several Native scholars and parents noted the complete absence of books by Native writers, while two of the books, Little House on the Prairie and The Matchlock Gun, contained extremely negative representations of indigenous people. There was no way that a Native child could find in that collection (called Courage) any images of people of his/her heritage suggesting that his/her ancestors might in fact have been courageous, or even fully human and equal in importance to the "settlers". There were more problems with that year's list, but I'll just stick to the problematic representations of indigenous North Americans.

The next year, "Freedom" was the metaphor/topic and again no works by Native writers (or illustrators) were included, though one story with a Native protagonist, by a white writer, appears -- the problematic The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble. The implication of this absence is that Native people's stories have no relevance in discussions of "Freedom". The irony grows painful.

The next year's collection is called "Becoming American". Probably I shouldn't get started on that choice of title. Who was here first? Who may have struggled the most with what it means, or meant, to "become American"?? And who is unrepresented, except in a book by a white author? As my husband sometimes says, "The irony rusts me out."

And as for this year's shelf, entitled "The Pursuit of Happiness" -- apparently, in the eyes of the "We, the People" selection committee, no indigenous writers of books for young people have made their characters pursue happiness in a manner worthy of inclusion in the collection.

This bookshelf idea seems great -- who doesn't like free books? -- but the practices of those making the selections seem to me (as a parent, grandparent, and aunt of Native kids) blatantly exclusionary. The NEH and ALA have been hearing every year from people (parents, scholars, educators) who practically beg them to choose books that reflect greater accuracy, authenticity, and inclusiveness. And each year, it seems to me, the exclusions simply compound those of previous years. Ignoring voices of protest can, at least for a time, be effective in silencing discourse and perpetuating historical "whitewashing". If that is NOT the underlying purpose of "We, the People", then those who work on the project really ought to make some significant changes. (And if silencing voices and whitewashing history actually were an underlying purpose, then would such a project deserve participation by libraries and schools?) There is no reason to continue to present the distorted (or painted-over) mirrors and windows as the project has done since its inception.

In my humble and deeply frustrated opinion, the "We, the People" bookshelf project really ought to get in synchrony with reality.

Jean Mendoza

Jean Mendoza, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Early Childhood Education
Millikin University
Decatur, Illinois


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Dear Scholastic: This Is A Test

I have a lot of thoughts in my head this morning, about yesterday's #StepUpScholastic chat on Twitter, and about the Step Up Scholastic campaign, but I am starting with this:

Stone Fox is in 10 bks/$10 box
Last year, Scholastic, working with WNDB, put together a flyer of books specific to diversity. In theory, terrific marketing! BUT.

When I saw the first page of the flyer, I wasn't happy at all to see Stone Fox on it. That book has stereotyping of Native peoples in it, and as such, is the opposite of what kids need if they're to 1) see mirrors of who they are, or 2) see accurate depictions of those who are unlike themselves. With that book on there, Scholastic and WNDB are marketing a problematic book. Stone Fox is in the 10 BOOKS FOR $10 box on bottom right of the flyer shown here.

Late yesterday, Scholastic announced an expansion of its partnership with We Need Diverse Books. They're going to do eight flyers this year. Will these flyers have Stone Fox? Will they have books by Native writers? When I looked inside last year's flyer, I saw two books by Joseph Bruchac, but that's not enough.

Last year's partnership, and this expansion of that partnership, are steps in the right direction but if Scholastic is seriously committed to diversity and providing children with books that truly educate--rather than ones that miseducate children about Native peoples--here's what they need to do (saying they in this post but I know Scholastic is reading this, so I could say YOU instead):
  1. Acquire more books by Native writers and put those books in the flyers, all year long, not just in the special flyers about diversity. And on the teacher webpages. And in book fairs. Maximize the distribution, here and around the globe, too. Last night I learned a little about the flyers you publish around the globe. You're exporting stereotypes. That has to stop. 
  2. Seek out books by Native writers--books published by other publishers--and get them into the flyers. Do it now. Today. I understand there's "rights" issues associated with all this but also think that your billion+ revenue could be leveraged somehow to make this happen. Get them in the diversity flyers but in all flyers. Like I said above: all year round. Every grade level. Every month.
  3. Remove books that misrepresent Native peoples from all flyers and from their website, too. There's absolutely no reason to continue to market Island of the Blue Dolphins. Or Hiawatha (the one by Susan Jeffers). Or Touching Spirit Bear. Or Sign of the Beaver. Or The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. Or Julie of the Wolves. Or Indian in the Cupboard. Those are some of the books you distribute. STOP. And I know there are others, too. 
  4. Take some of that billion dollar revenue and hire people with expertise---not just in kidlit---but in Native Studies, to help you with all these tasks. I'm not asking you to hire me. But I think I can help you find people who would work with you. All this money you're making, right here on what used to be Native lands... come on. Step Up. 

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas has been doing some writing about distinctions between marketing, advocacy, and activism that I find helpful as we all live through these periods of fighting for change in what we get from the publishing industry. The Scholastic flyers are marketing. I think it is marketing borne from activism, but as I noted above, there's a lot more to do with what Scholastic publishes, and what they choose to market.

Some people think I hate Scholastic. Some people think I hate white people. Neither is true. Last night I did a series of tweets about how much I love Shadowshaper and If I Ever Get Out of Here. I wanna see several of the people who made those two books possible, working in-house at Scholastic, getting us more books like that.

I'll be waiting to see the new flyers. Not just the diversity ones. Every single one. They are a way to measure what Scholastic is doing. Doing content analyses of the flyers provide us with a way to test what Scholastic is doing. The flyers, as I view them, are a test that--if passed--could win back the trust they've lost.

__________

My post from last year: Books to get (and avoid) from the WNDB/Scholastic Reading Club Collaboration

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dear Scholastic: Given your statement about standards...

January 25, 2016

Richard Robinson, CEO
Scholastic Books

Dear Mr. Robinson,

Those of us who study and share children's literature in classrooms and libraries have been using social media to share our astonishment at each new development with regard to A Birthday Cake for George Washington. We--and you, too, I gather--have watched these conversations take place outside of our relatively small community. That is a plus for us, and should be for you, too.

Personally and professionally, I welcome the critical eyes of those who object to the book.

I assume that your public relations office is keeping track of key developments. For the benefit of my readers, I've put together a brief timeline of the key points. I think the dates are correct. For a more comprehensive timeline, see here.

Wednesday, January 6
Scholastic released A Birthday Cake for George Washington.

On the same day, there was a statement on the Scholastic blog. Written by the book's editor, it explained the thinking that went into the book. The statement referenced discussions that took place in 2015 over A Fine Dessert (not published by Scholastic).

Friday, January 15
Scholastic released an unsigned statement on its blog, acknowledging the discussions online.

Sunday, January 17
Scholastic released an unsigned statement that it was stopping distribution of A Birthday Cake for George Washington. It said "We do not believe this title meets the standards of appropriate presentation of information to younger children..."

Friday, January 22 
The National Coalition on Censorship (NCAC), the PEN American Center, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors issued a statement that cast Scholastic's decision as one of self-censorship.

Monday, January 25
Scholastic issued a statement saying that NCAC and PEN "did not correctly read" their statement about withdrawing the book. The decision, they state, is not due to the controversy over the book, but because "it does not meet the standards which support our publishing mission." It attributed the decision to CEO, Richard Robinson.

The statement also includes this paragraph:
In addition to engaging children with great stories, all of us at Scholastic have an important responsibility to ensure that our history—both the good and the bad--is portrayed accurately in a way children can understand, as we prepare the next generation of young people who are being raised on our books, classroom magazines and curriculum programs widely used in schools and homes.

Speaking as a scholar who studies portrayals of Native peoples in children's and young adult literature, I can say that you publish many books that do not meet the "portrayed accurately in a way children can understand" statement that I assume is part of the "standards" that prompted you to withdraw A Cake for George Washington. 

My question, Mr. Robinson, is this: will you be withdrawing other books, too, for the same reasons?

On Twitter, I asked about a few you have in The Teacher Store pages. I've read and analyzed these ones. I know that they do not accurately portray Native peoples. Other scholars have written about their inaccuracies, too.

  • Hiawatha, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
  • Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen
  • Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble
  • Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George 
  • Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks
  • Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner


I also asked about your "Thanksgiving Feast Readers Theater Headbands and Play Script." I have no doubt that people mean well when they create and use these kinds of items, but they foster stereotypical thinking and encourage playing Indian in stereotypical ways.

Clearly, those headbands are meant to be used at Thanksgiving. That prompts me to say that I think you're failing to give young children an accurate picture of colonization.

I've seen a lot of smiling Indians in children's books that send the same message that the illustrations of smiling slaves send to readers: it wasn't that bad. Your statement tells me you know it was bad. Indeed, you called it evil, as you should. I agree. Slavery was evil.

The same is true about colonization and the genocidal policies of the early colonists and later, the men embraced as "Founding Fathers." I hope that your statement is an indication that you're convening meetings within the Scholastic offices and you're going to withdraw other books, too.

Is that, in fact, happening?

Sincerely,
Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature

___________________

Note: I sent a link to this letter to Kyle Good. She is listed as the contact person for the statement, as shown here:

Kyle Good
kgood@scholastic.com
212-343-4563

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Index of Books Reviewed (or otherwise referenced) in A BROKEN FLUTE: THE NATIVE EXPERIENCE IN BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

In 2005, one of the very best resources for critical reviews of book with American Indian content was published. The book is called A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. Reviews in the book are by 58 different people, many of whom are American Indian.

Reviews in A Broken Flute look critically at the way that American Indians are presented. A good many children’s books with Native content receive rave reviews from mainstream journals whose primary concern is with the literary aspects of a story. Too often, little attention is paid to the accuracy of the story, or the underlying bias and ideology that casts American Indians in ways that suggest we are super- or sub-human creatures whose existence is confined to the remote past, or a mythological space and time. 

If you arrived at this webpage due to an Internet search on a specific title, I encourage you to locate a copy of A Broken Flute and read the review therein. If you already own the book, use the review to help children learn how to look critically at the ways that American Indians are presented in the book. A Broken Flute is available from Oyate.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
Abiding Appalachia: Where Mountain and Atom Meet
Acorn Soup
Across the Wide River
Adaline Falling Star
Adopted by the Eagles
Adventure on Thunder Island
After and Before the Lightning
An Algonquian Year: The Year According to the Full Moon
"Amazing Indian Children" Series:
  • Amee-nah: Zuni Boy Runs the Race of His Life
  • Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers
  • Kunu: Winnebago Boy Escapes
  • Moho Wat: Sheepeater Boy Attempts a Rescue
  • Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran
  • Om-kas-toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog
  • Pathki Nana: Kootenai Girl Solves a Mystery
  • Soun Tetoken: Nez Perce Boy Tames a Stallion
American Indian Myths and Legends
American Indian Mythology, Kiowa Voices, Vol. II: Myths, Legends and Folktales
American Indian Stories
American Indian Trickster Tales
America's Fascinating Indian Heritage
Amikoonse (Little Beaver)
And Still the Turtle Watched
Angela Weaves a Dream: The Story of a Young Maya Artist
Anna's Athabaskan Summer
Antelope Woman
Apache Children and Elders Talk Together
Apache Rodeo
April Raintree
Ararapikva: Creation Stories other People
Arctic Hunter
Arrow Over the Door
Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale
Ashkii and His Grandfather
As Long as the Rivers Flow
Atlas of the North American Indian
Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences
Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians
Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood
Bears Make Rock Soup and other stories
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Beneath the Stone: A Mexican Zapotec Tale
Best Thanksgiving Book: ABC Adventures
Bighorse the Warrior
The Big Tree and the Little Tree
Bineshinnh Dibaajmowin/Bird Talk
The Birchbark House
The Bird who Cleans the World and the Mayan Fables
The Birth of Nanbosho
The Birthday Bear
Bison for Kids
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
Blackfoot Children and Elders Talk Together
Black Mountain Boy: A Story of the Boyoood of John Honie
The Blizzard’s Robe
The Blue Roses
Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940
Boat Ride with Lilian Two Blossom
Bone Dance
The Book of Medicines
Boozhoo, Come Play with us
The Boxcar Children: The Mytstery of the Lost Village
A Boy Becomes a Man at Wounded Knee
The Boy Who Loved Mourning
The Boy Who Made Dragonfly
A Braid of Lives: Native American Childhood
Brave Bear and the Ghosts: A Sioux Legend
Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight
The Bravest Flute: A Story of Courage in the Mayan Tradition
Bring Back the Deer
Brothers in Arms
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
Buffalo: with Selections from Native American Song-Poems illustrated with original paintings
Buffalo Before Breakfast
Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians
Buffalo Days
Buffalo Dreams
Buffalo Hunt
The Buffalo Jump
Building an Igloo
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Caddie Woodlawn
California Missions to Cut out: Book 1
California Missions: Projects and Layouts
Caribou Song/atihko nikamon
Cherokee Sister
Cheryl Bibalhats/Cheryl’s Potlach
Chester Bear, Where Are You?
Cheyenne Again
The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman
Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters
Children of the First People
Children of the Great Muskeg
Children of Guatemala
Children of the Indian Boarding Schools
Children of the Midnight Sun: Young Native Voices of Alaska
Children of the Maya: A Guatemalan Odyssey
Children of Native American Today
Children of the Sierra Madre
Children of the Tlingit
Children of the Longhouse
Children of Yucatan
The Choctaw Code
Chronicles of American Indian Protest
Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition
Clamshell Boy: A Makah Legend
Cloud Eyes
Continuum
"Council for Indian Education" Series:
  • Charlie Young Bear
  • The Day of the Ogre Kachinas
  • Fire Mate
  • From the Ashes
  • Heart of Naosaqua
  • Navajo Long Walk (Armstrong)
  • Nesuya's Basket
  • Quest for Courage
The Courage of Sarah Noble
A Coyote Columbus Story
Coyote Fights the Sun: A Shasta Indian Tale
Coyote and the Fire Stick: A Pacific Northwest Indian Tale
Coyote and the Grasshoppers: A Pomo Legend
Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies
Coyote and Little Turtle
Coyote in Love
Coyote in Love with a Star
Coyote and the Magic Words
Coyote Makes Man
Coyote Places the Stars
The Coyote Rings the Wrong Bell
Coyote Sings to the Moon
Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale
Coyote Stories
Coyote Stories for Children
Coyote Stories of the Montana Salish Indians
Coyote Stories of the Navajo People
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest
Coyote the Trickster
Coyote and the Winnowing Birds
Crafts for Thanksgiving
Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
Crazy Horse’s Vision
Crow Children and Elders Talk Together
The Crying Christmas Tree
Dakota Dreams
Dancing Drum: A Cherokee Legend
Dancing Rainbows
Dancing with the Indians
Dancing with the Wind: The ArtsReach Literary Magazine
Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road
Daughter of Suqua
Day of the Dead: A Mexican- American Celebration
The Days of Augusta
The Day Sun Was Stolen
Death of the Iron Horse
Dezbah and the Dancing Tumbleweeds
The Diary of Anne Frank
Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name? An Oneida Song of Spring
The Dirt is Red Here
Dirt Road Home
Discovering the Inca Ice Maiden
Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers
Doesn’t Fall Off His Horse
Don’t Know Much About Sitting Bull
Dragonfly Kites/pijihakanisa
Dragonfly’s Tale
Dreamcatcher (Maynard)
Dreamcatcher (Osofsky)
The Dreamcatcher: Keep your happy dreams-forever!
Drumbeat, Heartbeat: A Celebration of the PowWow
Durable Breathe
Eagle Feather
Eagle Feather—An Honor
Eagle Song
Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo
Earth Maker’s Lodge: Native American Folklore, Activities, and Foods
Earthmaker’s Tales: North American Indian Stories About Earth Happenings
Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928
Elderberry Flute Song: Contemporary Coyote Tales
Emma and the Trees/Emma minwaah mtigooh
Enduring Wisdon: Sayings from Native Americans
Eskimo Boy: Life in an Inupiaq Eskimo Village
The Eye of the Needle
Eyes of Darkness
False Face
Feather in the Wind
A Few More Stories: Contemporary Seneca Indian Tales of the Supernatural
Firefly Night
Fire Race: A Karuk Coyote Tale
The First American Thanksgiving
First Came the Indians
First Nations Families
First Nations Technology
The First Thanksgiving (George)
The First Thanksgiving (Hayward)
The First Thanksgiving (Jackson)
The First Thanksgiving (Rogers)
First Woman and the Strawberry: A Cherokee Legend
Five Little Katchinas
The Flute Player
Follow the Stars: A Native American Woodlands Tale
Food and Recipes of the Native Americans
Forbidden Talent
Fort Chipewyan Homecoming: A Journey to Native Canada
Fox on the Ice/mahkesis miskwamihk e-cipatapit
Fox Song
Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition
From Abenaki to Zuni: A Dictionary of Native American Tribes
From the Belly of the Beast
From the Deep Woods to Civilization
From the Land of the White Birch
Frozen Land: Vanishing Cultures
The Gathering: Stories for the Medicine Wheel
The Gift of the Sacred Pipe
Ghost Dance (Seale)
The Ghost Dance (McLerran)
The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890
A Gift for Ampato
Gift Horse
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864
Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter: Coyote Builds North America
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
Gold Fever
Goodbird the Indian: His Story
The Good Luck Cat
Good News from New England: A True Relation of Things Very Remarkable at the Plantation of Plimoth in New England
The Grandchildren of the Incas
Grandchildren of the Lakota
Grandfather Drum
Grandfather Four Winds and Rising Moon
Grandmother’s Pigeon
Grandma’s Special Feeling
Grandmother Five Baskets
Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher
Grandmother’s Gift: Stories from the Anishinaabeg
The Great Buffalo Race
The Great Canoes: Revising a Northwest Coast Tradition
Green Grass, Running Water
Growing up Native American
Growing Up: Where the Partridge Drums Its Wings
Halfbreed
The Handbook of North American Indians, California
Headliner’s Island
Hands-on Latin American: Art Activities for All Ages
Hau Kola-Hello Friend
A Heart Full of Turquoise
Here Comes Tricky Rabbit!
Hiroshima No Pika
History of the Ojibway Nation
Home Country
Home to Medicine Mountain
Honour the sun
Horse Raid: An Arapaho Camp in the 1800s
House Made of Dawn
How the Birch Tree Got Its Stripes
How Chipmunk Got his Stripes
How to Draw Indian Arts and Crafts
How Eagle Got His Good Eyes
How the Indians Bought the Farm
How the Loon Lost Her Voice
How Magpie Got His Yellow Bill
How the Mouse Got Brown Teeth
How Raven Freed the Moon
How the Robin Got Its Red Breast: A Legend of the Sechelt People
How the Seasons Came: A North American Indian Folktale
How the Stars Fell Into the Sky
The Hunter and the Woodpecker
I Can’t Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam
If You Were At…The First Thanksgiving
I Knew Two Metis Women
Iktomi and the Buzzard
Iktomi and the Coyote
Iktomi and the Ducks
Iktomi Loses His Eyes
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
I’ll sing ‘til the day I die: Conversations with Tyendinaga Elders
The Illustrated History of the Chippewas of Nawah
in a vast dreaming
Indian Boyhood
Indian Cartography
Indian Crafts and Activity Book
Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains
The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
The Indians’ Book
The Indian in His Wigwam
The Indian School
Indian School Days
Indian School: Teaching the White Man’s Way
Indian Shoes
In the Fifth World: Portrait of the Navajo Nation
Ininatig’s Gift of Sugar: Traditional Native Sugarmaking
Initiation
Into the Moon: Heart, Mind, Body, Soul
In Two Words: A Yup’ik Eskimo Family
Iron Horses
Isaac’s Dreamcatcher
Ishi: America’s Last Stone Age Indian
Ishi Rediscovered
Ishi’s Journey, from the Center to the Edge of the World: A Historical Novel about the Last Wild Indian in North America
Ishi: The Last of His People
Ishi’s Tale of Lizard
Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America
Island of Los Luggage
Is My Friend at Home? Pueblo Fireside Tales
Itch Like Crazy
It Could Always Be Worse
It’s a Family Thanksgiving
Jack Pine Fish Camp
James Bay Memories
Jason and the Sea Otter
Jason’s New Dugout Canoe
Jingle Dancer
The Journal of Julia Singing Bear
Jumping Mouse and the Great Mountain: A Native American Tale
“Just Talking About Ourselves”: Voices of Our Youth
Ka-ha-si and the Loon: An Eskimo Legend
Karok Myths
"Kaya" Series:
  • Changes for Kaya: A Story of Courage
  • Kaya's Escape! A Survival Story
  • Kaya's Hero: A Story of Giving
  • Kaya and Lone Dog: A Friendship Story
  • Kaya and the River Girl
  • Kaya Shows the Way: A Sister Story
  • Meet Kaya: An American Girl
Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children
The Killing of Chief Crazy Horse: Three Eyewitness Views by the Indian, Chief He Dog, the Indian-White, William Garnett, and the White Doctor, Valentine McGillycuddy
Kinaalda: A Navajo Girl Grows Up
Kokopelli and the Butterfly
Kokopelli’s Gift
Kokopelli, Drum in Belly
Kumak’s House: A Tale of the Far North
Ktunaxa Legends
Kwulasulwut: Stories from the Coast Salish
Kwulasulwut II: More Stories from the Coast Salish
Kyle’s Bath
Lakota and Dakota Animal Wisdom Stories
Lacrosse: The National Game of the Iroquois
Ladder to the Sky: How the Gift of Healing Came to the Ojibway Nation
Lakota Sioux Children and Elders Talk Together
Land of the Spotted Eagle
The Landing of the Pilgrims
Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall
The Last Warrior
The Last Yahi: A Novel About Ishi
The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
The Legend of Jimmy Spoon
The Legend of Mexicatl
The Legend of the Lady Slipper
The Legend of Lady’s Slipper
The Legend of Leelanau
The Legend of the Loon
The Legend of Mackinac Island
The Legend of Sleeping Bear
The Legend of Spinoza, the Bear Who Speaks from the Heart
Legend of the White Buffalo Woman
Legends of the Iroquois
Lessons from Mother Earth
Lessons from Turtle Island: Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms
Less than Half, More than Whole
Let’s Be Indians!
Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving
Lies to Live By
The Life and Death of Crazy Horse
The Light on the Tent Wall
Listen to the Night: Poems for the Animal Spirits of Mother Earth
Little Bear’s Vision Quest
Little Coyote Runs Away
The Little Duck/Sikhpsis
Little Eagle Lots of Owls
Little Firefly: An Algonquian Legend
A Little History of My Forest Life: An Indian-White Autobiography by Eliza Morrison
Little House on the Prairie
Little Voice
Little White Cabin
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
The Long March
Longwalker’s Journey: A Novel of the Choctaw Trail of Tears
Lord of the Animals: A Miwok Indian Creation Myth
Lost Bird of Wounded Knee: Spirit of the Lakota
The Lost Boy and the Monster
Luminaries of the Humble
Maata’s Journal
Maybe I Will Do Something: Seven Coyote Tales
Maii and Cousin Horned Toad
Mali Npnaqs: The Story of a Mean Little Old Lady
Mama, Do You Love Me?
Mama’s Little One
Manabozho’s Gifts: Three Chippewa Tales
The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway
The Matchlock Gun
Mayers: A Yucatec Maya Family
Mayuk the Grizzly Bear
Meet Mindy: A Native Girl from the Southwest
Meet Naiche: A Native Boy from the Chesapeake bay Area
Meet Tricky Coyote!
Memory Songs
The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe
Millie Cooper’s Ride: A True Story from History
Minik’s Story
Mink and Cloud
Mink and Grey Bird
Mink and Granny
Mink and Whale
Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway
Missions of the Central Coast
Missions of the Inland Valleys
Missions of the Los Angeles Area
Missions of the Monterey Bay Area
Missions of the San Francisco Bay Area
Missions of the Southern Coast
Mohawk Trail
Montezuma and the Aztecs
Moon Mother: A Native American Creation Tale
Moonstick: The Seasons of the Sioux
The Moon, the Sun, and the Coyote
More Earthmaker’s Tales: North American Indian Stories About Earth Happenings
More Star Tales: North American Indian Stories about the Stars
Morning on the Lake
Morning Sun, Black Star: The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America’s Energy Crisis
The Morning the Sun Went Down
Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
Murdo’s Story: A Legend from Northern Manitoba
“Mush-hole”: Memories of a Residential School
Muskrat Will Be Swimming
My Arctic 1, 2, 3
My Grandmother’s Cookie Jar
My Heart Is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880
My Indian Boyhood
My Name is Seepeetza
My Navajo Sister
My People, the Sioux
Mystery of Coyote Canyon
Mystery of the Navajo Moon
Myths of the Cherokee
Myths and Legends of the Sioux
Nanabosho Dances
Nanabosho: How the Turtle Got Its Shell
Nanabosho, Soaring Eagle, and the Great Sturgeon
Nanobosho Steals Fire
Nanabosho and the Woodpecker
Native America: Portrait of the Peoples
Native American Culture Series: Arts and Crafts
Native American Culture Series: Child Reading
Native American Culture Series: Daily Life
Native American Culture Series: The European Invasion
Native American Culture Series: Spiritual Life
Native American Culture Series: Tribal Law
A Native American Feast
Native American Gardening: Stories, Projects, and Recipes for Families
Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children’s Editions
Native American Testimony
Native Americans
Native Americans in Children’s Literature
Native Americans: Projects, Games and Activities for Grades K-3
Native Americans: Projects, Games and Activities for Grades 4-6
Native North American Literature
The Naughty Little Rabbit and Old Man Coyote
Navajo ABC: A Dine Alphabet Book
Navajo Coyote Tales
Navajo Creation Myth: The Story of the Emergence
Navajo Long Walk (Armstrong)
Navajo Long Walk (Bruchac)
Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period
Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa
Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming: Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults
The Night the White Deer Died
Nishnawbe: A Story of Indians in Michigan
No Borders
No Parole Today
Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails
Northwest Coast Indians
Northwoods Cradle Song: From a Menominee Lullaby
No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School
Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert
Of Mother Earth and Father Sky: A Photographic Study of Navajo Cultures
Of Plymouth Plantation
Ojibwa Texts
The Ojibway Dream
Ojibway Family Life in Minnesota
Old Bag of Bones: A Coyote Tale
Old Enough
Old Father Storyteller
The Old Hogan
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims
One More Story: Contemporary Seneca Indian Tales of the Supernatural
On Mother’s Lap
On the Trail of Elder Brother: Gous’gap Stories of the Micmac Nation
On the Trail Made of Dawn: Native American Creation Stories
Orca’s Song
The Other Side of Nowhere
Our Journey
Outfoxing Coyote
Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed
Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead
Pah
Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North Americans
Pasquala: The Story of a California Indian Girl
The Path of the Quiet Elk
People of the Breaking Day
People of Salmon and Cedar
The People with Five Fingers
Photographs and Poems by Sioux Children
Pia Toya: A Goshute Indian Legend
The Pilgrims and Me
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving
Pipaluk and the Whales
The Place at the Edge of the Earth
Plains Indians Diorama to Cut and Assemble
Pomo Basketmaking: A supreme art for the weaver
Popul Vuh
A Portrait of Spotted Deer’s Grandfather
Potlach: A Tsimshian Celebration
Power
Powwow
Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life
The Prince and the Salmon People
Protectors of the Land: An Environmental Journey to Understanding the Conservation Ethic
Pte Oyate: Buffalo Nations, Buffalo People
Pueblo Boy: Growing Up in Two Worlds
Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds
Pueblo Storyteller
Quest for the Eagle Feather
Questions and Swords: Folktales of the Zapatista Revolution
A Quick Brush of Wings
Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend
Rachel’s Children
The Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge: A Chumash Legend
Rainbow Crow
A Rainbow at Night: The World in Words and Pictures by Navajo Children
Rain Is Not My Indian Name
Rainy’s Powwow
The Range Eternal
Raven and the Moon and The Oystercatcher: Two Haida Legends
Raven Goes Berrypicking
Raven Returns the Water
Raven and Snipe
Raven’s Gift
Raven’s Light: A Myth from the People of the Northwest Coast
The Raven Steals the Light
Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest
A Really Good Brown Girl
Recovering the Word: Essays on Native American Literature
Red Hawk’s Account of Custer’s Last Battle
Red Hawk and the Sky Sisters: A Shawnee Legend
Red Flower Goes West
Red Indian Fair Book
Red Parka Mary
red woman with backward dyes
The Return of crazy horse
Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans
A River Lost
Rolly’s Bear
The Rough-Face Girl
Runs With Horses
The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Saanii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing
Salmon Boy
A Salmon for Simon
Salmon Summer
Sculpted Stones/Piedras Labradas
Seaman’s Journal: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark
The Sea Monster’s Secret
Searching for Chipeta: The Story of a Ute and Her People
The Second Bend in the River
The Secrets and Mysteries of the Cherokee Little People, Yunwi Tsunsdi
The Secret of the White Buffalo
Seeds of Struggle, Songs of Hope: Poetry of Emerging Youth y Sus Maestros del Movimeniento
Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother’s Wisdom
Seminole Children and Elders Talk Together
The Seven Fires: An Ojibway Prophecy
The Seven Visions of Bull Lodge as Told by His Daughter Garter Snake
Seya’s Song
Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer
Shingebiss: An Ojibwa Legend
Shooting Back from the Reservation: A Photographic View of Life by Native American Youth
The Sign of the Beaver
Sika and the Raven
Sing Down the Moon
Sing Down the Rain
The Sioux: Facts, Stories, Activities
Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux
Sitting Bull and His World
Skeleton Man
The Sketchbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
Skunny Wundy and other Indian Tales
SkySisters
The Snake that Lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Other Ohlone Stories
Soaring Spirits: Conversations with Native American Teens
Solar Storms
Soloman’s Tree
Son of Raven, Son of Deer: Fables of the Tse-Shaht People
Song of the Hermit Thrust: An Iroquois Legend
Song of Sedna
Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave
Songs of Shiprock Fair
The Song Within My Heart
The Sound of Flutes
Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry
Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America
Spider Woman
The Spirit Line
Spirit of the Maya: A Boy Explores His People’s Mysterious Past
Spirit of the White Bison
Spirit Transformed: A Journey from Tree to Totem
Spirit Voices of Bones
Spotted Eagle and Black Crow: A Lakota Legend
Spotted Tail’s Folk: A History of the Brule Sioux
The Spring Celebration
Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
The Star Maiden
Star Tales: North American Indian Stories about the Stars
Stories of the Road Allowance People
The Story of Blue Elk
The Story of Colors/La Historia de los Colores
A Story of the Dreamcatcher
The Story of the First Thanksgiving
The Story of Jumping Mouse: A Native American Legend
The Story of the Pilgrims
A Story to Tell: Traditions of a Tlingit Community
The Storyteller’s Sourcebook
The Story of Thanksgiving (Bartlett)
The Story of Thanksgiving (Skarmeas)
Strong Hearts: Native American Visions and Voices
The Sugar Bush
Sunflower’s Promise: A Zuni Legend
Sunpainters: Eclipse of the Navajo Sun
Supper for Crow: A Northwest Coast Indian Tale
A Symphony of Whales
T’aal: The One who Takes Bad Children
The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote
Ten Little Rabbits
Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village
The Thanksgiving Beast Feast
Thanksgiving Fun Activity Book
Thanksgiving Day (Gibbons)
Thanksgiving Day (Rockwell)
Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective
The Thanksgiving Story
That Tricky Coyote!
Thunderwoman: A Mythic Novel of the Pueblos
The Truth about Sacajawea
There Still are Buffalo
They Dance in the Sky: Native American Star Myths
They Were Strong and Good
This Land is My Land
Those Tiny Bits of Beans
Thunder Bear and Ko: The Buffalo Nation and Nambe Pueblo
Time Among the Navajos: Traditional Lifeways on the Reservation
Tjatjakiymatchan (Coyote): A Legend from Carmel Valley
To Kill an Indian: Indian Views on the Last Days of Crazy Horse
To Live in Two Worlds: American Indian Youth Today
Tonweya and the Eagles and Other Lakota Tales
Totem Pole
Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Log to Life
Truth and Bright Water
The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story
Turkey’s, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn
Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend
Turtle Island: Tales of the Algonquian Nation
Turtle Lung Woman’s Granddaughter
Turtle Meat and other Stories
Turtle’s Race with Beaver
Two Bad Boys: A Very Old Cherokee Tale
Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from California’s Yosemite Valley
Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Pairs of Shoes
Urban Voices: The Bay Area Indian Community
The Upstairs room
The Vanishing Race and Other Illusions: Photographs of Indians by Edward S. Curtis
Vatos
The Very First Americans
The Very First Thanksgiving Day
Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature 1900-1970
Waboseg (An Ojibwe story about Rabbits’ ears)
Waheenee: An Indian Girl’s Story
Wait for Me!
Walking the Choctaw Road
Walks in Beauty
Walk Two Moons
Waleye Warriors: An Effective Alliance Against Racism and for the Earth
War of the Eagles
Waterlily
Watership Down
We Are All Related: A Celebration of Our Cultural Heritage
We Are the Many: A Picture Book of American Indians
Weaving a California Tradition: A Native American Basketweaver
Weave Little Stars Into My Sleep: Native American Lullabies
Whale Brother
Whale Girl
When Beaver Was Very Great
When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror
When the Moon is Full: A Lunar Year
When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans
When the World Ended, How Hummingbird Got Fire, How People Were Made
Where Courage Is Like a Wild Horse
Where Did You Get Your Moccasins
Where Only the Elders Go—Moon Lake Loon Lake
Where There Is No Name for Art: The Art of Tewa Pueblo Children
Where the Rivers Meet
Whispers Among the Mission Trail
Whispers from the First Californians: A Story of California’s First People
White Buffalo Woman: A Storybook Based on Indian Legend
White Wolf
who will tell my brother?
Why Buffalo Roam
Wild Rice and the Ojibway People
The Winter People
Winter Thunder: Retold Tales
Wisahkecahk Flies to the Moon
The Wish Wind
WolfStar
Women of the Struggle: Portraits and Testimony of Native American Women
Word Up! Hope for Youth Poetry
The World of Manabozho: Tales of the Chippewa Indians
The Worry Stone
Wounded Knee
Writing as Witness
The Year of Miss Agnes
Yonder Mountains: A Cherokee Legend
Yudonsi: A Tale from the Canyons
A Zuni Artist Looks at Frank Hamilton Cushing
Zuni Breadstuff
Zuni Children and Elders Talk Together
The Zunis: Self-Portrayals