Sunday, June 18, 2006


News first: Sherman Alexie is working on a young adult novel. It will be published (scheduled for release in 2007) by Little Brown, and is titled The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. if you are unfamiliar with his work, take a look at his website:

I'm reading an old book by Lois Duncan, titled Season of the Two-Heart, published in 1964 by Dodd, Mead. I ordered it from a used book seller because it is about a Pueblo Indian girl who leaves her reservation to spend her senior year in Albuquerque to attend public school. She lives there with a white family. In return for room and board, she will take care of the two younger children (boys) and other chores (housekeeping and maybe some cooking).

There's some pretty outrageous passages. Duncan was trying to write a story about a girl in conflict who wants to leave her home for the white world. To do that, Duncan had to make Pueblo life unattractive and unappealing, and for readers, she had to create sympathy and support for the girl's decision. Here's one example:
"The nurse gave me some medicine," Natachu had said, "in a bottle. She says I am to put it on my head and on the heads of the babies. She says it will keep the little bugs from biting us."
And here's more in that thread:
"Medicine on your head!" Grandmother had been nearly beside herself with indignation. "First water and now medicine! Perhaps she would like you to cut off your head entirely! Medicine, indeed!"

"I've been using it for a couple of days now," Natachu had continued determinedly. "It works. My head hardly itches at all."

"Heads are supposed to itch," Grandmother had insisted. "It is the Great Spirit Himself who puts the little bugs there. If He did not wish us to have them. He would take them away Himself."

In the pages leading to this, the grandma (who is developed as a mean-spirited person who rules the family with an iron fist) objects to the indoor plumbing that was recently installed. She tells the family they are wasting water they'll need for drinking, and they should not use it on their faces and hands. Natachu has been washing her hair, and her grandmother says:
"See her hair; it is thinning already! All that water is washing the roots from her head."
I'm currently reading on page 37. The Boynton's (the family who takes her in) have a senior daughter named Laurie who resents having Natachu around. Laurie's character is developed as a popular, outgoing teenager who has all the latest clothes.

Duncan wrote this book 42 years ago. I wonder---do authors (like Duncan) go back and shudder when they read some of what they wrote? She, like any of us, is a product of our society. We are all socialized to think in certain ways about certain people, and whether we are aware of that socialization or not, it makes its way into what we say and do, often without our realizing it. Dirty Indians. That's what we have in Season of the Two-Heart.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Third post to the blog... I hope to post on a weekly basis, with news re children's books about American Indians, but also response(s) to emails I get from readers.

Larry Whitler posted the title of a book he wrote, called Oreo and Braun: XOB, The Full Circle Quest
and noted that some of the story is about a Native American man and his son and prejudice they experienced in 1886.

Larry---what tribe is the man? My blog is called "American Indians in Children's Literature." I use the global term "American Indians" because my discussions are on that topic, broadly speaking. However, I try to be specific when I discuss Native people or characters, if I have access to that information. For example, I do not say I am American Indian. Instead, I specifically say I am from Nambe Pueblo. This is important practice, as it gets across the idea that there are over 500 federally-recognized tribes in the United States. This specificity serves to counter the monolithic image of THE American Indian.

Also of interest regarding Larry's book... I don't know the book, but went over the the Amazon site to see what I could learn about it there. NOWHERE does it say that there is Native American content. Why is that? I pose that as a question to readers... Why do we, as a society, not see American Indians? Why are we (American Indians) glossed over, or viewed simply as part of the landscape, oftentimes not worth mentioning?

Even in Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, a lot of people omit reference to American Indians when they talk about that book. Why? In that book, in particular, there is a great deal of content about American Indians, specifically the Osage people. Look over the internet lesson plans. How many of those lesson plans have any mention of American Indians?

A bit of exciting news...

The Northern Arizona Book Festival has established the Michael Lacapa Spirit Prize. It will be awarded to an exceptional children's book, set in the southwest, published within the last two years. When a website with info is up, I'll post the link here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I started this blog in May. This is my second post.

A reader asked (in comments to first post) if I know the work of Ani Rucki. I don't know Rucki's work.

It is the case that there's a boatload of children's books about American Indians out there. Kate Shanley, an enrolled Assiniboine woman from the Fort Peck reservation and professor of Native American Studies at the University of Montana-Missoula, has a terrific article in which she talks about "the Indians America loves to love." That love drives a lot of people to write what they think are stories about American Indians. Their stories, however, are based on pop culture and romantic/savage ideas about who we are. (Note: Shanley's article is called "The Indians America Loves to Love and Read," in AMERICAN INDIAN QUARTERLY, 1997, p. 675-702.)

I don't know anything about Rucki, but my experience has taught me that, chances are, any given children's book about American Indians has major flaws.

I've been studying and writing about children's books about American Indians since 1994 when I began work on my PhD. Prior to that, I taught elementary and middle school in New Mexico and Oklahoma. I am tribally enrolled at Nambe Pueblo, in northern New Mexico. I was raised there, and return home for the usual (weddings/funerals), but also for religious and spiritual gatherings.

As a schoolteacher, I taught my students about bias and stereotypes, about how books can be wrong. In graduate school, I honed my research and critical analysis skills. I've learned a great deal from others. Some key books include:



Kathleen Horning's COVER TO COVER

Betsy Hearne's two articles CITE THE SOURCE and RESPECT THE SOURCE

Below are some of the questions I have in my head whenever I sit down to analyze a Native story that is called a folktale. I invite conversation/discussion with readers of the blog about the questions.

When I consider a folktale, some things I look for are:

1) Is the person listed as the author listed as a "reteller"? That is, on the cover and/or on the title page, is the book "By Ani Rucki" or "Retold by Ani Rucki."

2) In the author's note, or in a source note, does Rucki say where she heard the story, or what source she found it in?

3) If Rucki provides info about her source, does she provide enough detail so that I could find the source if I wanted to?

4) In the author's note, does Rucki tell the reader the ways in which she changed/edited the story and why?

5) In a couple of reviews, there is mention that this is a Navajo folktale. How is that information provided in the book? Is it implied in the story itself or stated on the cover or title page?

I hope readers of the blog are interested in conversation about the questions I've listed above. My first post was a list of books, but my goal is for others to learn how to critically evaluate children's books about American Indians. With such skills, you own that knowledge and can carry and apply it with you wherever you go.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Recommended Children's/YA/Reference/Resource Books

Items selected in the early 2000s by Debbie Reese, Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jean Mendoza, Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois (Last Update: Sep 2017. Our views have shifted since the list was created. See recent Best Books.

Note: There are three sections here. Scroll down to find each one.  
Section 1: A Sampling of Recommended Children's and Young Adult Books about American Indians
Section 2: Books and Articles about American Indians in Children's Literature
Section 3: Books about American Indian Culture
    Section 1: A Sampling of Recommended Children's and Young Adult Books about American Indians 

    PIC – Picture book; RF – Realistic Fiction; HF – Historical Fiction; NF – Nonfiction; P – Poetry; TL – Traditional Literature; B – Biography; AB – Autobiography; E – Elem.; M – Middle School; YA – Young Adult

    Alexie, Sherman. (1994) Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven. New York: Harperperennial. (RF - YA)

    Alexie, Sherman (2007) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. NY: Little Brown. (RF-YA)

    Allen, Paula Gunn. (2001) As Long As the Rivers Flow: The Stories of Nine Native Americans. New York: Scholastic (B – E/M)

    Ancona, George. (1993) Powwow. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Ancona, George. (1995). Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo. Macmillan. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Andrews, Jan. (1998). Very Last First Time. Aladdin (PIC/RF – All ages).

    Archuleta, Margaret L., Brenda J. Child, and K. Tsianina Lomawaima. (2000) Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences. Phoenix: The Heard Museum. (NF – YA)

    Begay, Shonto (1995) Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa. New York: Scholastic (P – All ages)

    Blacksheep, Beverly [illustrator] (2003). Baby Learns About Animals. Flagstaff, AZ : Salina Bookshelf (PIC/Board book for toddlers)

    Blacksheep, Beverly [illustrator] (2003). Baby’s First Laugh Flagstaff, AZ : Salina Bookshelf (PIC/Board book for toddlers)

    Blacksheep, Beverly [illustrator] (2003). Baby Learns to Count, Flagstaff, AZ : Salina Bookshelf (PIC/Board book for toddlers)

    Blacksheep, Beverly [illustrator] (2003). Baby Learns about Colors, Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf (PIC/Board book for toddlers)

    Braine, Susan. (1995). Drumbeat…Heartbeat: A Celebration of the Powwow. Lerner Pub. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Broker, Ignatia. (1983) Night Flying Woman. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society. (HF - YA)

    Bruchac, Joseph (2004) Hidden Roots, New York: Scholastic. (RF – M)

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1993). Fox Song. Philomel Books (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1995). The Story of the Milky Way. Dial Books for Young Readers (PIC/TL – All ages).

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1996). Eagle Song. Dial (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1998) Arrow Over the Door. New York: Dial. (HF - E/M)

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1997) Bowman’s Store. New York: Dial. (Autobiography - M/YA)

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1996) Children of the Longhouse. New York: Dial. (HF - E/M)

    Bruchac, Joseph. (1998). Heart of a Chief. Dial (RF - M).

    Bruchac, Joseph. (2001) Skeleton Man. HarperCollins. (RF – M/YA)

    Campbell, Maria. (1973) Halfbreed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (RF - M/YA)

    Campbell, Nicola. (2006) Shi-shi-etko, NY: Groundwood. (PIC – All Ages)

    Carlson, Lori Marie [ed.] (2005). Moccasin Thunder. NY: Harper Collins. (RF - YA) Short stories by Harjo, Hogan, Alexie, Smith.

    Champagne, Duane. (1994) Chronology of Native North American History. Detroit: Gale Research (NF – All ages)

    Champagne, Duane. (1994) Native America: Portrait of the Peoples. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. (NF – All ages)

    Child, Brenda. (2000). Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940. Bison Books Corporation. (NF – All ages)

    Children of LaLoche & Friends. (1990). Byron through the Seasons. Fifth House Ltd. (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, (2005), Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press. (PIC/TL – All ages)

    Crum, Robert. (1994). Eagle Drum: On the Powwow Trail with a Young Grass Dancer. Simon & Schuster. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    De Montano, Marty Kreipe (1998) Coyote in Love with a Star. New York: Abbeville Press. (PIC/TL – All ages)

    Deloria, Ella. (1988) Waterlily. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. (HF - M/YA).

    Deloria, Vine. (1969). Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: MacMillan. (NF – M/YA)

    Dorris, Michael. (1994) Guests. New York: Scholastic (HF - E/M)

    Dorris, Michael (1992) Morning Girl. New York: Scholastic (HF - E/M).

    Dorris, Michael. (1996). Sees Behind Trees. New York: Scholastic (HF - E/M)

    Dorris, Michael. (1998). The Window. Hyperion (RF – M/YA).

    Earling, Debra Magpie. (2002). Perma Red. Blue Hen Books. (RF-YA).

    Eastman, Charles. (1977) From the Deep Woods to Civilization. University of Nebraska Press. (AB – M/YA)

    Eastman, Charles (1993) Indian Boyhood. Alexander, VA: Time Life Books. (AB - M/YA)

    Ellis, Clyde. (1996). To Change Them Forever: Indian Education at the Rainy Mountain Boarding School, 1893-1920. University of Oklahoma Press. (NF – M/YA)

    Erdrich, Louise. (1999). Grandmother's Pigeon. Hyperion (PIC/RF - E).

    Erdrich, Louise. (1999). Birchbark House. New York: Hyperion. (HF - E/M)

    Erdrich, Louise. (2005) Game of Silence. New York: HarperCollins (HF – E/M)

    Eyvindson, Peter. (1984). Kyle’s Bath. Pemmican Publications (PIC/RF - E).

    Eyvindson, Peter. (1988). Chester Bear, Where Are You? Pemmican Publications (PIC/RF - E).

    Gravelle, Karen. (1997). Growing Up Where the Partridge Drums Its Wings. Franklin Watts. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Francis, Lee. (1996). Native Time: A Historical Time Line of Native America. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. (NF – All ages)

    Geiogamah, Hanay & Darby, Jaye T., (1999). Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of American Indian Plays. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center. (Anthology – YA).

    Grace, Catherine O’Neill and Bruchac, Margaret. (2001). National Geographic Society. (NF – All ages)

    Hale, Janet Campbell. (1993). Bloodlines. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. (RF - YA).

    Hale, Janet Campbell. (1998). The Owl’s Song. University of New Mexico Press (RF - YA).

    Harjo, Joy. (1996) Woman Who Fell From the Sky. W. W. Norton & Company (P – YA)

    Harjo, Joy. (2000). The Good Luck Cat. (PIC/RF - E/M)

    Himango, Deanna. (2002). Boozhoo, Come Play With Us. Cloquet, MN: Fond du Lac Head Start Program (available from (NF/PIC - Board book for babies and toddlers)

    Howe, LeAnne. (2001). Shell Shaker. Aunt Lute Books. (Fiction – YA)

    Howe, LeAnne. (2005). Evidence of Red: Prose and Poems. Salt Publishing. (Poetry – YA)

    Hubbard, Jim. (1994) Shooting Back from the Reservation. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Hucko, Bruce. (1996) A Rainbow At Night: The World in Words and Pictures. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. (NF – All ages)

    Hucko, Bruce. (1996). Where There Is No Name for Art: The Art of Tewa Pueblo Children.Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research: Distributed by the University of Washington Press. (NF – All ages)

    Hungry Wolf, Beverly. (1980). The Ways of My Grandmothers. New York: Quill. (RF - YA)

    Hunter, Sally, M. (1997) Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition. Photographs by Joe Allen. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Hunter, Sara Hoagland. (1996). The Unbreakable Code. Northland (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Hyer, Sally. (1990). One House, One Voice, One Heart: Native American Education at the Santa Fe Indian School. Museum of New Mexico Press. (NF – All ages)

    Jaakola, Lyz. (2001). Our Journey. Cloquet, MN: Fond du Lac Head Start Program. (RF/PIC - Board book for babies and toddlers)

    Johnson, Diane Hamm. (1997). Daughter of Suqua. Albert Whitman & Co. (RF – E/M).

    Keeshig-Tobias, Lenore. (1991). Bird Talk. Sister Vision (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Keeshig-Tobias, Lenore. (1997). Emma and the Trees. Sister Vision (PIC/RF – E/M).

    King, Sandra. Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer. (1993). Photographs by Catherine Whipple. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    King, Thomas. (1993 ) One Good Story That One. Toronto: HarperPerennial. (RF – YA)

    King, Thomas. (1991) Medicine River. NY: Penguin. (RF – YA)

    King, Thomas. (1992) A Coyote Columbus Story. Toronto: Douglas McIntyre Ltd. (PIC/TL – M/YA)

    King, Thomas. (2000) Truth and Bright Water. Atlantic Monthly Press. (RF – YA)

    King, Thomas. (2003). The Truth about Stories. Minneapolis: U of Minn Press. (NF – YA)

    Krull, Kathleen. (1995). One Nation, Many Tribes: How Kids Live in Milwaukee’s Indian Community. Lodestar. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Kusugak, Michael. (1993). Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails. Annick Press Ltd. (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Kusugak, Michael. (1996). My Arctic 1, 2, 3. Annick Press Ltd. (PIC/RF - E).

    Lacapa, Michael. (1993). Antelope Woman, An Apache Folktale. (PIC/TL – E/M)

    Lacapa, Kathleen & Michael. (1994). Less Than Half, More Than Whole. Northland (PIC/RF – E/M).

    LaFlesche, Francis. (1963)The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe. Lincoln: U of Neb. Press. (NF - M/YA)

    Littlechild, George. (1993) This Land is My Land. Children’s Book Press. (PIC/RF – All ages)

    Lomawaima, K. Tsianina (1994). They Called It Prairie Light. University of Nebraska Press (NF – M/YA).

    Maher, Ramona. (2003). Alice Yazzie’s Year. Berkeley: Tricycle Press. (PIC/RF – E/MA).

    Marra, Ben. (1996) Powwow: Images Along the Red Road. Photographs by Ben Marra. New York: Abrams. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    McDonald, Megan. (1997). Tundra Mouse. Orchard Books (PIC/RF – E/M).

    McMillan, Bruce. (1997). Fort Chipewyan Homecoming: A Journey to Native Canada. Lerner Pub. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    McNickle, D’Arcy. (1978). Wind from an Enemy Sky. HarperCollins. (RF - YA).

    McNickle, D’Arcy. (1978). The Surrounded. University of New Mexico Press. (RF - YA).

    McNickle, D’Arcy. (1987). Runner in the Sun. University of New Mexico Press. (HF – M/YA).

    Mendoza, Durango (1994) “Summer Water and Shirley” in Judith A. Stanford, Ed. Connections: Reading and Writing in Cultural Contexts., Third Edition. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing, pp. 184-191. (Anthology – YA)

    Messinger, Carla (2007) When the Shadbush Blooms. (PIC/E-M)

    Momaday, N. Scott (1974) An Angle of Geese and Other Poems. Boston: Godine (P – YA)

    Momaday, N. Scott (1999) Circle of Wonder. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. (PIC/RF – E/M)

    Montour, Joel. (1996). Cloudwalker: Contemporary Native American Stories. Fulcrum (RF - M).

    Moore, MariJo. (2000). The Cherokee Little People. Barrington, IL: Rigby. (PIC/TL – E/M).

    Moore, Marijo. (2000). The Ice Man. Barrington, IL: Rigby. (PIC/TL – E/M).

    Moore, MariJo. (2000). First Fire. Barrington, IL: Rigby. (PIC/TL – E/M).

    Munsch, Robert. (1989). A Promise Is a Promise. Annick Press Ltd. (PIC/RF – E/M).

    National Museum of the American Indian (2007) Do All Indians Live in Tipis? (NF/EL-YA)

    Okanagan Tribal Council (1999) How Food Was Given, How Names Were Given, and How Turtle Set the Animals Free. Okanagan Tribal Council. (TL – All Ages)

    Orie, Sandra DeCoteau. (1995) Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name? An Oneida Song of Spring. NY: Walker & Co. (PIC/P – all ages)

    Ortiz, Simon. (1988). The People Shall Continue. Children’s Book Press. (PIC/P - all ages)

    Parker, Dorothy R. (1996). Phoenix Indian School: The Second Half Century. University of Arizona Press. (NF – YA)

    Peters, Russell. (1992) Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition. Photographs by John Madama. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., 1992. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Quoyawayma, Polingaysi. (1964). No Turning Back. A Hopi Indian Woman’s Struggle to Live in Two Worlds. University of New Mexico Press (AB – M/YA).

    Red Shirt, Delphine (1998). Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press. (NF – YA)

    Regguinti, Gordon. (1992) The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering. Photographs by Dale Kakkak. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Rendon, Marcie. (1996) Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life. Photographs by Cheryl Walsh Bellville. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Rockwood, Joyce. (1976) To Spoil the Sun. New York: Henry Holt (HF - M/YA) [Eds. note on Sep 11, 2017: I need to revisit this book. Views on books like this have shifted since the list was initially created. For the present time, I do not recommend it.]

    Roessel, Monty. (1993) Kinaaldá: A Navajo Girl Grows Up. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Roessel, Monty. (1995) Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. (Photo essay/NF – All ages).

    Roessel, Ruth. (1973). Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period. Tsaile, AZ: Navajo Community College Press. (NF – YA)

    Rose, LaVera. (1999) Grandchildren of the Lakota. Photographs by Cheryl Walsh Bellville. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Ross, Gayle (1995) How Turtle’s Back Was Cracked: A Traditional Cherokee Tale. New York: Dial (PIC/TL – E/M)

    Ross, Gayle (1996) The Legend of the Windigo. New York: Dial (PIC/TL – E/M)

    Ruoff, A. Lavonne Brown. (1991) Literatures of the American Indian. New York: Chelsea House (NF – All ages)

    Sanderson, Esther. (1990). Two Pairs of Shoes. Pemmican Publications (PIC/RF - E).

    Savageau, Cheryl. (1996). Muskrat Will Be Swimming. Northland (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Scott, Ann Herbert. (1992). On Mother’s Lap. Clarion (PIC/RF - E).

    Sekaquaptewa, Eugene. (1994). Coyote and the Winnowing Birds. Clear Light (PIC/TL – All ages).

    Skolnick, Sharon. (1997) Where Courage is Like a Wild Horse. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. (RF - YA)

    Smith, Cynthia. (2000). Jingle Dancer. Morrow Junior (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Smith, Cynthia (1999). Rain is Not My Indian Name. New York: HarperCollins (RF - E/M)

    Smith, Cynthia (2002). Indian Shoes. New York: HarperCollins (RF-E/M)

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (1995). Completing the Circle. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (Autobiography – YA)

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk.(1993). The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman. University of Nebraska Press (RF – E/M).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (1993) The Sioux: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. (1993). When Thunders Spoke. University of Nebraska Press (F - E/M).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (1994). The Nez Perce: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Viriginia Driving Hawk (1994). The Seminoles: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. (1995). High Elk’s Treasure. Holiday House (RF – E/M).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (1995) The Hopis: A First Americans Book. Holiday House (NF – All ages)

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (1995) The Iroquois: A First Americans Book. Holiday House (NF – All ages)

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. (1995) The Navajos: A First Americans Book. Holiday House (NF – All ages)

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (1996). The Cherokees: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (1996) The Cheyennes: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (1997), The Apaches: A First Americans Book. Holiday House. (NF – All ages).

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk, (2003), Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans. Holiday House (NF – All ages).

    Steltzer, Ulli. Building an Igloo. New York: Henry Holt, 1995. (Photo essay/NF – All ages).

    Sterling, Shirley. (1997). My Name is Seepeetza. Douglas & McIntyre (RF - M).

    Stroud, Virginia. (1994). Doesn’t Fall Off His Horse. Dial Books for Young Readers (PIC/TL – All ages).

    Students of G.T. Cunningham Elementary School (1996). We Are All Related: A Celebration of Our Cultural Heritage. (NF- all ages)

    Swamp, Jake. (1997) Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. Lee & Low. (PIC/P - all ages)

    Swentzell, Rina. (1992) Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters, Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., 1992. (Photo essay/NF – all ages)

    Talashoema, Herschel; Sekaquaptewa, Emory (Ed.); and Pepper, Barbara (Ed.). (1994). Coyote and Little Turtle. Clear Light. (PIC/TL – All ages).

    Tapahonso, Luci (1997). Blue Horses Rush In. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. (P/RF – YA)

    Tapahonso, Luci. (1999). Songs of Shiprock Fair. Kiva (PIC/P – All ages).

    Thompson, Sheila. (1991). Cheryl’s Potlatch. Yinka Dene Language Institute. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Turcotte, Mark. (1995). Songs of Our Ancestors. Chicago: Children’s Press (PIC/P – All ages)

    Van Camp, Richard. (1998), The Lesser Blessed. Douglas & McIntyre (RF – YA)

    Van Camp, Richard; ill. by George Littlechild, (1997). A Man Called Raven. Children’s Book Press. (PIC/RF – E/M)

    Van Camp, Richard; ill. by George Littlechild, (1998). What’s the Most Beautiful Thing you Know about Horses. Children’s Book Press. (PIC/RF – E/M)

    Van Camp, Richard. (2007) Welcome Song for Baby. (Board book – All ages).

    Velarde, Pablita. (1993) Old Father Storyteller. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers. (TL - all ages) – includes “Turkey Girl”

    Waboose, Jan Bourdeau. (1998). Morning on the Lake. Kids Can Press (PIC/RF – E/M).

    Waboose, Jan Bourdeau (2001). Sky Sisters. (PIC/RF – E/M)

    Wallis, Velma. (1993) Two Old Women. New York: HarperPerennial (HF - M/YA)

    Walking Turtle, Eagle. (1997). Full Moon Stories. Hyperion (TL – All ages).

    Wheeler, Bernelda. (1995). Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? Peguis Publications (PIC/RF - E).
    Wheeler, Bernelda. (1993). I Can’t Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam. Peguis Publications (PIC/RF - E).

    Whitethorne, Baje. (1994). Sunpainters: Eclipse of the Navajo Sun. Northland (PIC/TL – All ages).

    Wittstock, Laura Waterman. (1993). Ininatig's Gift of Sugar: Traditional Native 
    Sugarmaking. Photographs by Dale Kakkak. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Wood, Ted. (1992). A Boy Becomes a Man at Wounded Knee. Walker and Company. (Photo essay/NF – All ages)

    Yamane, Linda. (1997) Weaving a California Tradition: A Native American Basket Maker.Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications. (Photo essay/NF – All ages) Photographs by Dugan Aguilar. 

    Section Two: Recommended Resources about Native Americans in Children’s Literature

    Atleo, M., Caldwell, N., Landis, B., Mendoza, J., Miranda, D., Reese, D., Rose, L., Slapin, B., Smith, C. (1999). A Critical Review of Ann Rinaldi's My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, A Sioux Girl. Oyate.

    Caldwell-Wood, Naomi, and Lisa A. Mitten. (1991) “I” Is Not for Indian: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People.

    Internet Public Library: Native American Authors. Provides a list of Native American authors, plus a short biography, a list of published works, and links to relevant sites.

    Kuipers, Barbara. (1991) American Indian Reference Books for Children and Young Adults. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited.

    McCann, D. (1993). Native Americans in Books for the Young. In V. Harris (Ed.) Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

    Mendoza, Jean and Reese, Debbie. (2001). Examining Multicultural Picture Books for the Early Childhood Classroom: Possibilities and Pitfalls. Early Childhood Research and Practice 3 (2), On-line:

    Molin, Paulette. (2005). American Indian Themes in Young Adult Literature. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

    Native American Books. This on-line resource contains critical reviews of children’s books.

    Reese, Debbie A., & Caldwell-Wood, Naomi. (1997). Native Americans in Children's Literature. In V. J. Harris (Ed.), Using Multiethnic Literature in the K-8 Classroom. Christopher Gordon, Inc.

    Reese, Debbie. (2001). Representations of Native American Women and Girls in Children’s Historical Fiction, in Lehr, Susan. (Ed.) Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Construction of Gender in Children’s Literature. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

    Reese, Debbie. (1999). Authenticity & Sensitivity: Goals on writing and reviewing books with Native American themes. School Library Journal 45 (11), pp. 36-37. On-line:

    Reese, Debbie A. (1998). “Look Mom! It’s George! He’s a TV Indian!” Horn Book Magazine, 74(5), pp. 636-641.

    Seale, Doris, and Slapin, Beverly. (2006). A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. AltaMira Press.

    Slapin, Beverly, and Seale, Doris. (1998). Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children. University of California, American Indian Studies Center.

    Smith, Cynthia L. Native American Themes in Books for Children and Teens. Start exploring Smith’s site with this page:

    Smithsonian Institution. A Critical Bibliography on North American Indians for K-12. An extensive site, arranged by geographical area.

    Thompson, M.K. (Sept: 2001) “A sea of good intentions: Native Americans in books for children.” The Lion and the Unicorn.

    Tyler, Rhonda Harris (Jul/Aug 2000) “Indian in the Cupboard: A Case Study in Perspective” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), Vol. 13, Issue 4 

    Section Three: Recommended Professional Resources. Books and websites listed here can help teachers and librarians locate books, do fact checking, and gain insight and awareness of issues related to Native culture and Native perspectives.

    Aperture.(1995) Strong Hearts: Native American Visions and Voices. New York: Aperture.

    American Indian Library Association website:

    Berkhofer, Robert E. (1978). The White Man’s Indian. New York: Vintage Books.

    Bigelow, Bill. (1998). Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools.

    Cubbins, E.M. (1999) Techniques for Evaluating American Indian Web Sites. An excellent page with substantive information.

    Davis, Mary B. (1996). Native America in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing Inc.

    Deloria, Phillip. (1998). Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Hirschfelder, Arlene; Molin, Paulette Fairbanks; & Wakim, Yvonne. (1999). American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children. Scarecrow Press.

    Hoxie, Frederick E. (1996). Encyclopedia of North American Indians. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

    Mitten, Lisa. Native American Home Pages.

    Reese, Debbie. (1996) Teaching Young Children about Native Americans. ERIC Digest. Urbana, IL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. On-line:

    Reese, Debbie. (1997). Thoughts on Not Seeing Oneself. Gender and Culture in Picture Books, School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, Rutgers University. [on-line publication]

    Seale, Doris, B. Slapin, & C. Silverman. (1998) Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective. Berkeley: Oyate.

    Smithsonian Institution. Erasing Native American Stereotypes. An essay based on work done by June Sark Heinrich, Council on Books for Interracial Children, 1977

    Stedman, Raymond William. (1982). Shadows of the Indian. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

    Womack, Craig. (1999) Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press.