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Native American Heritage Month

native american

November 19, 2018

The American Indian and Alaska Native population includes 6.8 million people and is estimated to grow to 10 million by 2060. Of that population, 26.8 percent are under the age of 18. Since 1994, the U.S. has celebrated National Native American Heritage Month, declared by Presidential Proclamation.

MCPL’s catalog includes many great children’s books that celebrate the rich history of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including many winners of the American Indian Youth Literature Award. Here are a few suggestions for kids and teens:

Kids

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk

“This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little ‘Kulu,’ an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.” – Syndetics Summary
Recommended for fans of: I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal or Love by Matt de la Peña

Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith

“Unable to be quiet since he was born, Holler Loudly only gets louder as he grows up, which gets him in trouble at school, the library, and the movie theater. When a tornado threatens the state fair, Holler's voice may save the day.” – Syndetics Summary
Recommended for fans of: The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood or Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin

Makoons by Louise Erdrich

“Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.” – Syndetics Summary
Recommended for fans of: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder or The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Teens

#Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy (Tsilhqot’in) and Mary Beth Leatherdale

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.” – Syndetics Summary
Recommended for fans of: Fresh Ink edited by L. R. Giles or Diverse Energies edited by Ellen Oh

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

“In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-20th Century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.” – Syndetics Summary
Recommended for fans of: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline  or Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Enjoy these and other great titles by American Indian and Alaska Native authors at your local library!

Scott R.
Youth Services Department

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