following children's books about Native American cultures provide
educational windows into the daily lives of Native Americas over the
past many centuries.
This is just a start, of course. We know there are plenty more out
there--both picture books and chapter books.
It is important to expose children to a wide range of books about
Native American cultures because children tend to think of Native
Americans as one cohesive group--with all the same traditions, beliefs,
practices, languages, etc. This is far from correct, as there are
over 562 tribes in America, with many similarities but also many differences.
Using a range of books can help remedy that as well as teach children
history of the people as a whole.
interest age increases as
you move down the page.
Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by
charming picture book full of brilliantly colored illustrations retells
an old Texas folk tale about how the 'Indian paintbrush' flower came to
night in a dream, a young Native American boy named Little Gopher is
told where to find brushes filled with vibrant
colors. The next day he locates them and paints the beautifully colored
flowers. (Works great when read with Legend of the Bluebonnet).
of DePaola will love this moving retelling of a popular Comanche legend
that explains how the bluebonnet (Texas's state flower) came
be. A young orphan Indian girl named She-Who-Is-Alone offers her most
cherished possession to the Great Spirits in return for an end to the
long drought that has plagued her people, and in return for her
selfless act, bluebonnet flowers appear on the
Than Moccasins: A
Activity Guide to...American Indian Life
Filled with fun ideas, kids learn the traditions and skills of Native
American cultures, like code talking, weaving,
pottery making (with easy to make baking clay), gardening, and many
hands-on, creative projects.
1-6 Difficulty--age 4-8
lesson plan ideas, DRA & Lexile...
Called Slow by
picture book biography of Sitting Bull, a Lakota Sioux who grew up with
the name Slow. Determined to be a great warrior, he tried his hardest
in hunting, wrestling, and riding, so he was ready by age 14 to go on
his first raid with the warriors. On the raid he ran ahead of the older
warriors to attack the Crows, who ran away, and so his father renamed
him Sitting Bill. "An inspiring story." (SLJ)
Algonquin folktale is an Indian version of the Cinderella story, with
two cruel sisters, a mistreated younger sister, and a handsome
'Invisible Being' that they all want to marry. To be selected to marry
him, a young woman has to prove she has seen him by answering questions
correctly. In the end, it is the mistreated younger sister who is
successful. Simply told with dramatic "haunting
Girl Kaya, 1764 American
Girl Books -- Native
Kaya lives with her family in the traditional Nez Perce homeland in
1764, before the arrival of the white man. She has the nickname of
"Magpie," which means an irresponsible and selfish bird, because she
neglected to watch her twin brothers so she could enter a horse race.
Now she wants to prove she is not like a Magpie after all. There are
six books in this series.
Gr. 3-5 Difficulty Level--age 9-12
ideas, DRA and Lexile, etc...
Birchbark House by
first in a series, this is a story of an Ojibwa family living on an
island in Lake Superior in 1847. They are followed through four
seasons, and the main focus is on Omakayas, a girl who is almost 'eight
winters old.' They build a summer place out of birchbark, do different
things in each season. This book is not for students who need a lot of
action, but those who do read it will be rewarded with endearing
characters and a window into Ojibwa life.
in the Light: The
Diary of Catharine Carey Logan
Summary: A young
Quaker girl named Caty keeps a journal of being captured from
18th century Pennsylvania
Lenape Indians, her gradual understanding and appreciation of their
culture and beliefs, and the struggles he has readjust to Quaker life
once she has been returned. We agree with SLJ, who called
book "a solid piece of historical fiction."
brilliantly told story of the majestic buffalo herds that roamed the
plains and prairies for nearly 10,000 years before slaughter by
European settlers almost drove them to extinction. Patent discusses the
vital role of the buffalo in the spirituality and survival of Native
and how in modern times, the buffalo herds are being
restored. "Deserves a place in every
Heart of the Pocassets, 1653 Royal
in a 17th century Wampanoag village, this Royal Diaries title is the
fictional diary of 14-year-old Weetamoo, who lives close to the initial
Pilgrims settlement. Through Weematoo's journal, readers learn about
Wampanoag culture, traditions, and way of life, as well as their
eventual interactions with the pilgrims. Booklist
called it "a lively yet ultimately tragic tale that vividly
evokes the time period."
Who Chased Away Sorrow: The
Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl
her journal, a thirteen-year-old Navajo girl named Sarah records the
frightening, arduous, and emotionally painful 'Long Walk'--the forced
400-mile journey that Navajos were forced to undertake in 1864, leaving
behind their ancestral homelands and move to Fort Sumner. En route, she
and her sister are separated from their parents, but find enough
strength to make it to the end.
of Running Feet, daughter of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians,
narrates the betrayal of her people and the bloody, tearful
they were made to follow from their home in Oregon to Montana. Real
people, events, and words are woven into the story, as are details
about Nez Perce culture and beliefs. SLJ called this
book "an admirable final addition to O'Dell's legacy of powerful
wants to be married like other Blackfoot girls her age, but her father
thinks she is too young. Over the subsequent year, she proves her
wisdom, bravery and maturity through selfless acts to help members of
her family and community, and finally her father begins to see her
as a woman. Full of rich detail about Indian life. "This is a
which could be enjoyed even by reluctant readers, and is one which will
American Indian Odyssey by
handsome brave named Anpao wants to marry KoKoMikeis, but she is
unwilling, claiming she belongs to the Sun only. So Anpao embarks a
journey to the house of the Sun, to ask permission to marry KoKoMikeis,
but first he has to go back to the beginning of the world and
accomplish a series of tasks to discover his genuine self and show the
Sun why he should have KoKoMikeis for a wife.