With it being Native American Heritage Month, our Middle Grade book spotlight this week is on books that are either authored by Native American and Indigenous authors or feature characters representing this heritage!!! These books are amazing and so many of these authors have written more than just the titles that are being featured--so if you like this one there are others you can read as well. Most of the titles featured are standalones so if you want a book that has a beginning, middle, and end these may be a perfect choice or there are some amazing nonfiction options as well (which are some of my favorites)! These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #youthnativeamerican as well as on Libby and Hoopla. Check back next week for a new teen book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!
I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day--Twelve-year-old Edie knows her mother is a Native American adopted by white parents, but she knows nothing about her Native heritage. One day Edie discovers a box of letters and photographs that raise questions her mother can't or won't answer about the Native American woman who might be Edie's namesake, and Edie begins to question her own identity.
Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin--Features the underdog story of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team which under the leadership of coach Pop Warner and player Jim Thorpe became known as "the team that invented football." Highlights the systematic governmental persecution by the government and the players' determination and grit, on and off the field, that led them to defeat more privileged schools like Army and Harvard.
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse--Seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay can detect monsters--and sees one in the form of her father's new boss. The fancy man has taken a very keen interest in Nizhoni and her brother Mac and the legend of the Hero Twins from Navajo folklore. Her dad refuses to believe Nizhoni, until he is kidnapped leaving only a note that tells the siblings to run. They go on a mission to save their father with a little help from their friends and the Dine? Holy People. But the quest is full of dangers that make it seem like nature itself works against them. If she is to succeed she will need to draw on her heritage to become a true hero.
Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture by Cynthia O’Brien--Presents a visual encyclopedia of North American Indian history and culture, with maps, photographs, mythological and historical stories, timelines of important events, and a registry of today's federally recognized tribes and reservations. Includes a glossary.
The Sea in Winter by Christine Day--Middle schooler Maisie Cannon loses the love of her life when she tears her ACL and can no longer practice ballet. Devastated, she alienates friends and step-siblings and falls into a deep depression. But through an annual family trip to the Olympic Peninsula to learn about her Makah ancestors, Maisie learns she isn't the only one to suffer loss, and once she confides her feelings to her mother, she learns strategies to help her rebound.
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith--A girl named Wendy and her half brother Michael are coerced into following trickster Peter Pan to Neverland in this reimagined Peter Pan tale. Wendy and Michael's half sister Lily, of Muscogee Creek descent, follows them, knowing that what Peter promises sounds sketchy. In Neverland, Wendy and Michael join another group of kidnapped kids who call themselves the Lost, while Lily meets up with a group of natives that Peter refers to as Injuns. Lily joins with the diverse group from different tribes, to devise a rescue plan.