Native American Heritage Books

It’s Native American Heritage month, and do we ever have recommendations for you! You can go to our site and see all our Native American titles, but we’re going to highlight a couple of them today.

Sky Dancers is a majestic story of the Mohawk steal workers who built the skyscrapers of New York City, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. On weekends, John Cloud lives with his parents on the reservation in upstate New York, but during the week his father is off in the city. When his mother takes him to New York, John Cloud is proud to see his father high above the city on a crossbeam of the Empire State Building. The Art Deco-influenced art and John Cloud’s independent mind make this book stand as tall as a skyscraper.

In Rattlesnake Mesa, seasoned storyteller EdNah New Rider Weber shares tales from her childhood, from the Eastern Navajo Reservation to the Phoenix Indian School. It’s a glimpse into a time many people would rather forget, when American Indian children were taken from their families and sent to government-run schools where they tried to make the children forget their tribes’ traditional ways. Rattlesnake Mesa shows us that they did not forget.

Taking us further back in history is Crazy Horse’s Vision. In the mid-1800s, Crazy Horse lead the Lakota against the United States army when the Indians’ rights were ignored. As a child, Crazy Horse was called Curly—until, facing the threat from settlers, he risked his own life to seek a vision of how he could help his people.

What have you been reading for Native American Heritage Month? What books by and/or about American Indians do you recommend, in November and the whole year round?

4 Comments

  1. de Pizan
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Currently I’m reading “A Little Matter of Genocide” by Ward Churchill, and soon up is “An Arrow in the Earth” by Terence O’Donnell (neither of which were planned for NA Heritage month, it just happened that way).
    Recommendations would be:
    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
    Mankiller by Wilma Mankiller
    Cherokee Women by Theda Purdue
    Green Grass Running Water by Thomas King (as well as his Coyote children’s tales)
    almost anything by Sherman Alexie
    Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

  2. Jodie Shull
    Posted November 13, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Yes, anything by Sherman Alexie–who is so funny and so spiritual all at once, in language that is poetic and transparent all at once. As winner of the 2010 California Young Reader Medal in YA, he will be speaking at the California Association of Teacher’s of English (CATE) conference in Sacramento in February.
    I loved Sally Zanjani’s “Sarah Winnemucca.” It sings with a sense of place and shows in microcosm why the people who believed they inhabited the land could not co-exist with the people who related only to owning it.
    Lately, I’ve been following First Nation Ojibway Richard Wagamese’s blog “A Writer’s World.” A beautiful meditation on being a native person today.

  3. Posted November 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I’m also in the “almost anything by Sherman Alexie” camp. Thanks for the other suggestions!

  4. Pam
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone heard of a book named “Native American Heritage Book of Life”, it is suppose to be a book that list all the individuals that are Native American Indians in the United States…..


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