Friday, July 30, 2010

Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Do you read Writer's Against Racism, Amy Bowllan's Blog at School Library Journal? She interviews a range of people, from critics (like me) to writers, like Cynthia Leitich Smith. Click on over to read her interview with Cynthia, author of one of my favorite picture books of all time, Jingle Dancer.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010: Best Books Recommended for Elementary School

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Editor's Note: January 18, 2014 - The title of this post has been edited to reflect its year of publication. See also 2013: Top Ten Books Recommended for Elementary School

If I was starting a library in an elementary school, these are the first ten books I'd buy. In reading these books, students would be reading stories Native writers create about Native people and places. The books I list here include fiction, historical fiction, traditional story, and poetry.
  • Campbell, Nicola. Shi-shi-etko
  • Campbell, Nicola. Shin-chi's Canoe
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Beaver Steals Fire: A Salish Coyote Story
  • Harjo, Joy. The Good Luck Cat
  • Messinger, Carla. When the Shadbush Blooms
  • Ortiz, Simon J. The Good Rainbow Road/Rawa 'kashtyaa'tsi hiyaani: A Native American Tale
  • Sockabasin, Allen J. Thanks to the Animals
  • Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Jingle Dancer
  • Tingle, Tim. Crossing Bok Chitto (If you can, also get When Turtle Grew Feathers and Saltypie)
  • Waboose, Jan Bourdeau. SkySisters
For annotations, see my article Native Voices in School Library Journal.

See also:
Top Ten Books Recommended for Middle School
Top Ten Books Recommended for High School


Download a pdf titled "Selecting Children's and Young Adult Literature about American Indians that includes an introduction and all three "Top Ten" lists.



2010: Best Books Recommended for Middle School


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If I was starting a library in a middle school, these are the first ten books I'd buy.  In reading these books, students would be reading stories Native writers create about Native people and places.  The books I list here include fiction, historical fiction, and poetry. 

  • Bruchac, Joseph. Hidden Roots
  • Carvell, Marlene. Who Will Tell My Brother?
  • Dorris, Michael. Sees Behind Trees.
  • Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House
  • Loyie, Larry. As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Last Summer before Residential School
  • Ortiz, Simon. The People Shall Continue
  • Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Indian Shoes
  • Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Rain Is Not My Indian Name
  • Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. High Elk's Treasure
  • Sterling, Shirley. My Name is Seepeetza
For annotations, see my Native Voices article in School Library Journal.

Update: Jan 7, 2012
Though she is not Native, Debby Dawl Edwardson has lived her adult life with her husband in his Inupiaq village in Alaska. Her commitment to Native lives and story is not abstract or romantic. Add her book, My Name is Not Easy to this list of must-have books for middle grade students.

See also:
Top Ten Books Recommended for High School
Top Ten Books Recommended for Elementary School

Download a pdf with all three lists:
Selecting Children's and Young Adult Literature about American Indians




2010: Best Books Recommended for High School

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If I was starting a library in a high school, these are the first ten books I'd buy.  In reading these books, students would be reading stories Native writers create about Native people and places.  The books I list here include fiction, historical fiction, poetry, short stories, and, prose.

  • Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Broker, Ignatia. Night Flying Woman: An Ojibway Narrative
  • Carlson, Lori Marie (ed.). Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today
  • Deloria, Ella C. Waterlily
  • Kenny, Maurice (ed.). Stories for a Winter's Night: Fiction by Native American Writers
  • King, Thomas. One Good Story, That One
  • Ortiz, Simon J. Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories
  • Tapahonso, Luci. Blue Horses Rush In: Poems and Stories
  • Taylor, Drew Hayden. The Night Wanderer
  • Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed

For annotations, see my Native Voices article in School Library Journal.

See also:
Top Ten Books for Middle School
Top Ten Books for Elementary School

Download a pdf with all three lists:
Selecting Children's and Young Adult Literature about American Indians






Monday, July 26, 2010