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Native American and Indigenous Children's Books

Books that celebrate Native American and Indigenous heritage and stories.

Board Books

Cover of Cradle Me

The rich Native American tradition of carrying babies safely, comfortably and close to their mothers in cradle boards endures to this day. Cradle Me celebrates Native American families and shows how they carry their babies.

Van Camp

Board books for babies and toddlers that celebrates every child and the joy babies bring into the world.

Cover of  Mi'kmaw Daily Drum: Mi'km

Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy's daily drum artworks paired with a different day of the week in an accessible and beautiful baby board book.

Cover of Sweetest Kulu
Alexandria Neonakis

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.

Cover of We Are Grateful: Otsalihel
Frane Lessac

The word "otsaliheliga" (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. This picture book chronicles a full year of Cherokee celebrations and experiences.

Picture Books

Cover of The First Blade of Sweetgr
Suzanne Greenlaw and
Gabriel Frey

A Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making.

Cover of Fry Bread: A Native Americ
Kevin Noble

 Fry Bread is an evocative story about family, history, culture, and traditions, new and old.

Cover of Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh
Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

In this lyrical story-poem, written in Anishinaabemowin and English, a child and grandmother explore their surroundings, taking pleasure in the familiar sights that each new season brings.

Cover of Nimoshom and His Bus
Penny M.
Karen Hibbard

Nimoshom loved to drive the school bus. Every day, on the way to and from school, he had something to say. Sometimes, he told the kids silly stories. Sometimes, he taught them a new word in Cree.

Cover of On the Trapline
David A.
Julie Flett

This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.

Cover of We All Play

This book celebrates diversity and the interconnectedness of nature through an Indigenous perspective, complete with a glossary of Cree words for wild animals at the back of the book.

Cover of We Are Water Protectors
Michaela Goade

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.

Elementary Fiction

Cover of Hiawatha and the Peacemake
David Shannon

Hiawatha, a Mohawk, is plotting revenge for the murder of his wife and daughters by the evil Onondaga Chief, Tadodaho, when he meets the Great Peacemaker, who enlists his help in bringing the nations together to share his vision of a new way of life marked by peace, love, and unity rather than war, hate, and fear. 

Cover of I Am Not a Number
Jenny Kay Dupuis and
Kathy Kacer
Gillian Newland

When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from. When she goes home for the summer, her parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. What will happen when they disobey the law?

Cover of Indian No More
Charlene Willing McManis and
Traci Sorrell

When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.

Cover of Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-To
Tara Audibert

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. 

Cover of Sisters of the Neversea
Cynthia L.

In this magical, modern twist on Peter Pan, stepsisters Lily and Wendy are spirited away to Neverland by a mysterious boy and must find a way back to the family they love.

Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction

Cover of Child of the Flower-Song P
Duncan Tonatiuh

A fictionalized account of a Nahua woman who grew up in Mexico during the early 1900s, became a model for artists, worked with scholars to preserve Nahuatl language and stories, and was known as the "soul of Mexico." 

Cover of Classified: The Secret Car
Natasha Donovan

Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as the company's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.

Cover of The Sea-Ringed World: Sacr
Maria Garcia Esperson and
translated by David Bowles
Amanda Mijangos

Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged. The answers lay in their sacred stories.

Cover of Young Water Protectors: A
Kelly Tudor, Jason Eaglespeaker and
Aslan Tudor

At the age of eight, Aslan arrived in North Dakota to help stop a pipeline. A few months later he returned - and saw the whole world watching. Read about his inspiring experiences in the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock. Learn about what exactly happened there, and why.

Cover of We Are Still Here!: Native

A group of Native American kids from different tribes presents twelve historical and contemporary time periods, struggles, and victories to their classmates, each ending with a powerful refrain: We are still here!