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Jump to: Young Teen
Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth
The term “Apple” is a slur in Native communities across the country. It’s for someone supposedly “red on the outside, white on the inside.” From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.
Brothers of the Buffalo by Joseph Bruchac
In 1874, the U.S. Army sent troops to subdue and move the Native Americans of the Southern plains to Indian reservations, and this chronicles the brief and brutal war that followed. Told from the viewpoint of two youths from opposite sides of the fight, this is a tale of conflict and unlikely friendship in the Wild West.
Elatsoe by Darcia Little Badger
Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe (“Ellie” for short) lives in a slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition by Anton Treuer
A “book of questions and answers for Native and non-Native young readers alike. Ranging from ‘Why is there such a fuss about nonnative people wearing Indian costumes for Halloween?’ to ‘Why is it called a traditional Indian fry bread taco?’ to ‘What’s it like for Natives who don’t look Native?’ to ‘Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood?”
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.
Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong
Guided by her ancestors, Spotted Fawn’s travels through the past allow her to come into full face–like the moon itself. Adapted from the acclaimed stop-motion animated film of the same name, Four Faces of the Moon brings the oral and written history of the Michif, Cree, Nakoda and Anishinaabe Peoples and their cultural link to the buffalo alive on the page.
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When Louise Wolfe’s boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. She’d rather spend her senior year with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America’s indigenous population – and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world.
Redbone: the True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler
Brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas were talented Native American rock musicians that took the 1960s Sunset Strip by storm. They influenced The Doors and jammed with Jimmy Hendrix before he was ‘Jimi’, and the idea of a band made up of all Native Americans soon followed.
A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcia Little Badger
Nina is a Lipan girl in our world, who’s always felt there was something more out there. Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters, who’s been cast from home and found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake. After a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, their worlds can together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.
This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel.
Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew
Bugz is caught between two worlds. In the real world, she’s a shy and self-conscious Indigenous teen who faces the stresses of teenage angst and reserve life. But in the virtual world, her alter ego is not just confident but dominant in a massive multiplayer video game universe.
Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigly
Bouncing in the middle of two cultures, Apple meets her Indian relatives, shatters Indian stereotypes, and learns what it means to find her place in a world divided by color.
The Barren Grounds by David Robertson
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom.
Borders by Thomas King
A boy and his mother refuse to identify themselves as American or Canadian at the border and become caught in the limbo between nations when they claim their citizenship as Blackfoot.
I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day
When twelve-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother’s adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family’s history and her own identity.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza.
Going beyond the story of America as a country “discovered” by a few brave men in the “New World,” Indigenous human rights advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals the roles that settler colonialism and policies of American Indian genocide played in forming our national identity.
Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan C. Jones
Thirty-two short stories chosen from the tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures across North America, featuring witches, walking dolls, hungry skeletons, skinwalkers, and other supernatural beings.
One Real American: the Life of Ely S. Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General by Joseph Bruchac
A member of the Seneca, an Iroquois nation, Parker was an attorney, engineer, and tribal diplomat. Raised on a reservation but schooled at a Catholic institution, he learned English at a young age and became an interpreter for his people. During the American Civil War, he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel and was the primary draftsman of the terms of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.
Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith
It’s been six months since her best friend died, and up until now Rain has succeeded in shutting herself off from the world. But when controversy arises around her aunt Georgia’s Indian Camp in their mostly white Midwestern community, Rain decides to face the outside world again — at least through the lens of her camera.
The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón
Presents a collection of stories from nations and cultures across our two continents, the Sea-Ringed World, as the Aztecs called it, from the edge of Argentina all the way up to Alaska.
Sky Wolf’s Call: the Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn
Through the knowledge inherited from their Elders and ancestors, Indigenous Peoples throughout North America have observed, practiced, experimented, and interacted with plants, animals, the sky, and the waters over millennia.