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The Kentwood branch will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 10, for staff training.

KDL Blog

Native authors to read during Native American Heritage Month

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November is Native American Heritage Month, where we celebrate the diverse cultures of native peoples, as well as their contributions to history. In honor of this month, we’ve found some must reads by great Native American Authors:

There There by Tommy Orange

ORANGE

A novel which grapples with the complex history of Native Americans; with an inheritance of profound spirituality; and with a plague of addiction, abuse and suicide, follows 12 characters, each of whom has private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow.

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

ERDRICH

When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

 

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo

BIOGRAPHY HARJO

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

 

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

SF ROANHORSE

When a small town needs her help in finding a missing girl, Maggie Hoskie, a Dinetah monster hunter, reluctantly enlists the help of an unconventional medicine man to uncover the terrifying truth behind the disappearance and her own past.

 

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier

LITERATURE POETRY LON

WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators.

 

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

TEEN SMITH

Louise Wolfe breaks up with her first boyfriend after he makes a racist remark about her Native American heritage, and begins covering the multicultural casting of the new school play and the racial hostilities it has exposed.

 

#Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

SOCSCI TEEN NOT

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.

 

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

TEEN GANSWORTH

In 1980 life is hard on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York, and most of the teenagers feel like they are going nowhere: Carson Mastick dreams of forming a rock band, and Maggi Bokoni longs to create her own conceptual artwork instead of the traditional beadwork that her family sells to tourists--but tensions are rising between the reservation and the surrounding communities, and somehow in the confusion of politics and growing up Carson and Maggi have to make a place for themselves.

 

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk

J MARSHALL

Teased for his fair coloring, eleven-year-old Jimmy McClean travels with his maternal grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, to learn about his Lakota heritage while visiting places significant in the life of Crazy Horse, the nineteenth-century Lakota leader and warrior, in a tale that weaves the past with the present.

 

Buffalo Bird Girl by S. D. Nelson

PLACES NATAMER JNF HIDATSA NEL

Traces the childhood, friendships and dangers experienced by Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born in 1839, whose community along the Missouri River in the Dakotas transitioned from hunting to agriculture.