Posted by: montclairlibrary | November 24, 2012

Native American Heritage Month

Native Americans in traditional dress - photo by Grand Canyon NPS

November is Native American Heritage Month. If the Medicine Warrior Dance Troupe visit on November 10th got you thinking about Native American history and culture, The American Indian College Fund has some fun suggestions for ways to celebrate this month, like attending a lacrosse game or eating buffalo. You can also check out one of these books in the Montclair collection to help you learn more:

Children
Traditional tales like How Chipmunk Got His Stripes: A Tale of Bragging and Teasing, retold by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac (grades K-3) and Iktomi Loses His Eyes: A Plains Indian Story by Paul Goble (grades 2-5). Look for these stories in the Fairy Tales & Folk Tales Picture Books section.

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia L. Smith (grades K-3). A contemporary Muscogee (Creek) girl in Oklahoma wants to honor a family tradition by jingle dancing at the next powwow.

Home to Medicine Mountain by Chiori Santiago (grades K-3). The real-life experiences of illustrator Judith Lowry’s father and uncle inspired this account of two Native American brothers in California, sent to a government-run boarding school in the 1930s, finding their way home.

Dreamcatcher by Audrey Osofsky (grades 1-4). An Ojibway baby long ago watches his family as they play and work.

Eyewitness North American Indian by David Murdoch (grades 3 and up). Packed with non-fiction information and photos.

As Long as the Rivers Flow: The Stories of Nine Native Americans by Paula Gunn Allen and Patricia Clark Smith (grades 5-8). Fresh, stimulating portrayals of prominent Native Americans.

YA
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (grades 7-10). This award-winning novel tells the story of a budding cartoonist who leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

The Last Snake Runner by Kimberley Griffiths Little (grades 6-10). Historical fiction meets time travel in this tale of a modern teen transported back to Acoma Pueblo in the 1500s.

Adults
The Round House: A Novel by Louise Erdrich. This 2012 National Book Award winner is a “moving, complex and surprisingly uplifting” story of “a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother.” (See Erdrich’s other books about modern Native American life, too.)

Blasphemy: [New and Selected Stories] by Sherman Alexie. Alexie continues his reign as “a bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest.” (See his other books, too.)

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. This book looks at science, history and archeology to provide a balanced, more accurate view of America and its indigenous populations prior to European settlement.

The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area by Malcolm Margolin. Learn more about one of the native peoples of the Bay Area.

American Indian Myths and Legends selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. Traditional stories.

Sovereign Bones: New Native American Writing, Volume II edited by Eric Gansworth. “This collection of original writing focuses on the key role that writers and visual artists have played in the struggle of native peoples to retain their individual identities.”


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