The Porcupine Year is the third children's novel in Ojibwe writer Louise Erdrich's series about the life of a 19th-century Ojibwe family set on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. This story is set in 1852 and the lead character, Omakayas, is twelve-years-old as her family is forced to move from their beloved land because of the demands by the chimookomanag, the white people, who are moving closer to the people every year. The family decides to travel north to meet up with a sister's family.
Abenaki author and storyteller successfully transformed a traditional Mohawk story about the skeleton man into a contemporary plot with a teenage Mohawk girl whose family mysteriously disappears. In the earlier novel, The Skeleton Man, a strange ôuncleö appears to claim Sally and she is left with disturbing dreams that seem to reflect the traditional legend about a man whose ôhungerö reaches frightening proportions. The girl's father had often told this Mohawk legend about a long ago family who disappears only to be saved by the family's youngest member.
Fifteen-year-old Josie Jessop goes from blending into the crowd to being the White Girl when her mother marries a First Nations man and moves them to his house on a reserve outside the city, where she must come to terms with her new home, new school, and new family amidst very few friendly faces. Josie has to come to terms with being identified as the White girl on the reserve as she strives to fit in and make this new family situation work. Josie must find her inner integrity with the help and guidance of her step-grandmother.
The Girl with a Baby is a novel by author Sylvia Olsen, who married into the Tsartlip First Nation, where she has raised her four children. Jane, one of the most popular girls and best students in her school, loses her good reputation when she has a baby at the age of fourteen, but as her grandmother predicted, Jane learns that motherhood has only made her stronger. ATOS Reading Level: 4.4; Reading Level: 4.4. Author Website: http://sylviaolsen.ca/
No Time to Say Goodbye: Children's Stories of Kruper Indian Residential School is a fictionalized account of the experiences of five First Nations children who attended Tsartlip Day School and were apprehended by government Indian agents and sent to Kruper Island Residential School. Author Sylvia Olsen talked with six community members and listened to their accounts of their time spent at the residential school.
Shin-chi's Canoe is Nicola Campbell's sequel to Shi-shi-etko, the story about a young girl's first year at residential school. In this second picture book, Shi-shi-etko returns for another school year and brings along her six-year-old brother. Shin-chi loves to fish and accompany his father in the canoe. But a new experience awaits and his sister helps him prepare for what will happen at school. Their mother explains to the children that she does not want to send them but there are laws compelling parents to send their children to boarding schools.
Wisdom Weaver Bina'nitin Bidziilgo Atl'ohi is a bilingual English and Navajo picture book published by Salina Bookshelf that tells a simple story about the importance of weaving. The gentle story explores the relationship between a young girl and her grandmother who teaches the child all the tasks involved in creating a beautiful Navajo rug. From the shearing of the sheep and cleaning the wool to spinning the wool to make yarn, all the steps are included in simple sentences with appropriate illustrations. The pair even selects plants to makes dyes for colouring the wool.
I Like Who I Am is first-time author Tara White children's picture book about identity, bullying, and assertiveness. A young Mohawk girl named Celina experiences her first day in an elementary school in a Mohawk community. From the illustrations, the reader quickly notes that Celina has blonde hair and blue eyes. At recess her new classmates gather round and quiz her about why she is attending their school. Celina explains that her mother just started a new job at the band office. Other students then ask her about her identity. Is Celina really a Mohawk girl?
Yetsa's Sweater is a charming picture book by Sylvia Olsen about the women of the Coast Salish who continue to create beautiful Cowichan sweaters. It is an effective picture book that demonstrates First Nations experiential learning. Yetsa is spending time with her grandmother assisting in the preparation of the sheep's wool needed to knit these amazing one-of-a-kind sweaters. The story and illustrations show the love and understanding between the generations as Yetsa's mother joins the group to complete the many tasks needed to make the wool ready for knitting.
Tantalize is a young adult gothic novel written by Creek children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Smith has left behind her Native American themes but retains the humour and good writing in this romantic fantasy with werewolf and vampire characters, and a Texas Italian restaurant setting. Quincie Morris is a seventeen-year-old high school student whose parents have died and she is left in her uncle's care to run the family business, a restaurant. Uncle and niece plan to remodel the restaurant with a strong gothic vampire theme that serves Italian cuisine.