Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? Why not celebrate by reading a book by a Native American Author? This is easier to do than ever before because HarperCollins is now home to Heartdrum, an imprint that celebrates Native American voices. You can check out that catalogue here.
You could just pick up a book about a Native American character. I just finished a book about an Anishinaabe character. I spent the entire book questioning various details. Really? Is this really accurate? I’m awful when a read a native story written by a non-native but then I grew up on my father’s commentary about James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans. Suffice it to say that what Dad had to say was not complimentary.
I am currently waiting on my copy of Darcie Little Badger’s A Snake Falls to Earth. I loved her book Elatsoe. Loved. It.
You could also look for books by:
Traci Sorell: We Are Grateful and We Are Still Here are two amazing picture books. I also loved her At the Mountain’s Base and Classified. Her books tend to be for younger readers than Little Badger’s.
Rebecca Roanhorse: Trail of Lightning (my favorite), Storm of Locusts, Race to the Sun, or Black Sun. I’ve only read the first two but I love Trail of Lightening.
Cynthia Leitich Smith: Hearts Unbroken, Rain is Not My Indian Name, Jingle Dancer, or Indian Shoes. Cynthia is also the author-curator at Heartdrum.
Joy Harjo: An American Surprise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, and How We Became Human. Her memoir is Crazy Brave. Harjo is a poet and the current national Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold this honor.
Stephen Graham Jones: The Only Good Indians, Mongrels, Ledfeather, or The Last Red Road. Jones is a horror writer.
Seek out books by Native American authors and you will do more than experience authentic stories. You will also help support these authors and broaden their reach. Books from your library that circulate stay on the shelves. Books that publisher’s sell lead to more books.
We need more great books.