american indian heritage month booklist

November 8, 2012

November is Native American Heritage month, so we checked out some book suggested by Debbie Reese in her blog American Indians in Children's Literature

I was hoping to offset all the stereotypical and oftentimes offensive images, stories, myths, etc. that are so often present in the traditional Thanksgiving Day studies in elementary school and in mainstream culture as well.

The best book that helped me get a better understanding of the american indian perspective on Thanksgiving was 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving.

I did not read it to Juliet--I think it is a bit over her head for right now, but it helped me reframe my understanding and what I was taught in school and helped me select a path for our studies this year and in the years to come.

We read Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition  which details a modern day celebration of a Wamponoag named Steven.

Because our library had other titles from this series, we also read Ininatig's Gift of Sugar: Traditional Native Sugarmaking  to see another tradition from a different american Indian tribe. Learning how to make maple syrup and sugar was extremely fascinating and made us want to plan a trip to see it done in real life!

Other titles in this series are The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering and Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition . We will definitely read them soon.

Because we live in Georgia, Juliet was especially interested in learning more about the Cherokee Indians. We were able to find this book at our library which was a good starting point for us.

I've put a few more titles on my books-to-read list, so as I find them, I'll share them here with you!

If you'd like some great resources for more good books about Native Americans, Oyate is a wonderful resource. I especially like their explanation of criteria for evaluating children's books and How to Tell the Difference.

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