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Indigenous Heritage Month Book Recommendations

November is Indigenous Heritage Month and what’s better way to celebrate than with a good book? Check out these featured titles by Indigenous authors, featuring Indigenous stories. You’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy!

Picture Books

Benny the Bananasaurus Rex (Inuit)   

by Sarabeth Holden ; illustrated by Emma Pedersen 

A funny and relatable story of a little boy who can be anything he wants to be (whether it’s a dinosaur, or a banana, or both!) with a big imagination and a bit of help from his anaana.  

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me (Cree) 

by Tasha Spillett-Sumner; illustrated by Salini Perera. 

A simple story exploring the feelings of a mixed heritage child who begins to notice the physical differences between her mother’s features and her own 

Phoenix Gets Greater (Anishinaabe Kwe) 

by Marty Wilson-Trudeau with Phoenix Wilson ; illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith. 

A powerful story about the importance of family acceptance. Not everyone understands Phoenix, but his mom and brother are proud of him. With their help, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is. 

Runs with the Stars (Ojibwe) 

by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O’Connor ; illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. 

The inspiring story of a multigenerational family working together to bring a herd of Ojibwe Horses back home, years after they all but disappeared. 

Who Will Win? (Mohawk) 

by Arihhonni David 

When a quick-footed bear and a quick-witted turtle race across a frozen lake, Turtle has a secret plan to win! 

Middle Grade Books 

We Still Belong (Upper Skagit) 

by Christine Day 

Wesley’s hopeful plans for Indigenous Peoples’ Day (and asking her crush to the dance) go all wrong-until she finds herself surrounded by the love of her Indigenous family and community at the intertribal powwow 

Heroes of the Water Monster (Navajo) 

by Brian Young 

Edward and Nathan, two Navajo stepbrothers, work with a young water monster named Dew to confront their past and save the world from a monstrous, enormous Enemy that is stealing water from all of the Navajo Nation. 

Sky Wolf’s Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge (Piikani) 

by Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger  

In Sky Wolf’s Call, award-winning author team of Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger reveal how Indigenous knowledge comes from centuries of practices, experiences, and ideas gathered by people who have a long history with the natural world. 

Eagle Drums (Inupiaq) 

by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson 

With beautiful full-color art, this vivid retelling of the first Messenger Feast — still celebrated today — brings to life the origin myth of how the eagle gods bestowed the Iñupiat with the gifts of music, song, dance, community, and everlasting tradition.  

She Holds Up the Stars (Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe) 

by Sandra Laronde 

A young Indigenous girl searching for a sense of home finds strength and courage in her gifts, her deepening connection to the land, and her own cultural awakening in this moving coming-of-age story. 

Honorable Mention:

Two Tribes (Muscogee)   

by Emily Bowen Cohen 

Mia makes a plan to use the gifts from her bat mitzvah to take a bus to Oklahoma–without telling her mom–to visit her dad and find the connection to her Muscogee side she knows is just as important as her Jewish side.  

Young Adult Books

Godly Heathens (Seminole) 

by H.E. Edgmon 

A nonbinary Seminole teen who finds out they’re a reincarnated god from another world — and that other gods from their pantheon seek to kill them, once and for all. 

We’re also (virtually) hosting H.E. Edgmon on December 12th! Follow this link to register to receive the Zoom info.  

Those Pink Mountain Nights (Métis) 

by Jen Ferguson 

Jen Ferguson writes about the hurt of a life stuck in past tense, the hum of connections that cannot be severed, and one week in a small, snowy town that changes everything. 

Harvest House (Muscogee)   

by Cynthia Leitich Smith 

Halloween is near, and Hughie Wolfe is volunteering at a new rural attraction: Harvest House. He’s excited to take part in the fun, spooky show–until he learns that an actor playing the vengeful spirit of an “Indian maiden,” a ghost inspired by local legend, will headline. Gripping and evocative, Harvest House showcases a versatile storyteller at her spooky, unsettling best.  

Billy Buckhorn and the Book of Spells (Cherokee & Choctaw) 

by Gary Robinson  

Warned by the spirit of his grandmother, sixteen-year-old Billy Buckhorn must prepare to protect the Cherokee Nation from supernatural evil. 

Ready When You Are (Yuin)   

by Gary Lonesborough 

A love story between two Aboriginal Australian boys — one who doesn’t want to accept he’s gay, and the boy who comes to live in his house who makes him realize that he is. 

Honorable Mention:

This Place: 150 Years Retold (Various) 

by Various authors and artists 

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. 

 Adult Books


Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology (Various) 

Edited by Shane Hawk, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. 

A bold, clever, and sublimely sinister collection of horror, fantasy, science fiction, and gritty crime by both new and established Indigenous authors that dares to ask the question: “Are you ready to be un-settled?” 

A Grandmother Begins the Story (Maetis)  

by Michelle Porter 

The story of the unrivaled desire for healing and the power of familial bonds across five generations of Maetis women and the land and bison that surround them.  

A Broken Blade (Anishinaabe-kwe) 

by Melissa Blair 

Keera is a killer. As the king’s Blade and his most gifted assassin, she is called upon to hunt down a mysterious figure called the Shadow who is moving against the Crown. She tracks the Shadow into the magical lands of the Fae, but the Faeland is not what it seems, and neither is the Shadow. Keera is shocked by what she discovers and can’t help but wonder who her enemy truly is.  

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath (Wampanoag)    

by Moniquill Blackgoose 

A young, Indigenous woman enters a colonizer-run dragon academy after bonding with a hatchling-and quickly finds herself at odds with the “approved” way of doing things-in the first book of a brilliant new fantasy series. 

And Then She Fell (Tuscarora) 

by Alicia Elliott 

A fierce, gripping novel about Native life, motherhood and mental health that follows a young Mohawk woman who discovers that the picture-perfect life she always hoped for may have horrifying consequences. 


Honorable Mention:

Earthdivers, Vol. 1: Kill Columbus (Blackfoot) 

by Stephen Graham Jones; Davide Gianfelice; Joana Lafuente; Steve Wands. 

Convinced that the only way to save the world is to rewrite its past, a reluctant linguist named Tad is sent on a bloody, one-way mission to 1492 to kill Christopher Columbus before he reaches the so-called New World. But there are steep costs to disrupting the timeline, and taking down an icon isn’t an easy task for an academic with no tactical training and only a wavering moral compass to guide him. As the horror of the task ahead unfolds and Tad’s commitment is tested, his actions could trigger a devastating new fate for his friends and the future.  

Nonfiction Books

Seed to Plate, Soil to Sky: Modern Plant-Based Recipes Using Native American Ingredients (Kiowa) 

by Lois Ellen Frank; Native American culinary advisor, Walter Whitewater; recipe testing & recipe development assistant, & Marianne Sundquist 

Seed to Plate, Soil to Sky introduces the splendor and importance of Native culinary history and pairs it with delicious Native American-inspired dishes. Grounded in a primer on Native American cuisine and with a necessary discussion of food sovereignty and sustainability, Seed to Plate, Soil to Sky shares more than 100 nutritious, plant-based recipes organized by each of the foundational ingredients. 

Making Love with the Land: Essays (Oji-Cree) 

by Joshua Whitehead 

In prose that is evocative and sensual, unabashedly queer and visceral, raw and autobiographical, Joshua Whitehead writes of an Indigenous body in pain, coping with trauma. Intellectually audacious and emotionally compelling, Whitehead shares his devotion to the world in which we live and brilliantly-even joyfully-maps his experience on the land that has shaped stories, histories, and bodies from time immemorial 

Unbroken: My Fight for Survival, Hope, and Justice for Indigenous Women and Girls (Gitxsan)  

by Angela Sterritt 

Unbroken is an extraordinary work of memoir and investigative journalism focusing on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, written by an award-winning Gitxsan journalist who survived life on the streets against all odds. 

Carrying it Forward: Essays from Kistahpinânihk (Nehiyawak-Metis) 

by John Brady McDonald 

These are essays filled with history, much careful observation and some hard-learned lessons about racism, about recovery, about the ongoing tragedies facing Indigenous peoples. With honesty, a poet’s turn of phrase and a bit of sly humour, John Brady pulls us deep into the life he has lived in Kistahpinanihk and asks us to consider what life could be like in a New North Territory 

Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School (Pasqua)   

by Bevann Fox 

A residential school survivor’s complicated path toward healing and love. Genocidal Love delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing. 

Let us know if you pick up any of these books by leaving a review in the “Awesome Box” at the ground floor checkout desk or fill out a review form. Need help reserving one of these title? You can place a request in the online catalog, fill out a request form, or call the reference desk at 978-674-4121.