Stories By and About Indigenous Peoples

Books that honor the contributions of the world's indigenous peoples—the descendants of a given region's original inhabitants—and the cultural heritage with which they continue to identify. As a way to engage with authentic representations of the indigenous cultures of the United States, these great titles feature Native American characters and authors.

 


Compiled by:
Sam O.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie
(Young Adult – Y Alexie)

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.


Feral Nights

Cynthia Smith
(Young Adult – Y Smith)

Tracking his sister to Austin only to discover that she is a key suspect in a murder case, werecat Yoshi embarks on a search for answers, while werepossum Clyde and Aimee pursue their own investigation in an effort to avenge the killing.


The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend

Bob Drury
(Adult Nonfiction – 921 Red Cloud Drury)

The untold story of the great Ogala Sioux chief Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Plains who witnessed the opening of the West and forced the American government to sue for peace in a conflict named for him.


House of Purple Cedar

Tim Tingle
(Adult Fiction – Tingle)

“The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville." Thus begins Rose Goode's story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year's Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town's people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom. 


Ice Drift

Theodore Taylor
(Young Adult – Y Taylor)

Two Inuit brothers must fend for themselves while stranded on an ice floe that is adrift in the Greenland Strait. The year is 1868, and fourteen-year-old Alika and his younger brother, Sulu, are hunting for seals on an ice floe attached to their island in the Arctic. Suddenly the ice starts to shake, and they hear a loud crack--the terrible sound of the floe breaking free from land. The boys watch with horror as the dark expanse of water between the ice and the shore rapidly widens, and they start drifting south--away from their home, their family, and everything they've ever known. Throughout their six-month-long journey down the Greenland Strait, the brothers face bitter cold, starvation, and most frightening of all, vicious polar bears. But they still remain hopeful that one day they'll be rescued.


In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

Joseph Marshall
(Juvenile Fiction – J Marshall)

Teased for his fair coloring, eleven-year-old Jimmy McClean travels with his maternal grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, to learn about his Lakota heritage while visiting places significant in the life of Crazy Horse, the nineteenth-century Lakota leader and warrior, in a tale that weaves the past with the present.


Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars

Ethan Hawke
(Graphic Novels – 970.3 Hawke)

The year is 1872. The place, the Apache nations, a region torn apart by decades of war. The people, like Goyahkla, lose his family and everything he loves. After having a vision, the young Goyahkla approaches the Apache leader Cochise, and the entire Apache nation, to lead an attack against the Mexican village of Azripe. It is this wild display of courage that transforms the young brave Goyakhla into the Native American hero Geronimo. But the war wages on. As they battle their enemies, lose loved ones, and desperately cling on to their land and culture, they would utter, "Indeh," or "the dead." When it looks like lasting peace has been reached, it seems like the war is over. Or is it?


Killer of Enemies

Joseph Bruchac
(Young Adult – Y Bruchac)

In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-twentieth century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.


Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection. Volume 1

Hope Nicholson
(Graphic Novels – Moonshot)

Moonshot is a project that is a thrilling new collection that showcases diverse aboriginal representation in comic books. This is an anthology of stories about identity, culture, and spirituality told by writers and artists from a range of communities across North America including many creators that identify as Métis, Inuit, Dene, Anishnaabe, Cree, Mi'kmaq, Caddo, Haida, Sioux, and Suquamish, among others. 


Native Americans of East-Central Indiana

Chris Flook
(Adult Nonfiction – Flook)

Native Americans lived, hunted and farmed in east-central Indiana for two thousand years before the area became a part of the Hoosier State. Mounds and enclosures built by Adena and Hopewell peoples still stand near the White River and reflect their vibrant and mysterious cultures. The Lenape tribes moved to east-central Indiana many years later after the Northwest Indian War. Led by the great chiefs Buckhongehelas and Kikthawenund, the White River Lenape attempted to forge an identity after being forced from their homeland on the Atlantic coast. Place names like Delaware County, Muncie, Yorktown and Anderson demonstrate the importance of the tribe in local history.


Origin

Jessica Khoury
(Young Adult – Y Khoury)

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life. Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.


Robopocalypse: A Novel

Daniel Wilson
(Science Fiction and Fantasy – SF Wilson)

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines.


Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Steve Sheinkin
(Adult and Juvenile Nonfiction – 796.332 Sheinkin)

A great American sport and Native American history come together in this true story of how Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner created the legendary Carlisle Indians football team.


Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City

Urban
(Adult Nonfiction – 305.897 Urban)

Young, urban Natives share their diverse stories, shattering stereotypes and powerfully illustrating how Native culture and values can survive -- and enrich -- city life.