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Good, quality American Indian books?


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This year, I want to read a bunch of books about different tribes throughout November, as opposed to the traditional thanksgiving narrative. Trouble is, not having had an unbiased education myself, I'm not sure where to find accurate information and books! I have two in elementary and one in sixth grade. These would be read aloud books we read together. Websites or craft/project ideas that honor American Indians greatly appreciated as well! Thanks.

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Eyewitness Books-- North American Indian is good.

Step Into: Aztec and Maya World by Fiona Macdonald

More than Moccasins is a craft book that is ok

If You Lived With...has books on various tribes...Iroquois, Indians of the NW coast, Cherokee, Sioux, etc.


For us, a lot of the living history trips have been really good. Going to see reconstructed traditional dwellings, eating traditional foods, going to powwows and art sales, wildcrafting traditional medicine..... and then going and doing that for a completely different tribe in a different geolandscape.  Talking about how land shapes (should shape) people is important, imo.

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Copy-pasting from previous posts:



Cynthia Leitich Smith's website provides info on books written BY Native Americans

American Indians in Children's Literature - list of books

Guest Hollow: Native Americans, units 1-7 (of the 28-unit American History study)

History Pockets: Native American (gr. 1-3)


Indians of North America by Gorsline (gr. K-4)

Usborne: Who Were The First North Americans? (gr. K-4)

Eyewitness: North American Indians (gr. 4-8)

Native American History for Kids with 21 Activities (gr. 4-8)

The Native American Library series (gr. 5-8) by Helen Dwyer

Native Nations of North America series by Bobbi Kalman

Book of Indians by Holling C. Holling -- out of print, but recommended by many

More Than Moccasins (Carlson) -- gr. 1-4 projects


picture books

Last Leaf, First Snowflake -- poetic; NE North Americans and change of season

- Path of the Quiet Elk (Stroud) -- lyrical alphabet book; Cherokee worldview of interconnectedness

- A Walk to the Great Mystery (Stroud) -- Cherokee worldview of respect for nature/all things

Can You Hear Wind Sing Your Name (Canyon) -- Cherokee song of spring, celebrating the circle of life, nature connections

- When Clay Sings; I'm in Charge of Celebrations (Baylor) -- poetic; SW desert and Native peoples

Hawk I'm Your Brother (Baylor) -- modern SW Native boy and a red tail hawk



The Good Rainbow Road

When the Shadbush Blooms

Buffalo Bird Girl

Gift Horse, Star Sisters



- gr. 1 reading level

Small Wolf (Benchley)

Sacajawea (Milton)

Sitting Bull (Penner)

The Warrior Maiden (Schecter)

- gr. 2-3 reading level

Squanto (Bulla)

Pocahontas (Bulla)-- biograph
Tikta'liktak (Houston) -- legend of an Inuit-Alaskan man stranded on an ice floe

Trail of Tears (Bruchac)

- gr. 3-4 reading level

Om-Kas-Toe (Thomasa) -- Blackfoot boy tames a horse for his tribe

Naya Nuki (Thomasa) -- true story of friend of Sacajawea who escaped Indian captors and returned home 1000 miles away

Sequoyah and Cherokee Alphabet (Cwiklik) -- biography

- gr. 4-6 reading level

Children of the Long House (Bruchac) -- and others by Bruchac

-The Birchbark House (Erdrich) -- and others by Bruchac

- gr. 5-8 reading level

Island of the Blue Dolphins (O-Dell) -- based on the true story

- gr. 6-8 reading level

Streams to the River, River to the Sea (O'Dell) -- Sacajawea
Sing Down the Moon (O'Dell) -- Navajo and the Long Walk of the 1860s
Walk the World's Rim -- Southwestern tribes, 16th century Spanish conquistador
Indian Captive (Lenski) -- true story of Mary Jemison


biographies, Troll publishers:

- Sequoyah: Cherokee Hero (Oppenheim)

- Osceola: Seminole Warrior (Oppenheim)
- Black Hawk: Frontier Warrior (Oppenheim)
- Tecumseh: Shawnee War Chief (Fleischer)
- Sitting Bull: Warrior of the Sioux (Fleischer)

- Sacajawea: Wilderness Guide (Jassem)

- Squanto: The Pilgrim Adventure (Jassem)

- Chief Joseph, Leader of Destiny (Jassem)

- Pocahonta: Girl of Jamestown (Jassem)


individual tribes:

"If You Lived With the... " series (fill in the blank with specific tribe)


True Book series (gr. K-4 level)

Northwest Coast/Plateau: Nez Perce

Southwest: ApacheHopiNavajoPuebloZuni

Northeast: IroquoisShawneeWampanoag

Southeast: SeminoleTimucua

Great Plains: BlackfootCheyenneComancheCrowLakota SiouxSioux

Great Basin: Ute

Arctic/Subarctic: Inuit


past threads with fiction and non-fiction book ideas:

If you have studied Native Americans, what tribes did you study?

Native American books/movies??

Native American booklist

What are your must reads for Native American History?

Need suggestions for Native American literature

Chapter books about Native Americans that don't get labeled as racist



You might also try searches for children's books by specific tribes. Here's a handful of major tribes (there are hundreds of tribes) by area:


Arctic: Aleut, Inuit, Yupik

California: Paiute -- and dozens of others

Great Basin area: Shoshone, Ute -- and others

Great Plains: Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Dakota, Osage, Pawnee, Seneca, Sioux -- many others

Northeast area: Algonquian, Erie, Iroquois, Nauset, Ottawa -- and dozens of others

Northwest area: Chinook, Tillamook, Tlingit -- and dozens of others

Plateau: Flathead, Klikitat, Nez Perce -- and a number of others

Southeast area: Cherokee, Chickamauga, Creek, Seminole -- and dozens of others

Southwest: Apache, Hohokam, Hopi, Navajo, Tohono O'odham (Papago), Zuni -- and many others

Edited by Lori D.
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